Stock shopping customer

If you want to keep customers, first know the facts. Sixty-eight percent of your customers leaving takes place because they feel poorly treated, according to TARP.

It can cost five times more to buy new customers than retain existing ones, according TARP.

One percent cut in customer service problems could generate an extra $19 million in profits for a medium-sized company over five years.

Why customers quit:

• 1% die

• 3% move away

• 68% quit because of an attitude of indifference towards the customer by the staff

• 14% are dissatisfied with the product

• 9% leave because of competitive reasons

None of us can go a three whole days without having a poor customer service experience. The truth is that most companies really don’t have a good handle on true customer satisfaction since Most dissatisfied customers do not complain.

The average business does not hear from 96% of its unhappy customers. For every complaint received at company headquarters, the average business has 26 others with problems, and out of those, at least six of them are serious.

Do you always complain when you have a problem with a hotel room or a meal and call the CEO or their office? Most people just say, “Oh, the heck with it.”

Amazingly, 65% to 90% of these non-complainers will never buy from you again, and you will never know why.

When your customers do have a complaint or a problem and they let you know their frustrations, they are giving you a chance to keep their business. In fact, studies show you can win back between 54% and 70% of these complainers by just taking care of the issue.

This group of customers that you helped or satisfied can be your best future business.

In fact, 95% of this group will be your most loyal customers, and will buy from you again and again, assuming you handled their complaint quickly and to their satisfaction.

As mentioned, since 96% of your customers don’t complain, you will never know why, while they will tell everybody they meet about their experience. The worse the experience, the more people they tell. Someone who was not satisfied or had an unpleasant experience will tell nine to 10 other people. The more upset the customer the more people they will tell, sometimes over 20 will hear about their experience.

Word of mouth can be very hurtful to a business, and as well as helpful. Happy people like to share their experiences as well. We will talk to family, friends, coworkers, or just about anybody who will listen about our poor customer service experience or our really great experiences.

Here are a couple of thoughts for you to consider for your company:

• Solicit complaints and make it easy for people to tell you their problem. Give an 800 number or a very simple online form to fill out. Be sincere and let them know they are being heard and responded to.

• Solve these complaints as quick as possible.

• Keep records of these complaints utilizing customer relations management tool to see trends, people involved, etc.

• Provide policies or incentives for your staff to truly look for complaints, then provide ways to fix the situation, with the employee feeling good about the outcome.

Don’t just tell people you believe in great customer service. Set an example and as the old Nike slogan said, “Just do it.”

Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers, “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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