John Eklund, Pro Mach

Why Customers Leave

By John Eklund, Pro Mach | Permanent Link


We spend a lot of time focusing on customer service after the sale, highlighting training and aftermarket and dealing with customer service reps, but it’s important to remember that one of the biggest pieces in the customer service puzzle is your sales team.

Your sales team sets the tone with the customer for the rest of the organization to follow. A bad experience with a salesperson can keep a prospect from turning into a customer, or worse, jeopardize the relationship with them once they are a customer. A good experience with a salesperson can keep a customer from leaving when they have trouble with the service side of your organization as well. After the sale, salespeople can be more like the oil and grease that keeps the car tuned up and running great with periodic maintenance.

So when it comes to customers leaving, your sales team is your first line of defense. I found a good post over at BusinessBrief.com on The Top 8 Reasons Customer Leave and though it’s a little harsh towards sales, I think there are some good points, including:

  • Customers leave when they feel like they only get invoices from your company
  • Customers leave when they feel like they’re too small to get your interest
  • Customers leave when they feel like they don’t hear from a sales rep after the sale is closed
  • Customers leave when they feel like you spend too much time and attention on prospects

Some of the points are hard to contend with as a salesperson – what’s the ideal balance between working on new business (prospects) and nurturing your existing business (customers)? There’s no single right answer, but it’s something on your customers’ minds and it’s something for your sales team to keep in mind as they work with your prospects and customers.

It’s also important to note a lot of these post-sale points are “feel” points – that is the customer perceives it to be the case, even if the salesperson doesn’t. Before the sale, the customer was in constant interaction with a responsive salesperson in a much more structured process. The customer would ask for a video, a data sheet, a quote or anything else and they got it.

After the sale, there usually isn’t a structure or process in place, so the customer may feel more neglected and less nurtured, relative to their pre-sale treatment. The salesperson will still respond quickly to requests from the customer, but there is much less of this after the sale, in fact, a lot of salespeople will say if they don’t hear from the customer after the sale it’s because everything is running smoothly.

So it’s important for your sales team to think about any kind of structure or process they can put in place post-sale to keep in good spirits with the customer. Things like a “60 day rule” that ensures every customer gets a communication every 60 days is one idea we use within several of our divisions.

Are there things your organization does particularly well as a post-sale process? Give it some thought and I’m sure you can find a few things you can do without adding too much burden to your organization.

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