We’d all like to think we have strong, trusting relationships with our customers. Chances are, if you’re a successful business owner, you have many of these types of relationships.
However, even the best companies have customers that just seem to vanish into thin air.
Most of us are familiar with prospective customers doing a disappearing act, but when an established customer vanishes, it can make any entrepreneur question herself. When customers disappear, you may never find out why. Despite the strength of your relationship, there are simply some things that customers want, but may not tell you.
They may be frustrated, think you won’t understand, or be afraid to hurt your feelings. The list can go on and on. Below are 4 things that your customer may not be telling you…
1. Customers Hate When They Have to Repeat Themselves
Maybe your customer has asked for billing to be completed a certain way. Perhaps it’s a specific request on the project you’re working on together. Whatever the situation, when a customer has to repeat themselves, it can lead them to think you don’t value their time.
Or worse — that you don’t value them as a customer.
It’s scary to think that something that starts as simple inattention can cost you a customer. The good news is that there’s an easy fix: Be truly present in your interactions with customers so you can capture their full message.
2. Customers Don’t Want to Feel Like a Bother
There’s no doubt that you are busy running your business and conquering the world. And if you’re feeling the pressure of a neverending to-do list, it’s likely that this feeling is inadvertently being passed on to your customer.
No matter what, customers want to feel like they are important to you and your business. If phone calls and emails are responded to in haste (or even worse, not responded to at all), customers may worry that they are a bother to you — and no one likes to feel that way. So next time you take that client call or respond to an email, take a moment and check to make sure you’re not coming across as rushed.
The solution could be as simple as pausing to take a breath before starting your conversation.
3. Customers Want You to Focus More on Their Needs
This can be a tricky one. If your customer doesn’t clearly communicate what they need, this ambiguity can leave you feeling unsure about how to make them happy.
Yet even if customers are straightforward, it can be challenging to devote enough time and energy to meeting their needs when you have a million other things going on (and don’t you always?). One of the best ways to ensure you’re doing everything you can for your customer is to gather feedback about how you’re doing. If there are gaps between what customers want and what you’re providing, this information will clue you in on how to fix any issues.
Sometimes, though, it may come down to the fact that it’s not a good fit. If your sincere attempts to meet a customer’s needs still result in gaps, it may be time to sit down together and determine if it’s time to part ways.
4. Customers Shouldn’t Have to Earn Great Service
Customers have options. Plenty of them, in fact! If a customer picks you to do business with, it becomes your job to keep them as a customer.
Customers want to choose, and stay with, companies who provide great service from the get-go. After all, if the service leaves a lot to be desired at the beginning of a working relationship, then there’s no telling what the experience will be like when there’s an issue to resolve.
The key to attracting and retaining customers is to give them great service from the start. Providing stellar service should be a given — not something that comes after they’ve proven themselves to be worthy of it.
When a seemingly content customer suddenly disappears off your radar, it’s natural to wonder what went wrong. You may find yourself thinking, “How did I miss the signs? Are my other customers upset, too?”
While you should certainly make an honest assessment of your potential weak spots, don’t forget that your focus should always be on building the relationships you still have, instead of mourning the customer you feel you’ve lost.
While you may never know exactly why a customer ghosted, you can make your best attempts at maintaining strong relationships with your current customers and (hopefully) continue to build an excited, loyal customer base.
About Emily D. Tisdale, Founder & CEO
Meet the brains — and heart — behind LEAP for Women. Emily is LEAP’s guiding force, committed to supporting women entrepreneurs at every stage in their journey.
She loves LEAP because:
A resident of Indiana, Emily prides herself on being a transplanted Hoosier and enjoys watching Colts football and spending time with her husband and their two children.