How to Lose a Customer in 10 Days
The world of e-commerce is truly dog-eat-dog, and it doesn’t take much in such a saturated market to drive your customers straight to your biggest competitor. Since it’s generally accepted that it costs more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones (though the widely cited 5x figure may be a myth), your most profitable customers are nearly always long-term customers. Though some factors contributing to customer attrition are beyond your control, steer the odds in your favor by avoiding these deadly mistakes.
Ignoring Your Competition
You must understand your competition in order to differentiate your company and stand out from the pack. Businesses should conduct an early-stage industry analysis and revisit the process regularly as they grow.
Pay heed to what competitors are doing, check for media coverage on competing businesses, and be sure to profit from your research by turning your competitors’ weaknesses your business’s strengths. Make sure your company is unique and narrow your business strategy to a laser focus; in this way you can reach niche but potentially very profitable market segments (you can always expand later!).
Lack of Responsive Design
Customers crave an online shopping experience that delivers exactly what they want to buy at their own pace and convenience, regardless of device or location, but many businesses still silo their user experiences based on how customers access their offerings.
Invest in responsive technology that will provide a consistent experience and enable customers to use their own devices as they please to bring your business literally into the palm of their hands.
Disregarding Industry Standards and Trends
Customers want simplicity and ease-of-use, and if you don’t deliver an easy breezy shopping experience you’ll have them leaping right into your competitors’ arms. Remember, the monsters are at the door and ready to gobble your customers whole.
Not only must you satisfy your customers’ user experience desires, but you also need to pay close attention to their individual demands and the tradewinds of your industry. By not heeding these requests and trends you run the risk of a killing blow to your company, as customer satisfaction is essential to the success of any e-commerce business.
Neglecting Customer Service
One of the easiest and quickest ways to lose your customers is to cheap out on lackluster customer service and support (unless you happen to be a major cable provider or other such nigh-monopoly, in which case you’re off the hook!). You need to make customers feel listened to and valued so they’ll keep coming back for more. Make it a priority to create brand evangelists amongst your customer base by investing in world-class customer service.
Focusing on Price Rather than Partnership
Offering low-cost products and services can definitely be a competitive advantage, but sooner or later you’re likely to destroy your margins in a race to the bottom, and lose your customers anyway. Focus on providing the best value in your market through a combination of attractive prices, quality of offerings, great service, and warmly personalized relationships.
Putting all of the focus on money will train customers to constantly check the price tag and jump ship as soon as they find a cheaper buy. It’s vital to optimize the customer’s perception (and the reality) of your value, and create strong partnerships with your customers so they’ll stick with you in the long term. Don’t just take their money and run; proactively help them appreciate the great value you offer.
If you can keep these errors in mind and avoid them like the plagues that they are, you’ll be well on your way to creating passionate, long-term customers and fantastic growth for your business.