You know that customer who just walked out the door with a frown on her face, mumbling something under her breath? Losing her business won’t make a difference … or will it? Take this test using figures from your own store:
1. What is your average customer sale? _____
2. How many times a month does this average customer come into buy? _____
3. Therefore, an average customer will spend this much in one month: _____
4. Now, multiply the number in # 3 times 12 to find what an
average customer spends in one year in your store: _____
5. How many years is that customer potentially your customer? _____
6. Multiply the number in # 4 by the number in # 5 to calculate the lost lifetime sales of this average customer: _____
7. If this angry customer is like most angry customers, and tells 10 other people about her bad experience, and they believe her and also decide to no longer shop with you, what’s the cost of just one unhappy customer? To get this answer, multiply the amount in # 6 times 10 (that’s the 10 other customers), then add the original customer’s lifetime sales (# 6) to get the total answer: _____
You will be surprised how much damage one customer can do to your business!
If, for example, we use $20.00 as the average sale in your store, and follow the above exercise through all of the steps, that one angry customer would cost you $3,360.00 in lifetime sales. But that’s not all.
Add in the 10 people that customer is likely to tell, and that single, unhappy customer would cost the store $33,600.00. Now add in the angry customer’s lifetime sales and the number grows to a whopping $36,960.00. That’s a pretty steep number to make up.
Here’s the scary news: only one in ten customers will take the time, or make an effort, to tell you when something is wrong. That means that the other nine leave angry and may not ever come back and they may even tell their friends. So, when customers leave your store empty-handed make it your mission to find out why. When you – or anyone else on your team – sees an angry or unhappy customer, approach them and try to fix whatever is wrong.
But there’s good news, too! The statistics are on your side! When customers give you the opportunity to merely attempt to fix the problem, studies show that over 80% will give you another chance. Sometimes the misunderstanding is so small you can fix it in an instant. Sometimes you’re going to have to swallow your pride and work hard to woo the customer back. Either way, it will be worth your effort!