Is it Possible to Know if Your Customers are Dissatisfied Before They Walk Out the Door?

Is it Possible to Know if Your Customers are Dissatisfied Before They Walk Out the Door?

Is it Possible to Know if Your Customers are Dissatisfied Before They Walk Out the Door?

Tom Cates

Tom Cates

Tom Cates is founder, chief client officer and chief storyteller of salesEQUITY, a client engagement platform that empowers B2B client teams to measure, analyze and act on gaps in client perception to drive organic growth.

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Let's face it: building and maintaining a business relationship is hard, whether you're an issuing bank, merchant, app developer or any other player in the payments space. It takes work by both parties — the buyer and the seller — to maintain a B2B relationship. Both of you must be invested in — not simply satisfied with — the relationship, or it will eventually drift apart.

According to the Harvard Business Review, only 28 percent of 'dissatisfied' customers intend to remain with the company. Yet, even among 'satisfied' customers, 20 percent reported having the intent to leave an organization.

While it may seem obvious, it underscores the need to understand where you stand with your customers. Not only is revenue walking out the door when clients leave, but a piece of your reputation leaves as well.

In our research, we've found there is one word that signals client defection, but most people don't realize they could be in trouble when they hear it. When a client says, everything is "fine," it can often be translated to, "Everything is not fine, but this relationship has run its course and I don’t want to invest any more time in trying to save it."

How to know

I've said before, and I'll say it again: Your customers will most likely never tell you when they've started considering your competitor. So what is the solution to figuring out customer loyalty? Work on a process that allows you to easily and effectively measure, analyze, maintain and communicate customer feedback.

Understanding where you stand with your customers. 28% of 'dissatisfied' customers intend to remain with the company BUT 20% of 'satisfied' customers intend to leave an organization. Source: Harvard B

Start by rethinking how you approach measuring customer loyalty. Especially if you're having trouble understanding your client's happiness. Building a customer-focused culture is hard work. Because loyalty is so personal, each and every employee who influences the customer experience must be carefully managed, motivated and trained.

But how you're able to satisfy customers does matter. According to McKinsey, 70 percent of buying experiences are impacted by how customers feel they are being treated. Forbes learned that 86 percent of buyers were willing to pay more for a better client experience. However, only 1 percent of them feel vendors can constantly meet their expectations.

And, like I mentioned before, one of the biggest red flags is the word "fine." If your client says the "F word," you should determine the underlying reason, as it may require you to take immediate action to save your relationship from possible defection. 

Click here to learn why the "new F-word" should give you pause in your client interactions. 

The statements and opinions of the writer do not necessarily reflect those of TSYS.

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Tom Cates

Tom Cates is founder, chief client officer and chief storyteller of salesEQUITY, a client engagement platform that empowers B2B client teams to measure, analyze and act on gaps in client perception to drive organic growth. Tom has more than 15 years of experience leading consulting engagements focused on the client-facing elements of sales, marketing and client service functions in a wide variety of industries. Follow him @salesEQUITY and on LinkedIn.

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