How to Stop Losing Customers in Your Printing Business
However, recent research from Pitney Bowes details some reasons that might sneak up on you. Aside from poor customer service, the next most cited reason for switching a supplier is ‘poor communication.’ In a survey of 1000 business managers around the world, 14.8% switched their Print Services provider within the past 12 months.
Their reasons might be surprising, especially for printers who focus on the popular customer service issues:
- In the USA 28.9% say their reason for switching is that the supplier is “Not in touch”
- 23.3% switched because they’re “not told about updates and developments”
- 25.4% switched because they “don’t ask about customer’s needs”
To put it simply, if you don’t talk to your customers, you will lose a significant percentage of them this year. That’s a fact.
The nice management name for this is customer churn, turnover or attrition. As a small business owner, those mild-mannered names bother me because it disguises the severity of the problem. In a sense, it makes it seem acceptable.
Let’s think about this. The purpose of making the sale is to get a customer and to keep that customer for the lifetime of the business. So when we talk about customer churn, we are really talking about a process that works at complete odds with our reason for being in business. That makes it a critical, life-threatening business issue and being somewhat ornery, I call it what it is, losing customers.
It’s generally accepted that the cost of retaining customers is far less than the cost of acquiring customers, hence the need to motivate them to stick around. According to the Pitney Bowes research, even if you lose zero customers to customer service or production problems, you still need to focus on communications or your customer base will erode month by month. It’s my experience that most printers focus on the customer service problems in order to prevent the loss of customers while ignoring the communication issues.