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You’re Terminated: Why Customers Stop Doing Business With You

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at September 26, 2021

Customers today are willing to switch brands or companies faster than ever. Consider this from our 2021 customer service and experience research:

·        Eighty-three percent of customers said, “I’m willing to switch brands or companies because of a bad customer service experience.”

·        Seventy-nine percent of customers said, “I’m willing to switch brands or companies because I know another company will give me a better experience.”

And while these findings are focused on consumers, don’t think that B2B companies are exempt from the propensity to switch because of a bad experience. B2B customers are also consumers, and they will compare their CX with a B2B company to that of a B2C brand.

The study, which surveyed more than 1,000 consumers ages 18-65 and was weighted to the U.S. Census for age, region, ethnicity and gender, also revealed the reasons why customers switch. In other words, why they would terminate their relationship with you and your organization. We asked, “How likely would you be to switch companies or leave a brand you were loyal to after any of the following bad customer service experiences?” And here are their responses:

·        Sixty-seven percent would leave due to rudeness or apathy from a company or employee. It was back in the 1980s when I read a similar statistic in the TARP study commissioned by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs. It claimed that 70% of customers leave simply because of an employee or the company acting like they don’t care. In other words, apathy. Not much has changed since then.

·        Sixty-three percent would leave because they couldn’t connect with someone from support. If you want to irritate a customer, make it hard for them to connect with you. It could be that it’s hard to find your phone number or email address. This is an easy one to fix.

·        Sixty-two percent would leave because they received inconsistent information. I’ve learned that if I call someone in customer support and I don’t agree with their answer, I’ll call back to talk to someone else who might give me a different answer. Keep in mind, it’s not that I don’t like the answer. I can live with an answer I don’t like. It’s when I think the answer is wrong based on logical reasons. I’m often surprised at the completely different answers I receive from two or three employees in the same company. By the way, this does nothing to bolster my confidence in them.

·        Fifty-seven percent would leave because of long hold or wait times when trying to reach out to a brand or company. Who wants to wait on hold? We are all busy. If you are going to make your customers wait, then tell them how long it will be and give them the option of having a call-back. The cost of the technology to do this (and more) is not expensive. There’s no excuse to waste a customer’s time.

·        Fifty-three percent would leave because of slow response times to emails or messages. I covered this more extensively in a recent Forbes article on slow or no responses to customers’ emails. I’m amazed at how long it takes for some companies to respond. Why make me wait eight hours for an answer? If I wanted my problem resolved in eight hours, I would have waited eight hours to contact you.

·        Forty-three percent would leave because no self-service options were provided. In the digital world we live in, more and more customers are looking for quick answers to their questions on a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page on a website, a video tutorial on YouTube, or even a chatbot on text or in an app. Don’t forget this channel. Setting it up the right way will save your company money and provide the customer with a better experience.

Something else that’s interesting—and important—especially depending on the type of business you’re in, is that age makes a difference. For example, the No. 1 reason Baby Boomers would leave, at 76%, is because of rudeness, versus 54% of GenZ customers. In any type of business, you want to recognize the generational differences in how your customers conduct business—and what they expect when it comes to customer service and CX. One size does not fit all.

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