Do You Know When a Customer is Ready to Leave?

|, Metrics and ROI|Do You Know When a Customer is Ready to Leave?
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Do You Know When a Customer is Ready to Leave?

It’s painful when a customer walks out the door. The good news is that you can create an early-detection system to alert you when a departure is impending. You need such a system because most customers are not going to tell you they aren’t happy—they will just leave.

This is just three of the ways to be more alert to customer behavior that could indicate a serious issue.

  • Track customer engagement. For example, you could track: which customers don’t open emails, don’t use your website or online service, or don’t respond to your personal emails any more. (You have to come up with what kind of engagement you can measure that fits for your business.) Yes, this might be a new concept, but brainstorm which processes you may be able to get in place to start tracking engagement. It will be a huge life saver in the long run.
  • Track the frequency with which customers reach out for customer service. When a customer reaches out more frequently than usual–that’s a big indicator of an issue. For example, if customers tend to contact you once a month, you may wish to take a closer look at those who reach out 2-3 times per month. Look at the reasons they are calling. It might be a good idea to also have someone follow up with that customer (if the issue or client warrants it). Let them know how seriously you are taking their feedback and what steps you will be taking to address their issues.
  • Follow up after surveys. This is an important warning system, too. It’s similar to the suggestion above: If a customer gives you low ratings and/or negative comments on a survey, follow up with them in 24 hours of less. This is a powerful best practice. Customers often will be delighted that you cared enough to call them and offer help or just listen to their issues. This kind of recovery system can help build a stronger relationship and bond than existed before they were called.
By | 2017-06-02T09:29:20+00:00 September 26th, 2016|Categories: CX Strategy, Metrics and ROI|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

About the Author:

Kim Proctor is the Founder and CEO of Customers That Click, a customer experience consulting firm dedicated to optimizing online and offline experiences, increasing customer retention and improving customer engagement and word of mouth.


  1. Rob Jackson April 13, 2017 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Excellent suggestions Kim! Not necessarily easy to implement without a robust CRM and/or marketing automation platform but it’s certainly makes sense to prioritize this research for those that have these tools. For those that are able to identify “at risk” customers, another idea is to use a telephone interview to better understand those customers. High quality feedback from “at risk” customers is a rich source of information to improve the customer experience.

    • Kim Proctor April 13, 2017 at 1:03 pm - Reply

      Hi Rob,
      Thanks for your comment. I like your suggest about phone calls. Always a good approach!

      Also, in my experience, the ideas in the blog above can be done without fancy systems. For example, Constant Contact (or similar low cost email system) will tell you about email opens, customer service data is often collected in some way where you can pull in who is calling in over the last month. But yes, it will take effort. And many companies use Survey Monkey or other email survey tools and that last point one is too often missed by companies, it’s a great way to help rescue customers ready to leave.

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