Why Do My Customers Keep Leaving?

Nobody likes to say goodbye. But plenty of businesses fail to recognise the signs of losing a customer, and will only start to catch on when it’s too late to stop the train or silence the violins.

There’s no one reason why customers leave. Identifying the underlying issue is a case of troubleshooting – running through the most common reasons why they would hop the midnight train rather than staying put.

Your customers were only satisfied

We get it. On the surface, this one seems overly specific and yet overly vague at the same time. What’s wrong with a satisfied customer? Haven’t we all been striving for customer satisfaction since the dawn of customer service? Sure – but we’d argue that the best companies are setting that as the bare minimum and aiming higher still.

Satisfaction is okay. As you reflect on the greatest moment of your life, you’re not going to say, ‘That was satisfying; I am satisfied’. Being satisfied means obtaining what you set out to obtain, fulfilling what you set out to fulfil, or having what you wanted to keep.

A customer that logs onto your site, completes their usual order, pays the price they expected to pay, and receives the product or service when they expected to receive it, is going to be satisfied. But, if you’re looking to stay with them for the long-haul, there’s a lot more you could do to make them happy, engaged, and filled with that sense of evangelical interest that fuels word-of-mouth recommendations.

If you’ve got a satisfied customer base, great – you have something to work on. Don’t settle for satisfaction, or things will lose their sheen relatively soon.

customer putting five star rating on table

It’s not them, it’s you

It may sound like the sort of cliched break-up line that sets eyes rolling, but stick with us.

It’s not uncommon for companies to attract the wrong kind of customer. This can come as a result of a lack of understanding and research into your target market, a brand voice or customer experience that is failing to hit the nail on the head, poor pricing, a misleading marketing campaign, or even an overemphasis on discounts and deals.

Errors in customer acquisition are slow-burning problems. At first, you simply see an upward shift in revenue from those initial sales. Sooner or later, however, mismatched customers will drift off.

It’s simple – the more incompatible customers you get through the door, the higher your churn rate will grow. Even if you’re doing everything else right, your bottom line will tell a different story.

You’re appealing to mercenary behaviour

Not all customers are the same, and getting the best sort of customer – that evangelist – comes down to how you market and run your business.

Mercenaries will come and go. They’re the sort of customer who base their decisions on where they can get the best deals – and, rather than building any long-term relationships with partners or providers, they will happily move on as and when a better offer comes calling. You can easily draw a fleet of mercenaries to your door by emphasising attractive deals and ‘new customer offers’ – but, unless you’re willing to work to razor-thin margins, you won’t be able to keep them there for long.

Keeping your customers on-side and generating loyalty means shifting the emphasis from acquisition to retention – to building loyalty rather than catering to mercenaries. By integrating a strong customer incentive programme into your customer experience, with a clear framework, appealing rewards, and complementary marketing efforts, you can begin to build a customer base that is far less prone to crumbling at your feet. There are plenty of strong examples of loyalty programmes and, by now, the benefits of getting it right can’t be denied.

Incentivesmart platform

Poor use of marketing channels

Most of us are subscribed to more business’s emails than we could count. While recent years have seen a shift from ‘opt out’ to ‘opt in’, plenty of us are still accustomed to receiving multiple emails a day from the various brands we shop from.

But that’s not to say that any of us is willing to put up with annoying, irrelevant, or spammy communications from brands. In HubSpot’s 2020 report, they revealed that more than half of customers will unsubscribe from marketing emails that arrive too often (once or more a day), and a further 17% will do the same if they feel the emails are overly promotional or spammy.

Nevertheless, email is one of the top marketing communication channels any business has at its disposal, and companies that are able to hone their approach – find that ‘Goldilocks middle ground’ between too much and too little, too promotional and too vague – are promising a high ROI, and a more engaged customer base.

At Incentivesmart, we know long-term growth is only achievable when your people and customers are loyal, committed and genuinely invested in your success. We help deepen the connections between your brand and your customers, employees and sales networks to create raving fans. Our points-based incentive platform rewards positive behaviours, and effectively communicates your values to an engaged audience.

We believe in creating #RewardingRelationships and we’d love to demonstrate how we can help you successfully achieve this with your customers. Book a chat with Matt today.

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