5 Reasons a Customer Might Fire You

Posted by Stacey Papp

“You’re fired.”

Is this sentence a) Donald Trump’s catchphrase on “The Apprentice,” b) wrestling promoter Vince McMahon’s signature phrase, c) words you never want to hear from one of your customers, or d) all of the above?

If you said “d,” you’re not fired – but let’s go back to choice “c.” 

Having a customer “fire” your business is unfortunately common, as much of a drag it can be – while every business aims to retain all customers, it’s simply not practical to assume that it will. Even if you do everything you’re supposed to, a customer might stop using your business for their own reasons – if they move away, if their circumstances change and they can no longer afford it, etc.  

But what would make a customer fire you if it’s not something on their end?

1. You don’t understand their needs – current and evolving. When a business begins a customer relationship, it’s important to establish the reason the customer is seeking a product or service and the end result they desire. If your business cannot deliver that end result, you end up with an unhappy customer. But even if you do deliver it that first time, the dispatcher handling all future orders should confirm what the customer wants each and every time so their needs continue to be met.

2. You don’t make them feel valued. This relates to No. 1. If a company makes someone feel as though they are simply a commodity or a to-do item to be checked off a list, or if the company doesn’t take the time to listen to customer requests or their specific issue, that’s not good customer service – and people will remember it the next time they need a product or service.

3. The field techs show up late – or early.
If you give a window of delivery to a customer, you have to show up within it. You also shouldn’t give a window that is too broad – most people aren’t into just sitting around all day waiting. We’ve all been on the other side of these scenarios – waiting for the cable guy to show up between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., or rushing to a dentist appointment, only to find out the dentist is running an hour behind – and it’s never pleasant. 

4. You’re not educating them.
Everyone on the staff should be comfortable with describing the services a business offers to its customers and selling them as appropriate. If a field tech shows up at someone’s house to fix problem A and sees that the customer also has problem B – which the business also can fix – there is no reason that a field tech shouldn’t help the customer understand the issue and how the business can help. 

5. The company fails to innovate or keep up with current trends.
Remember poor old Blockbuster Video? It went out of business years ago because Netflix came up with a way that was cheaper and more convenient for customers to rent movies: via mail and streaming on a computer. A business can’t just rest on its laurels with its current product offerings and not be thinking of how to always make them better for the customer or improve its service.

Here’s one innovation that can help you improve:

Fleet management software
helps you improve your business by providing a cutting-edge way to increase productivity, get more stops in, improve customer service and get the kind of visibility that lets you tell a customer exactly when a field tech will show up, almost down to the minute – giving the customer peace of mind that their emergency will be handled quickly and that regular job orders will be completed within a given, reasonable time frame. 

It provides historical proof of field techs’ arrival and departure times if they are ever called into question by a customer. Field techs can take payment right in the field from the app, eliminating a paper invoice that will take up space in a customer’s “to do” box, letting them move on immediately. 

The more efficiently a business is able to work, the better service customers get – and when a business can say it uses innovative products that fuels its efficiency and productivity, the customer will always know that their needs are coming first and that they are valued enough to merit the extra mile. 

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Check out a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to managing any kind of customer interaction.