Logo Andy Sokol
Why Customers Leave

There are many reasons why clients leave. Knowing why is vital to keeping them as your clients and retaining their business for years to come.


One of the biggest reasons is because they don’t feel important anymore. I’m going to repeat that. They don’t feel important anymore.


You work hard to win them, but do you work hard to keep them? They were pleased with how hard you worked to get them, but they notice the difference once they became customers. When they don’t get that same great service as before, they think that you don’t care about them and are just concerned with getting the next sale. They begin to feel that the only time their suppliers see them is when they’re being sold something new.


Customers are looking for salespeople who show concern not just at the point of sale. Do you maintain a relationship or only an open order form, staying in touch between orders?


About five years ago, I wanted to update my life insurance policy. I had to call the company to find out who my agent now was since my original agent no longer worked there. I had never heard from the company or the new agent even though I paid my premiums like clockwork every year. They sent out two agents to meet me.


Recently, I wanted to increase my coverage. I didn’t want to give the dynamic duo a call since I had never heard from them again. I called another agent from another company. But guess what happened again? Once I bought the new policy, I never heard from that agent or that company again. Crazy.


Here’s the other big reason why customers leave: They feel neglected. Great customers usually don’t leave just because a competitor offers a lower price. They leave because of the poor job that was done in taking care of them. Most loyal customers will tolerate almost anything up to a point, including less than perfect service. However, what they’re unable to accept is the feeling of being neglected.


It’s easy for your sales team to blame the loss of a customer on price, but customer neglect loses more customers than any price issues. Customers shouldn’t get the idea that the only time a salesperson shows interest in them is when an order is needed. Salespeople shouldn’t be predictable to the client when it comes to caring. Customers leave when the salesperson or company does a poor job in communicating with them.


Are email blasts from advertising, invoices, and statements the only way that your customers ever hear from your company?


Some customers feel that salespeople drop them like a hot potato when the sale is done. They’re happy in the beginning when they bought but receive different treatment after the sale. Such an approach not only leaves a bad taste in their mouth but makes it nearly impossible for any kind of positive relationship to develop.


We had a copying and scanning business, and we had recently changed equipment vendors that we had hired about 14 years prior. The only time I ever heard from their salesperson, (same guy after all of those 14 years) was when the three‐year contract for the equipment was coming up for renewal. Our business had been located in the same building for over 10 years, and he had only been there twice: once when we first moved in and once when we were having a lot of service issues with their company, and he took me to lunch to discuss how the issues would be resolved. Only twice in 10 years.


Furthermore, they never even sent us a card for the holidays or dropped off any goodies to say thanks. When I announced that I wanted to change vendors because another company came in and really wanted our business ‐ and quite frankly had better equipment ‐ he didn’t even come by and try to save our account. All he did was text me and tell me that he didn’t like the fact that we ditched him. He never stayed in touch with us and is mad at me for leaving. Unbelievable!


Here’s the thing. To deal with potential problems and why customers leave, the most important thing to understand is what you can control and how to optimize it for your business.


According to the Small Business Administration, when you have a group of customers that are going to be leaving:


1% of them leave because they pass away
3% percent move away (these are kind of hard to do anything about)
14% are lured by a competitor
14% are turned away by product or service dissatisfaction and here’s the big one
68% leave because of experiencing a poor attitude or perceived feeling of indifference


Did you catch that? 68% leave because they think you don’t care.


Have you ever experienced a time where you were at a store or a restaurant or you were on hold on customer service for an hour? How did you feel? Well, this is why people leave: because of a perceived feeling of indifference. They think that you don’t care about them. Of these, there are two main factors that you can control: experiencing service dissatisfaction, which is 14%, and poor attitude or having a perceived feeling of indifference, which is 68%. The total is 82%. That equates to 82% of the reasons that people aren’t doing repeat business with you.


Once you take responsibility for these factors and understand how important they are to make a customer feel special and know that you care about them, you control your client retention.


All of this is preventable and totally under your control. By understanding this and focusing on how to solve this 82 percent problem, you will prevent your customers from even looking at a competitor now and in the future.


Client Retention | Why Clients Leave