When a customer completes an online order and doesn’t come back, or when they physically leave your brick-and-mortar retail location, you hope they leave happy. If they do, they could likely come back in the future, or at least leave a positive review.
If they leave unhappy, however, your business could suffer some serious consequences – even if it’s just one customer. So why is it that customers leave unhappy and how can you prevent these outcomes?
Why Customer Satisfaction Is So Important
Customer satisfaction is vital for a business’s success. Fortunately, most business owners acknowledge this – but they don’t always understand or use the tools necessary to achieve it. Customer satisfaction (and therefore, happiness) is the keystone for business development in many different areas. It’s a prerequisite for repeat business and customer retention. It’s the gateway to better ratings and reviews. It can even help you win new business via referrals, recommendations, and the development of your reputation.
By extension, it’s also important to measure your customer satisfaction, with the help of surveys and quantifiable scores. Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys can help you accurately measure customer satisfaction in your business – so you can catch problems before they grow any worse.
Why Customers Leave Unhappy
Why do customers leave unhappy?
These are some of the most common reasons:
1. They had to wait too long. In some contexts, customers expect a wait; for example, a busy restaurant on a Saturday night probably won’t have any tables available for walk-in diners. But most customers don’t want to wait for anything, and they certainly don’t want to wait longer than average. If you make your customers wait for anything, such as a table, the shipment of a product, or a customer service representative answering their call, they may leave unhappy with their service.
2. The quality of your product or service is insufficient. This is one of the more obvious possibilities, but it still happens frequently enough to be worth mentioning. If the quality of your products or services is insufficient or unsatisfactory, your customers will be unhappy with their brand experience. You should strive to give customers the best possible delivery of goods and services.
3. Your advertising was misleading. Deliberate false advertising is a punishable crime, but you don’t have to get in legal trouble to upset your customers. If your advertising is misleading in any way, your customers will resent you for it. Make sure you showcase and market your product in a way that aligns with reality.
4. The perceived value is less than the price. We all love finding good deals and spending less than necessary for what we want, so when the opposite happens, we tend to be unhappy with the results. If a customer feels like they paid too much, they’re going to have buyer’s remorse.
5. Customer service was unavailable or hard to access. It’s natural for people to face small problems with their purchases, but if customer service isn’t available, or if it’s hard to reach, it’s going to make those problems seem much worse.
6. No acceptable resolution could be reached. There are many possible resolutions to every conceivable customer problem, such as offering a refund, shipping a replacement product, or even offering a simple apology. But if you can’t make an acceptable offer to the customer, they’re going to remain unhappy.
7. You broke a promise. The timeless advice to business owners is to “under promise” and “over deliver” because customers will hold you to your word. If you break a promise, or if you fail to meet the expectations you set initially, your customers will walk away frustrated.
8. Staff members were rude or unfriendly. There’s no excuse for this point. If a staff member, such as a cashier, a customer service rep, or even a sales agent, is rude or unfriendly, it’s going to ruin the entire customer experience. Train your team members well so this never happens.
9. The environment was uncomfortable. There are many ways an environment could be uncomfortable. It might be a problem with the temperature. The environment might seem unclean. Customers may also feel an excessive amount of pressure from a salesperson. Even if they get a good deal, they’ll leave your business with a poorer impression of your brand.
10. A competitor looks more attractive by comparison. Sometimes, customers become unhappy only after comparing you to others. If they leave your business and see a better deal or better service elsewhere, they may come to regret their decision.
As you can see, the majority of customer satisfaction problems are entirely preventable. If you pay attention to your customers’ dispositions and you genuinely do your best to serve them, you should have no issues with unhappy customers leaving your business permanently.