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Archive for March, 2014

How to Lose a Great Client or Customer in Five Easy Steps

You would think that in these tough economic times service providers have made it a high priority to protect their customers.

You would think.

It seems some providers are trying to drive customers and clients away.

And it’s so easy.

Just follow these five steps and watch those clients and customers flee for the exits. (Or continue reading and learn how to remedy the five steps.)

Step One- Ignore Email and Phone Calls

“But I’m inundated with emails,” you may say. If that’s the case, then perhaps you need a separate email address just for your customers or clients. Or maybe you need to have someone else read the emails. Or maybe you need to get to work earlier. Or maybe you need better spam protection. One way or another you need to be available.

The same is true with phone calls. Want to turn a client off? Let them hear “the mailbox is full” when they attempt to call you. Maybe you need to return calls at the beginning or end of the day. Maybe you need to simply leave a message telling the client when you will get back to them.

Whatever you need to do, the one thing you can’t do is ignore people’s attempts to contact you.

Step Two- When You Do Respond Offer Excuses

When you finally get back to a client, with the exception of a true emergency, they aren’t interested in why they have not heard from you. Never say, “I’ve been swamped” or “I’ve been really busy.” What you’re saying to them is “I’ve been too busy to speak with you.”

And never offer a reason that includes the word ”but.” As in “I was going to get back to you, but it was too late in the day.” You will be seen as trying to rationalize your behavior, and that will only make matters worse.

Simply apologize for not getting back to them and address their original concern or question. And, most importantly, don’t be late responding the next time.

Step Three- Don’t Deliver on Your Promises

Few actions will peeve a client more than not delivering on a promise. Since we know this is a bad idea, why do we do it?

It’s because we are concerned about what the customer will think.

We really do want to please them most of the time. But sometimes we attempt to do so by telling them what they want to hear rather than telling the truth. A client may ask ”When can you have that ready for me?” The truth may be “In two days,” but we may feel the client will find that unacceptable, so we tell them we should be able to get back to them tomorrow–which we know is virtually impossible. The result is a broken promise and an unhappy client or customer. Eastside town car service

A basic tenet of good communication is telling people what they can have and when they can have it. It is definitely a good rule of thumb when dealing with customers and clients.

Step Four- Arrogantly Assume Clients Will Never Leave

There is a school of thought that holds that nothing succeeds like failure and nothing fails like success. It’s amazing how many people take their customers for granted. They’ve been customers so long you believe they’ll never leave. They’re too busy or lazy or content or not motivated enough to look for another provider.

That attitude can cause you to not communicate as often as you should, to stop innovating and asking questions, or to assume you know what your client is thinking or wanting.

The fact is the longer you’ve had a relationship, the more focused you want to be and the more you want to stay in touch. Even if all you hear from the client is, “Thanks for checking in,” maintaining contact is important.

Step Five-Don’t Communicate Internally

None of us sells what we sell. We are all in the personal attention and quick response business. Clients and customers want what they want when they want it. The ability of people in an organization to respond to client’s needs is in direct relation to how effectively they communicate internally. Hoarding information, trying to do too much alone, not offering to help because ”It’s not my job,” are all great ways to assure that a customer’s need gets lost in house. It’s also a good way to get them to look elsewhere. And your competition loves it because your lack of response opens the door for them to move in and possibly take a client. The solution is quite simple: timely communication and concern for the customer—a tough formula to beat.

So there they are: the five easy steps to losing customers.

Don’t let that be you.

Your clients and customers don’t owe you their business.

It’s your responsibility to nurture the relationship.

Showing gratitude, responding in a timely manner and doing what you say are the best ways to assure your clients stay your clients.

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CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488