“68% of customers leave as a result
of perceived indifference”
What’s the background?
This CSAT stat is quoted frequently, but where does it originate from?
In 2008, John Gattorna, a visiting professor at Macquarie Graduate School of Management, published the following figures on why businesses lose customers:
- 4% Natural attrition (e.g. moved away, passed on, etc)
- 5% Referred to a competitor by their friend
- 9% Competitive reasons (e.g. price)
- 14% Product/service dissatisfaction
- 68% Perceived indifference
This month’s statistic is staggering in its own right, but when taken in conjunction with the other figures from the same research, a picture emerges that you cannot afford to ignore:
Your customers are almost five times more likely to leave you because they think you’re indifferent to them, than because they are dissatisfied with your product/service.
It’s easy to assume that customers are mostly lost through no fault of your own – perhaps they’ve found a similar product/service that is cheaper, maybe they were lured away by a recommendation or a special offer, or perhaps the product/service just wasn’t right for them.
However, John Gattorna’s statistics show us that the primary reason for customers leaving is absolutely within our control: they think we don’t care about them.
What can you do?
The most important learning here, is that the most common reason for customers walking away can be addressed! If you value your customers, it’s time to start showing it.
Make your customers feel special
Ask yourself what you’re doing to make your customers feel special.
Assess your customer interactions and look for areas where you can introduce some small gestures that demonstrate that you care. There’s no need for these to be costly – it’s about being thoughtful and showing your customer that they are important to you.
Go the extra mile
When it comes to customer support, don’t just provide the bare minimum – go the extra mile to ensure your customer is really happy. When they ask a question, try to read between the lines to establish what they really need to know and why – sometimes what a customer asks for and what they really need are two different things.
Of course it’s important to answer their question, but with a little careful thought, you can provide a more complete response that is much more helpful to them than just a basic reply to their initial query. This is a great way to show your customer that you’re not simply going through the motions of customer support because you have to – you actually want to help them.
Find out what they’re thinking
To hold onto your customers, you need to know what they’re thinking – it’s really important to understand what they want, and what they consider to be lacking from your offering. Taking a regular pulse, is a useful way of keeping up to speed with how your customers are truly feeling.
Don’t just ask, act
Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of believing it’s enough to simply ask what they think. You need to act on the feedback you receive. If they make a constructive suggestion, thank them and ensure you keep in touch with them regarding any developments/changes as a result. If they make a complaint, make sure you contact them as quickly as possible to address and resolve the issue.
Above all, ensure that your customers know that their feedback is valued and appreciated – if they feel that their views are simply going into a black hole, they’ll stop talking to you. Worse still, it will feed the perception of indifference and they may well become part of the 68% walk away completely.
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