Why Customers Leave… And How to Stop Them
Repeat customers are the lifeblood of any pest control business. We rely on these customers to make up a large portion of our annual sales. We depend on them to remain a steady force when planning for growth.
They play such a huge role in the success of a business that you need to do everything you can to spot signs they may be about to leave your service and then make sure they stay. Customer retention needs to be a fundamental part of your business strategy.
Need more convincing? Look no further than the Pareto Principle, more commonly known as the 80/20 rule. This long-established concept states that 80% of profits will come from just 20% of customers. You want to make sure your long-term customers are as happy as possible so that they don’t seek out the services of another pest control provider.
Retaining as many customers as possible will make a noticeable difference to your profitability and your ability to grow.
But the big question is “Why do customers leave?”
The most common answer? Indifference — your indifference.
Several studies have concluded that the top reason a customer will leave a company is they feel like the company doesn’t care about them or their business. It's not enough to keep meeting a customer's expectations. You must continually engage them and make them feel like they are being heard and their business is important to you.
Other common reasons customers choose to leave are:
- They don’t like the way they’re treated.
- They are unhappy with your product or service.
- They think you’re too expensive.
- They no longer need the service.
Once you know the reasons why customers may choose to leave your service, the next question is “How can I stop them from leaving?"
While you can’t do anything about some of the reasons people choose to find a different pest control provider, there are several strategies you can employ to not only retain customers who may be thinking about leaving, but also make them more loyal clients.
Strategy 1: Show them they matter
Make sure the customer experience you provide at every step of the process is exceptional and professional. It’s not enough to schedule a service, provide the service and then send a bill. Instill in all your employees the need to be extremely friendly, professional and responsive.
Respond quickly to customer requests and make sure they feel heard and appreciated during every interaction. It’s important to remember that customers aren’t just comparing you to other pest control providers in your market; they’re comparing you to every other service provider they encounter. Be authentic in your dealings with them and strive to be the best. Consider providing incentives for employees to go above and beyond in their customer service.
Finally, make sure your customers know the service they are receiving is specific to their unique needs. Educate them about what you will be doing and how that will affect their situation.
Strategy 2: Be easy to work with
Reliability and availability are the two huge factors in customer retention. Make it easy for customers to contact you, easy to schedule service, and easy to pay. PestRoutes makes this effortless with intuitive customer portals and a simple auto pay enrollment. Customers often report that a hassle-free experience makes them want to use a service provider again.
Strategy 3: Be a problem solver
When a customer calls with complaints or conflicts, take the time to listen and understand their situation. Address their problem immediately and work with them to find a solution that works. When you can turn a complaining customer into a satisfied customer, you've often earned stronger loyalty than they had before the problem arose.
Strategy 4: Review your pricing
Altering your pricing should never be your first option when deciding how to retain customers. But if you learn that price is the primary reason your customers are leaving, it’s a good idea to revisit your competitors’ pricing structures and make sure you are in line with what is expected in your market. You’ll also want to examine your profit margins and whether you are the perceived value you’re creating is strong enough. You may need to do some work to show your customers the real value of what you provide.
The bottom line is that you must be acutely aware of the most common reasons your customers choose to leave and then employ the best customer service and technological solutions available to keep them happy and keep them coming back to you for their pest control needs.