Why customers leave and what you can do about it

Why customers leave and what you can do about it

I was talking to a software provider a while ago who provides ‘voice of the customer’ solutions and asked the above question: “why do customers leave”?

It turns out that they leave for many reasons, so I decided to start compiling a list, which has grown over time. What I wanted to do was create a list of the reasons customers leave and provide some advice on how to stop them.

In this endeavour, I decided that stopping them completely was a goal perhaps for someone far smarter than me and so readjusted to: minimising the churn.

So, here it is, my list of reasons customers leave. Please join the conversation in the comments below and on Twitter to @benjaminshipley with the hashtag #CXdontleaveme


Effort – It is difficult to use your product, resolve an issue, contact you, buy from you or repeat (one-time effort vs ongoing)

Focus on your processes and remove any effort by the customer that can be avoided

Culture – Your customers do not feel like your company cares about them because there is not a CX culture within your employees. The service they receive is not one that creates a positive relationship with the customer and leaves them open to shift to a competitor.

Focus on your main culture drivers: management. Think about how you measure your managers and how you interact with your managers. It is likely that the questions you ask, the KPIs you measure your managers on and the things you put your managers under pressure for, is what they will focus on with the team.

Make sure the KPIs, questions, catch ups, performance management and regular top down communications are centred on the Customer Experience.

Product – Your product does not solve the problem as they expected and so the gap from expectations to reality is too great

Focus on selling what you have and not selling the dream. If what you have is not competitive, you are putting your teams in a difficult position to have to stretch reality to succeed. Product development is key to great CX.

Because they are human – Oh yeah, until A.I. crosses over to become the customer, you will still be selling to people and people are emotional, somewhat irrational beings at the best of times.

Focus on making the emotional connection. What does your product/service/company do for customers on an emotional level?

Money – Sometimes, their financial situation changes or a competitor became cheaper or they found something else to spend their disposable income on e.g. I am cancelling my Netflix account (NEVER!!!!) so I can afford to join the Gym.

Focus on having safety nets to capture lapsed customers; Special offers, alternate packages, fighter brand offerings and be sure to capture the reasons for lapsing so you can differentiate between what is turnaroundable (!?) and what is unturnaroundable (!!??)

Shiny objects – As a Playstation lifer, I was amazed that some people I knew bought an XBOX because it came out before the new PS. Sometimes being the newest wins.

Focus on understanding your customer journeys and the way your customers buy from you and your competitors. Understand what drives their action to buy and leverage that. If it is a trendsetter market, make sure you capture the early crowd and time your releases well (Read: Use Data and Analytics).

Speed – As a subset of Effort, you can’t act fast enough to meet your customer’s needs. You may have too much internal process red tape, you may be understaffed or lack efficiency within your contact channels or your technology may not be up to scratch.

Focus on competitive measurement. Know what it is like to be a customer of your company and your competitors. This comment relates back to all of the above: visit websites, download stuff, use the product, visit the location, attend the event and so on and so forth. If you are a customer, you will know what the experience of being a customer is like.


By Ben Shipley:

Why customers leave and what you can do about it

Ben Shipley is the Partnerships Director at Corinium Global Intelligence. You may reach him at [email protected]  Twitter: @benjaminshipley LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/in/benjamindshipley




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