Surprising Statistics Showing Why Your Customers Stop Buying

And How Follow Up Can Save Them!

Depending on the type of business or service you may not even know if or when you lose a customer. Studies show less than 4% of your customers will tell you if they are unhappy so depending on your follow up process you may never know if you have a customer on the fence.

Here are the statistics on why businesses lose customers:

1% Die

3% Move away

5% Form other relationships

9% Leave for competitive reasons

14% Due to product dissatisfaction

68% Stop buying your product or service because of an attitude or feeling of indifference towards them by one or more persons representing the company.

 

How can follow up save the 68% of the customers leaving? It’s about preventing the attitude or feeling of indifference. The following are 4 sales follow up steps to insure you don’t lose customers and avoid the 68% trap:

  1. A simple “thank you for your business” when the sale is complete.
  2. Send thank you cards to welcome new customers or sales.
  3. Create an email thanking your customer again for their business and let them know where they can go for additional service and support if needed.
  4. Determine the customer’s next need and remind them of your company or service by email, phone, or direct mail.

 

The major point of these steps is to insure your customers feel appreciated. Customers who feel appreciated will typically not fall into the 68%. And if by chance your customer had a less than satisfactory experience in their last transaction these steps will help turn the tide back in your favor.

To learn more about creating a follow up system make sure you to read Creating a Follow Up Strategy where I discuss follow up strategies for existing customers.

Follow Up Success: Top 10 Marketing Blogs

Last week I was asked to create a Top 10 blog list for blogs.com.  I thought for a brief moment on what segment of blogs I would include and decided to focus on Marketing Blogs (and a few distractions).  These are blog s that I read on a consistent weekly basis for many reasons…  Some of them for the great content, a few are friends, and of course Gary Vaynerchuck for great ideas, content, and the constant reminder to be passionate for what I am doing!  So here is my Top 10 Blogs showcased on blogs.com:

Find the best blogs at Blogs.com.

Top 10 Marketing Blogs (and a few distractions)

  1. DoshDosh – written by, Maki
  2. Duct Tape Marketing – written by, John Jantsch – founder of Duct Tape Marketing
  3. Gary Vaynerchuck – written by, Gary Vaynerchuck – founder of Wine Library TV
  4. Life of a Founder – written by, Jimmy Hendricks – founder of Collar Free
  5. Never Eat Alone Blog – written by, Keith Ferrazzi – author of Never Eat Alone
  6. Profit Minute – written by, Rod Moore, founder of Profit Minute
  7. Seth’s Blog – written by, Seth Godin – author of many best selling marketing books including his newest must read: Tribes
  8. Six Figure Moms Club – written by, Angie Swartz – founder of Six Figure Moms Club, author, and Executive Coach
  9. The Big Idea Blog – mirrors The Big Idea show on CNBC by Donny Deutsch
  10. copyblogger – written by, Brian Clark – copyblogger is one of the world’s 50 most powerful blogs

Take a look at my Top 10 blogs and let me know what you think.  Do you have a favorite Marketing Blog you read?  Do you have a must read blog not on this list?  Make sure to leave a comment so I can see one of your favorite blogs, it might just become one of my favorites as well.

A few last thoughts on my Top 10 Marketing Blogs.  Last week when I was given the opportunity to submit my Top 10 list I could of easly decided not to.  I was in the middle of many projects and really did not have the time to take on anything more.  At the last minute I made it a priority and sent in my list for review.  As a result my Top 10 list was selected and featured on blogs.com.  By taking action and giving priority to this simple project I have received more exposure to my business and blog not to mention each of the blogs in my Top 10.  The benifits to the added exposure will lead to stronger relationships, referrals, and clients.  My questions to you are, “What simple tasks or projects are right in front of you?  What projects could you complete that might give you more exposure and potential clients?”.  You have opportunities in front of you right now!  Look for the easy to ignore and simple tasks in front of you and make a point to complete them today!

SWOT Analysis: Defining Your Strengths

In my last post, SWOT Analysis: Simple Tool to Improve Your Business, I gave an overview of SWOT and talked about a few of the benefits of applying a SWOT Analysis to your businesses or to yourself as a business professional. As I mentioned in my previous post I am part of a small group of business owners and sales professionals who have committed to SWOT exercise for the next four weeks. The format for our SWOT exercise is fairly simple. We meet each week prepared to discuss the current element of SWOT as it pertains to our business or ourselves. We then discuss our findings with the group getting valuable feedback from the other participants in the exercise.  This allows us the ability to further refine our SWOT Analysis.

Today I will review our discussion on Strengths (the “S” in SWOT) as it applies to my business as well as the 15 other small and mid size companies in the exercise. The discussion on Strengths was led by Kerry Klindtworth a realtor with Keller Williams. Kerry started out the discussion with a brief description of SWOT using sites like Mind Tools as references and discussed examples of different strengths from the site. These included the following ideas:

  • What advantages does your company have?
  • What do you do better than anyone else?
  • What unique or lowest-cost resources do you have access to?
  • What do people in your market see as your strengths?
  • What factors mean that you “get the sale?”

Kerry started engaging the participants asking them to share their strengths with group. Once they were complete the group would question, add, and help refine the Strengths of that person. Here is some of the discussion:

  • Paula Sassi, Certified Graphologist and owner of Handwriting Consultants International listed her strengths as; 28 years of experience, knowledgeable, timely response (responding to client requests within 24 hours), very easy to contact, great speaker, and entertainer for special events as well as tradeshows. Kerry added “Paula is an expert in her field”. Rufino Autus, Financial Advisor with Autus Financial Group added “Paula is a straight talker and has a unique business for her market”.
  • Justin Stewart, Customer Service Supervisor with San Diego National Bank listed his strengths as; builds rapport with customers quickly, passionate about what he does, thinks outside of the box to find solutions, privately owned local bank, 11 years in banking, and constantly expanding his banking knowledge. Rufino added “Justin loves what he does”. Jexter Isip, IT Consultant and Principal of Dedicated Network Solutions added “Justin is amazing with followup insuring his customers know he values them”.
  • Cathy Peterson, Insurance Agent with Farmers Insurance listed her strengths as; great followup, vast insurance knowledge, and a personal passion to insure her clients have the right coverage. I added “Cathy not only has great followup, she has great follow thru! Always keeping you up to date with referrals she has received”. Jexter added “Cathy has great communication during and after the process of buying insurance”.

So how did I do in this process? What are the strengths of Alan Underkofler, Blogger for Follow Up Success, Consultant on followup strategies for your business, quickly becoming a go to person in the world of Social Media, Speaker, and soon to be published Author. Like everyone else in the process I took time to really reflect on my strengths in regards to my business. The strengths that I listed were; simple tools, unique solutions, cost effective, ease of implementation, 12 years of marketing experience working with both Fortune 500 companies and brand new at home startups, passion for followup, and enthusiasm to help clients achieve desired results. The group confirmed my strengths and added passion and enthusiasm.

Passion and enthusiasm have been strengths of mine for a long time! Passion and enthusiasm has always propelled me to my next challenge in business. Passion and enthusiasm pushed me to go after clients that everyone said were impossible to get, I was blind and deaf to the reasons they gave me! Passion and enthusiasm pushed me to commit to writing inventory and category management software that was unprecedented in our industry, I was blind to the fact that this was not possible! Passion and enthusiasm is what pushes me now… Right now! Pushing to be a blogger, pushing me to complete my book, pushing me to be a better speaker, pushing me to be a top producer in everything I do! I am blinded by my passion and enthusiasm! For me passion and enthusiasm allows me to be blind to failure and negativity, when you can’t see failure or negativity you can’t fail and you have no choice but to be positive! No choice but to be positive!

Obviously I got a bit more out of this than I ever expected! Hopefully you did too! This last paragraph was not about this post. It was about me and what I needed to hear! So, thank you for being a part of it!  What are your strengths, what inspire your passion and enthusiasm, what propels you to succeed?

Look for next week’s post as we take a closer look at Weaknesses (the “W” in SWOT).

SWOT Analysis: Simple Tool to Improve Your Business

SWOT Analysis is strategic planning method and effective tool to help you understand your Strengths and Weaknesses, and identify the Opportunities and Threats facing your business.  The analysis was created by Albert Humphrey during a research project at Stanford University using data from Fortune 500 companies.  Using SWOT you are looking at the internal and external factors of your business.  Internal factors would be your strengths and weakness while the external factors are the opportunities and threats.  Taking a look at these factors can help you apply your resources and capabilities to your market.

The reason SWOT is so powerful is that in a few hours you can discover opportunities within your business to expand or develop.  Exploring your business weaknesses will allow you to change or eliminate a negative pattern or element of your business you may be unaware of.  As you look at your businesses as well as your competitors using SWOT you will begin to see what sets you apart from your competition and then focusing on these discoveries can give you the competitive edge you are looking for.

SWOT Analysis can be completed by you, with a consultant or coach, with your management team, or with a group of business owners in your network.  The value of bringing others into the discussion is the discovery of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats you may not see on your own.  This should make your analysis more complete and powerful.

The benefit of participating in a SWOT Analysis for small and large business as well as solopreneurs and individuals are dramatic.  Starting next week I will be discussing each element of the SWOT Analysis with a group of small business owners and will share with you what we discover.  The goal is to give you real life examples of how to use SWOT and how it can make a difference in your business.

So you might be asking yourself how does SWOT relate to followup?  Followup will show up as a strength or a weakness for you and your business.  If it’s identified as a strength you might look for ways to improve on what you are already doing.  If followup is identified as a weakness then focusing on followup systems for your business will give you a huge advantage in your market.