When sales started plummeting at the local bicycle shop, the owner was taken completely by surprise. By the time he realized what was happening it was too late – the damage had been done, and the shop went out of business. It didn’t have to be this way. If the store owner had been performing ongoing data analysis, measuring customer satisfaction and taking other steps to identify and act on issues before they got out of hand, his business could have been saved.
The reality is, businesses don’t usually fail over night. There are warning signs that indicate customers are taking their business elsewhere. Most of these warning signs can be seen by monitoring purchasing behavior and the results of your customer satisfaction surveys, and then paying close attention to the trends that emerge from all of this customer analysis.
Here are 8 warning signs that your customers are about to flee (or have already done so):
- Overall CSI scores are decreasing. Customers are giving you lower marks on your customer satisfaction surveys.
- Net Promoter Scores are decreasing. The number of people who say they would recommend your company to others is going down.
- Comments are becoming increasingly negative. What people say in the “open comment” sections of your customer satisfaction surveys can be especially important.
- Fewer people are responding to your surveys. Perhaps they’ve already decided to flee, and now see providing feedback as a waste of time.
- Calls to your service department are increasing. You’ve got a problem if a greater percentage of your customers are having trouble with your products.
- Service levels are decreasing. Your customer service satisfaction surveys show that it is taking your service department longer to fix vehicles, resolve problems, etc.
- Online reputation is worsening. You’re getting increasingly negative feedback on review sites, in blogs and on social media pages.
- Consumer buying behaviors are changing. The average order size and/or the average order frequency is decreasing.
So what do you do if these warning signs are there? Stay tuned – this will be the topic of my next blog!