Five easy ways to to lose customers

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For marine dealerships to be a successful, they must meet customers’ expectations for great service. After all, our digital world and fast-food lifestyle have made us demand quick responses and solutions to just about everything.

However, failing to adequately respond to customers can result in losing customers. According to the Harvard Business Review, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an old one. So it’s just sound business practice to make serving existing customers a priority.

Here are five ways to lose customers you can’t afford to lose.

1. Don’t promptly return phone calls Nothing can disappoint or irritate a customer more than not getting a return call. A lack communication means you’re leaving the customer hanging. Perhaps worse is indicating to a prospect that they’ll receive a call and they don’t. Don’t be difficult to reach. Make it easy for customers to contact your dealership via phone or email.

In some instances, people may want an easy way to make a complaint if they are unhappy. By making your contact details readily available, they’ll know that they can talk to someone about their unhappy situation. Not only does this keep current customers happy, but it will also bring potential customers into the fold a lot easier.

2. Don’t follow up Obviously, once you’ve had contact with the customer it’s important to follow up. But a great play is to always call a customer back after the work or sale is completed to be sure they’re satisfied and answer any questions. This is an important long-range sales tactic, too. Remember, it’s easier to maintain an existing customer than find a new one. And customers really acknowledge it with follow-up questions or concerns.

3. Don’t have a simple customer response process Customers don’t want to spend their valuable time waiting for someone to address their problem. It’s important to have a customer service response that’s as simple and hassle-free as possible. Your customers are looking to quickly resolve their problems, and your dealership team should want to resolve their complaints as quickly as possible. Make it easy. By approaching customer service in this manner, you’ll handle complaints faster and reduce additional complaints that often come when people are unhappy with customer service.

4. Don’t watch social media Experts say this is an evolving problem for businesses. Just about every town in America has a Facebook group where people ask others for recommendations on mechanics, plumbers, restaurants, computer repair, pizza delivery and much more. When recommendations are made, people often tag the business’ Facebook page. Many now consider it important for a business to be active on Facebook. If someone asks for a recommendation about a local dealer with a good service department and you’re not part of the conversation, you’ve failed to meet customers and prospects. People ask for recommendations on Facebook because that’s where they’re comfortable with the responses they usually get.

5. Don’t say “yes” when it’s “no” Lots of resources will urge you to always indicate you have a problem under control and will always meet a customer’s demands. It’s a tough one because it’s not always possible to understand the problem or deal with it quickly. Still, we can be reluctant to indicate anything but a fast response. Of course, there are times when an honest answer will disappoint the customer, and you should avoid that. But before you know it, you’re in too deep and risk destroying your reputation. People seem to post negative reviews more readily than positive ones. If you make a small problem worse because you didn’t admit that it’s not in your skill set, the customer will tell others. Be honest and never offer something you can’t deliver.

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