Is there anything worse than seeing the number of customers on your books start to drop?
No matter how hard you try to deliver the best services and experiences that money can buy, there’s always a chance that you’ll experience a drop in sales from time to time. That’s why businesses spend so much time and money on optimizing their sales processes.
The sad truth is that in the current landscape, only around 13% of customers are loyal to a specific brand. The rest of your clients are happy to leave you as soon as they see a better deal elsewhere.
However, it’s not just high prices that might drive your customers into the arms of your competition. There are a handful of common factors that could be convincing your audience to choose another brand over you.
Here are just some of the issues to be aware of.
1. Your Customer Service Isn’t Great
A great marketing campaign will drive customers to your door, but you still need to figure out a successful way of interacting with those clients when they arrive.
In a world obsessed with experience, your clients are more concerned about the service that they get today than ever before. Many customers say that it’s the service (not the price) of your product that drives loyalty.
So, how do you know if something isn’t right with your customer service? A good option is to pay attention to the reviews and testimonials that your customers leave. Keep an eye on Facebook and Google to see what people are saying about you. You might also consider creating a testimonial generating campaign to automatically generate customer reviews once a deal is closed.
Your sales team and the online environment should also be able to give you some insights into what your customers are saying about you. If your customers say that they’re sick of waiting in call queues for answers to their questions or wish you had a live chat function, you know where to start.
2. You’re Behind the Curve
The marketplace is constantly changing for every industry. Wherever you look, changes in customer preferences are pushing brands to offer new services, features, and even price points.
If you fall behind your competitors in terms of what you can offer, then it’s no wonder your audience are looking elsewhere for what they need.
To make sure you’re not lagging behind other brands in your industry, keep your finger on the pulse. Check out the latest articles and news reports in your landscape. This will give you an overview of what people are talking about right now and where trends are headed.
It’s always a good idea to visit events and listen to speakers online too. There are plenty of thought leaders out there who can provide overviews of your niche and help you to stay ahead of the game.
3. Your Sales Process is Clunky
We’re living in a digital environment, where everything is fast-paced and convenient. If your customers want to order something, they don’t have to wait until they get home to log into their computer.
Our convenient mobile landscape means that your clients expect a more straightforward and streamlined experience wherever and whenever they interact with a brand. If you fail to deliver that, you’re going to miss out on sales.
How can you determine whether your sales process is missing the mark? Go through it yourself from start to finish. Begin by looking for the product you sell and making sure that your customers can find you online.
After that, go through the sales experience: click on a product, add it to cart, and enter your payment details. If your product isn’t e-commerce, ask a trusted third party (like an honest friend) to go through the process with you as if they were a customer.
Whichever path you choose, consider the following:
- Are there any cumbersome issues here?
- Do the pages load well on all devices?
- Do your customers have lots of options for payments?
- Is anything confusing?
- Is the experience consistent from marketing to sales?
Take a deep and hard look at your sales methods and how they align with your customer profile. If you need help with updating your sales process, the good news is that there are lots of books and resources out there to give you some inspiration. You can learn a lot from industry leaders. A different perspective might give you some ideas to optimize your own sales process.
4. You Aren’t Delivering on Your Promises
It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling physical products or digital services. Every company makes a promise to its customers to provide high-quality experiences. If you’re not giving your customers what they expect, then they’re going to leave you in favor of someone who can.
Look at the things that you currently promise your audience. For instance, do you tell your graphic design clients that they’ll get a design in 7 days, then end up taking 14 days to deliver something concrete? If your promises aren’t realistic, change them.
It’s important to be transparent from day one about what your audience can expect.
If you can’t deliver the same outcomes and conveniences that your competitors can, it might be time to figure out why. Maybe you need more staff on-board, or a better time management system?
5. You’re Easily Forgotten
Finally, one of the most common reasons that businesses lose clients today is that they’re not constantly reminding those customers of their value.
If your competitors have social media marketing campaigns and excellent content online, they’re engaging with your customers. The more your clients see your competitor offering value online, the more they’ll forget about you.
To compete in today’s cluttered landscape, you need to prove that you can offer something beyond your product or service. This could mean building a helpful community on social media where you listen to your audience and respond to their feedback.
For some brands, building a better digital presence could mean updating your website, and adding blogs or articles that demonstrate your thought leadership. Make your brand unforgettable and attractive—both to new customers as well as your existing customer base.
Don’t Lose Customers to Competitors
As a business leader, you won’t always be able to hold onto every customer. However, having the right marketing and sales strategies in place can ensure that you lose less of your audience to your competition.
Use the five insights above to make sure that you’re not missing out on opportunities to build a valuable relationship with your target audience.
Remember, excellent customer experience, proven sales strategies, and an authentic brand will boost your chances of more sales in the long run.
Heather Redding is a part-time assistant manager, solopreneur, and writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is also an avid reader and a tech enthusiast. When Heather is not working or writing, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.