​Why companies lose their customers

Good: You may be among those companies with a somewhat older customer base. That is why you may lose twice as many customers as the average company. That still leaves 68% of customers who quit or silently slip away and do not return due to a lack of attention. It is time to take a look behind the scenes of one of the most common reasons for separation.

Last year, our “Pop-up Event for Service Champions” event format led us from Berlin to Zurich and on to Vienna. And with us all the way: Zita Langenstein, graduate butleress, THE renowned expert for service excellence.

“Through well-handled complaints, existing customers can be retained and new customers gained.”

Zita «The Butler» Langenstein

Her message: Customers who complain and have their concerns handled satisfactorily tend to be more loyal and purchase more than satisfied customers who never complain.
Summary: Complaint customers are better customers!

What we learned from Zita, “The Butleresse”:

Zita Langenstein
  • Complaints are a celebration! You only really pay full attention to a customer if you are lucky enough to receive a complaint. Listen very carefully. While many people want to immediately offer a solution, if the customer is upset at the moment, he or she is not really looking for a solution. Such customers just want to vent.
    Summary: Customers do not leave because the product is of poor quality or the price is too high (not even in Switzerland!). They leave because no one cares about them.
  • The Swiss have a funny expression. They say “Ich entschuldige mich” – I excuse myself. What they actually mean to do is to apologize to the other party – not to themselves, of course. So please, apologize to angry customers. If this is done honestly and completely, even the angriest customer, called the “adventurous customer” in butler talk, can become a loyal regular customer and a recommender.
    Summary: There are no objective complaints. Nor is it relevant who caused the error that led to the complaint. Far more important is to take responsibility and to apologize.

PS: In Japan, apologizing is even a profession. You can get a brief look inside the life of a professional apologizer here.

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