Each year, all companies gain new customers, but then lose a number as well. This is known as the sales “leaky bucket syndrome.” The cost of acquiring a new client is 5x greater than retaining an existing customer. The challenge: how to minimize the losses?
A lost customer, may be a gold mine of information. There’s huge value in learning what, in their opinion, did not meet expectations. With this knowledge, you can compare field execution to your sales plan, giving you the option to adjust with the next opportunity to bid for their business, if warranted.
So how to gather these opinions? My recommendation: not email, no web survey, but individual personal telephone calls. Yes, people still use the phone and like to talk. In today’s hyper-electronic world, customers truly appreciate receiving a call where they can express their opinions to someone who will listen to “their side of the story.” Was the loss related to price, product, service or something else? A well-scripted call, done by an independent party outside your organization, shows you care about your customer’s business and want to maintain the relationship. Burning bridges is not an option.
What you’ll learn will either confirm what you already know or provide valuable insight re: the primary reason(s) for your customer’s dissatisfaction, allowing you to work to stop future losses.
The learning potential of independent exit interviews via phone is amazing.
If you have a product, service offering or book that makes SMBs more productive by saving them time and money, e-mail email@example.com to schedule a review via telephone or over coffee.