The Silent Death of a Customer

The Silent Death of a Customer

Silent Death of a Customer

You may have heard the saying “death by a thousand cuts”. Well it’s a powerful and relatable concept and most people will know what it means.

If you apply this to your relationship with your customers, you can well imagine that their loyalty or patronage may be at risk by a similar dynamic.

This Blog deals with the notion that you can tell when a customer is starting to move away from you, BEFORE they do.

We will discuss how CRM integration, great reporting and Business Intelligence can help you not get blindsided.

Have you ever lost a customer?

Realistically there is not a business, no matter how good, that hasn’t lost a customer. This Blog is not focused on “why” they may have left but on how  you can detect early, which customers are on the way-out or are doing a lot less business with you.

When you have a small customer base this might be quite easy to discern, but as you grow, this becomes hard and you might not ever realise, let alone name the customers you are losing.

It’s not ME, its YOU.

Here at Tall Emu CRM we are working with some of our customers to spot the customers that are about to “exit left” but haven’t told you yet.

When you lose a customer it happen in one of four ways: It can be swift and public, swift and silent, slow and public or slow and silent.

We are only interested in the silent death of a customer.

Much like a romance that is on its last legs, there are tail-tail signs that together tell the real health of that relationship. Like real life, sometimes, you are too close to notice or are not able or willing to acknowledge it.

So how do you “Catch” the customers slipping away before they do?

Luckily, we can use technology to keep us abreast of how our customers might be feeling long before they’ve gone forever.

Here are two main areas that need to be monitored to get that insight:

  • Buying less

If your customers buy more than one product or they buy frequently, then there maybe a pattern to this buying worth monitoring. If it changes in a negative direction would you notice?

  • You just don’t call anymore

Another indicator that things aren’t all that rosy, is a drop in communication. This could be less or no emails (received by you or read by them), phone calls received or not returned. It could be by less visits to our premises or if you’re tracking their visits to your website then this too may indicate a mood change.

Even customers not opening your newsletters or worse still, unsubscribing, might be a sign that “they aren’t really that into you”.

Keep your Finger on the pulse …with CRM

In order to monitor the customer’s interaction with you, you need to have all the touch points that your customer would use to be plumbed into your CRM.

So ask yourself the following:

  1. Are you automatically tracking in CRM all the phone calls received and made in your business against your customers record?
  2. Are tracking your customers when they open your emails or newsletters?
  3. Would you know when a customer visited your websites including Blog and Help files?
  4. Does your Point of Sale send info to your CRM?
  5. Does your Accounting system and CRM talk to each other and share data?
  6. Has a good payer of bills started to become a bad payer?
  7. Are you tracking the buying habits of your customers including what they buy and how frequent?
  8. Have you formulated acceptable KPI for your customer that if they are not met trigger your attention?
  9. Do you ever survey your customers and ask them how they are going?
  10. Do you ever speak to them or do you do everything via email or not at all?
  11. When was the last time you paid them a visit if ever?

Perhaps by reading this you’ve thought of a few other indicators that a customer might use to show that they are less than happy or that they have found another to love.

If so, feel free to share. The important thing in all this is that you’re powerless, if you don’t have the right structure in your business to monitor and have the knowledge to act.

So here are four things you need in place to monitor this:

  1. Have every touch points and every system or data source flowing into CRM.
  2. Create Reports or Dashboards on the Data that you’ve collected, that reveal your customers’ interactions with you as per some of the of the ways mentioned above.
  3. Set up KPI against the customer “health metrics” that you’ve identified and are monitoring so when they changing in a Negative direction, then the CRM will have it recorded and lastly…
  4. Set up triggers that will alert you to these significant changes against the KPI’s you’ve setup and have a workflow bring this to you or your team’s attention.

If you are providing a great service, a great product and at the right price, then a system like this may validate that. However, if you feel that you’re not as across your business as you should be or you don’t currently have the correct infrastructure then perhaps you should speak to one of our Business Analysis to help work out a game plan.

Getting customers is an expensive business, so it makes sense that you nurture the ones you do have. While this doesn’t help nurture your customers, it does tell you, who you need to give an extra bit of love to before you get the “Dear John” letter.