Last week I gave you the first installment of my Top Ten Ways to Lose a customer, which is a regretful look back at some of the customers I have lost mostly due to poor organization or losing focus on what’s really important… the customer of course! I hope you enjoy the rest of these hard lessons learned…
Top Ten Ways to Lose a Customer:
6. Lose contact: For many types businesses including tutoring, you should keep in touch with customers, even if they are not currently active. If the customers are currently active, you should try to touch base at least once per month, via telephone or email. Once they have become non-active, you should still try to touch base with them several times per year, perhaps through a quarterly newsletter. If you stay top-of-mind with your customers, then they may think of you next time they are in need of your product or service.
7. Don’t give up on a customer: I have customers who phoned and emailed questions to me at least a dozen times over several years without purchasing anything, but I stuck at it and eventually they became my customer. My philosophy is to never give up on a customer unless they give me a good reason to, and this has paid off again and again. ‘Never Give Up’ should be your entrepreneurial mantra.
8. Don’t return a phone call/message: As I have said before, you should try to answer your phone calls live rather than letting them go to voicemail. However if someone does leave a message, make sure you answer it, if not right away, then at least within an hour or two of receipt. I wish I had a dollar for every message I have left with various business that have never been returned – I can guarantee that they never got any business from me after that!
9. Don’t fulfill a promise: Nothing will lose a customer faster than an undelivered promise or commitment. It is always better to under-promise and over-deliver than to commit to something you may not be able to deliver, like an A+ in math for a failing student. If you do end up promising something, then write it down so you don’t forget!
10. When it’s okay to lose a customer: Occasionally you may find it necessary to intentionally lose a customer. If a customer is being intentionally rude or abusive, or if you don’t feel comfortable asking any of your tutors to spend time with them, then by all means give them their money back and walk away. You should feel more than okay with this decision because it’s right for you, your employees and your company.
So there you have it – My completed Top Ten List of How to Lose a Customer. Maybe you will be smarter than me and not have to learn these lessons the hard way! Good luck and good tutoring!
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