7 Ways to Lose Customers: Are You Doing Any of These Things?

Mar 22, 2011

Rhonda Abrams, president of The Planning Shop and publisher of books for entrepreneurs, recently wrote a column for USA Today on the seven ways for a small business to lose customers.

“Most entrepreneurs who are self-employed or run small businesses can be classified as consultants or contractors,” she wrote. “I was a consultant for more than 15 years. Now, I hire consultants. Some of them help me build my business and are part of my team. In all that time, I’ve learned a lot about how to manage clients and how to keep clients happy. And, also, how to make them unhappy.”

“Of course, if you want to build a sustainable business over time -” to keep clients coming back and making referrals -” you want happy clients,” Abrams continued.

For those companies who don’t want to develop positive customer relationships, Abrams suggests don’t communicate; over-promise and under-deliver; wait until the customer pushes you; don’t show up for meetings, cancel at the last minute or come late; surprise your customer with unexpected invoices; don’t send your bill, because it’s frustrating for customers not to get a bill on time; and insist on your communication method.

“Of course, not every [business owner] wants to lose their [customers],” Abrams wrote. “If you’re one of those who wants happy [customers], referrals and a long life in business, try the opposite of those seven steps. Consider yourself as your [customer]’s partner, rather than adversary. It’s really quite satisfying.”

To read the complete USA Today article, click here.