Customers come and go but it’s always a little worrying when they leave for your competitor. In times like these, we need to ask ourselves why. Do some research to find out how your business can beat the competition. When it seems like customers are leaving your business for a competitor, it's tempting to cut prices and offer deep discounts as a way to win them back. But that won't help you in the long run, even if it helps you get back some market share in the short term. If you lower your prices, you might accidentally start a price war, which could actually hurt everyone. So here's how to figure out why you're losing customers and what to do about it.
Figure out what's not working
The first step is to try to figure out why customers would rather buy from a competitor than from you. This requires looking at yourself and your competitors. Start by doing a competitive analysis to see what other businesses in your market are selling. Find out about their marketing, and pricing, get insight into their service, and promotions, and understand the features of their products. This information gives you a starting point to compare how your company treats customers.
Next, look into what you know about your own business. Use the information from your sales, CRM, and marketing to find trends and patterns in how your customers act. At different points in the customer journey, send out surveys to find out what's working and what's not. Ask questions about your customer service, your website, the benefits of your products, your return policy, and anything else that might be important to the customer experience. Try to figure out if customers decide to switch to a different brand at a certain time.
Understand who your top customers are
You might be wrong about who your best customers are. Your greatest customers may often go unnoticed because they quietly buy a lot and are responsible for a big chunk of your profits. They might not even be your regular customers. In fact, businesses often lose money on repeat customers because they need discounts or other incentives to buy.
What a business means by "best customer" depends on a number of things, like how you set prices, what you sell, and how you run your business. Find out which of your current customers bring in the most money, and then dig deeper into your data to find out what keeps these customers coming back. You might decide to ask this group of people more specifically why they keep coming back to your brand year after year.
Do something with what you know
Ideally, you'll be able to figure out what your best customers love about your business and then be able to infuse that in every customer's experience to set your business apart from your competitors. You could do a few things to keep your customers from leaving for a competitor.
- Give your customers the best service you can: Research shows that the thing that keeps customers coming back the most is good customer service, even more than the product or price. Make sure that everyone in your company knows how to give five-star service.
- Make changes to your offering: Think about changing your product or service to meet customer needs better or to offer something new.
- Spend money on your brand: Advertising, marketing, and promotions are tried and true ways to get more market share, but they will only work if you find the right message and medium.
- Give repeat customers a discount: Offer discounts to loyal customers to get them to stick with your brand.
Gain your customers' trust
Customers tend to stick with brands that offer education along with their products or services. These help your customers learn more about what makes your business tick and how they can benefit from it. If they know more, they are more likely to upgrade to more expensive plans or stay as customers for longer. Share these resources on social media and in newsletters. Customers can make shopping decisions with the help of how-to videos, infographics, and product comparison guides. Customers are more likely to stay loyal to your brand over time if they see you as a source of information.
The bottom line
Each of these strategies has pros and cons, so it's important to choose a path based on what customers want and what your competitors are doing. There is little more frustrating than losing your customers to competitors but with a bit of effort and applied insight you can ensure your customer base remains loyal and your business continues to grow.