Why our customers quit

by Marc André Morel CSP


The purchasing behaviours of our customers are constantly changing, even more so since the arrival of online stores. But nothing will replace the traditional buying experience. Even the founding president of the world's largest online store, Jeff Bezos, agrees. Amazon is investing heavily in retail outlets all over the world to avoid missing this fabulous opportunity of the reinvented shopping experience.

Consumers are invested in brands, and want to be seduced by the uniqueness of a shop, a hotel, a restaurant. Increasingly, millions of consumers around the world will migrate to an experience that will benefit them and that will be memorable.


However, it is wrong to believe that every customer lost from your store can be blamed on internet sales.


It is true that customers have more choices, less time, are better informed, more sensitive to price (when it comes to convenience), more sought after by the competition, more demanding, less forgiving and more difficult to please. As a result, they become less faithful.

Knowing that the acquisition cost of a new customer is now ten times that of keeping an existing customer, not to mention that 91% of customers who go to a competitor will never return, here are the main causes behind customers who leave:

• 5% will now do business with a family member or a friend with whom they have a faithful relationship regardless of the quality of your offer.

• 3% will move where you do not offer your products or services

• 1% will no longer be with us

So far, we have no control over the behaviour of our customers.

On the other hand, 9% will not return to your store because you have miscalculated or ignored a complaint or a situation. Everyone knows the famous silent client, who pays their bill without saying a word to anyone but who relates their unsatisfactory experience to 11 people around them, on average. This figure can increase to 50 people, if the level of emotion during the incident was high.

So, the next time one of your clients complains, make sure to recognize this action on their part and act accordingly. Most will not share with you the bad experience they had in your store, but will spread the "bad news" at the speed of lightning. It is estimated that 96% of customers who leave will not tell us why they are doing so! So when one of them packs his bag, take the time to carefully consider his complaints and follow up with him and with the rest of your team.

A few more (14%) leave our store for reasons of price or value. Not necessarily because it is "too expensive". It would be too easy for us to throw in the towel for this type of scenario. Why did we hire and train salespeople? Our customer does not see - or no longer sees - equal or greater value than the requested price. Why are some people willing to go into debt for a car two or three times the price of another that offers the same service? Your client must perceive enough associated value, not only with the object itself, but with everything that contributed to the experience, from entering the parking lot to leaving the premises.

But the biggest problem lies in this last segment: more than two-thirds of our customers (68%) leave out of indifference on our part towards them. We took them for granted. We stop listening to them, reinventing ourselves, adapting to their style, culture, language, age, etc. We have become lax in our follow-up and our call to action. A simple card, a call, a promotion for loyal customers, a special and unique invitation can make a difference.

It's not because customers are less and less loyal that you have to give them reasons to quit. Only your team and you can make a difference.



Delivering a World Class Customer Experience

This dynamic presentation will highlight the proven customer service techniques used by industry giants: Google, Harvard, Disney and Westin, and will show you how to apply these concepts to your own business regardless of its size.

The International Centre, Hall 4