The most dangerous assumption a salesperson can make is to believe a customer is satisfied, loyal and not looking elsewhere, says sales coach Michael Le Boeuf.
It’s more accurate to view customers as free agents who are constantly making new discoveries and getting information easily, and who do not feel beholden to a salesperson. You’ll keep more customers if you really understand where their heads are at, and why they might want to switch.
What about the 96%?
You may have heard that only about 4% of your dissatisfied customers will tell you about their unhappiness. But what happens to the other 96%?
A survey entitled, “Why customers quit” revealed the following:
- 3% simply move
- 6% develop other relationships
- 9% leave for competitive reasons
- 14% are dissatisfied with the product or service
- 68% leave because of a perceived attitude of indifference toward the customer by the owner, salesperson or other employee.
The survey also found:
- The average business spends six times as much to attract new customers as to keep old ones.
- Seven of 10 complaining customers will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint in their favor. Resolve it on the spot and 95% will do business with you again.
- A satisfied complainer will tell five people about the problem and how well you resolved it.
- A typical dissatisfied customer will tell eight to 10 people about the problem.
- It takes 12 positive service incidents to make up for one negative incident.
Source: “How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life,” by Michael Le Boeuf.
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