Why you may be losing customers because of broken promises

Why you may be losing customers because of broken promises

Have you been losing customers and not sure why?

If you’ve been losing customers, maybe it’s because you have been breaking promises you cannot keep.

“What?” I hear you exclaim!  Me?  Break promises?  Never!

Well good on you if you don’t because I have discovered there are far too many out there who do.  And I bet they are losing numerous customers because of it without even realising.

You can have the best product or service on the market and exactly what your customer is looking for, but if you let them down during the customer journey they will walk.

Over the past couple of months, I have been promised numerous things from thank you gifts for completing surveys, to information sheets following up treatments to trial samples of products.  These are the small things you think may not matter. But if they fail to be delivered they matter a lot! The potential customer loses faith in your ability to look after them.

And then there are the bigger ticket items where a potential customer has asked for a quote. You promise to get it to them within 48 hours and two weeks later they are still waiting!

At first, I wondered if it was just me.  But then I started to notice a few times on social media where someone had run a promotion, promised to send the prize to the winner, but had failed to do so.  The winner had turned from being delighted to being somewhat snarky and having to ask publicly when they were going to receive their prize.

And I’m seeing more and more on social media and hearing first-hand of people who have been let down.

And I have to be honest when someone promises me something that I haven’t asked for I am delighted and excited.  But when the said item fails to materialise, I feel a little narked.  Why did they bother offering anything in the first place? And if I’ve expressed an interest in buying from them and asked for a price or samples to try before I buy, if I get radio silence in return rather than what I was promised, I get seriously miffed and vow never to use them again.

Get organised and stop losing customers

Before you go making quick off the cuff promises to impress, think carefully if you can actually deliver on your promise.  And if you can, get organised!!  Carry a notebook or diary at all times and write down what you have promised to do.  And then do it!

If you don’t keep your promises, you could well be losing customers. In fact, I almost guarantee it.

I purchased from a lady recently and was fully prepared to buy again.  When chatting with her she promised to send me a free gift to try first.  When it failed to arrive, I felt that she didn’t really care about my custom and didn’t really care if I went back and purchased again or not.  So, I didn’t.  And I am sourcing someone else to buy from.

I could give you a shedload of other examples from buying a car, a new kitchen, new flooring, a holiday, a spa day and the list goes on.

If you don’t keep up your end of the bargain, buyers will lose trust in you.  They won’t believe that you will be able to deliver in the future and so may take their hard-earned money elsewhere. And the knock-on of this is they will tell others how you let them down gaining you a bad reputation. A survey back in 2020 by Forbes showed that no less than 96 of customers would leave a company if they experienced bad customer service.  Another survey in 2017 by American Express stated that customers who have a bad customer experience tell an average of 15 people! And I bet you it’s way more than that now with the increase in social media being used to out companies.

But the worrying thing is that whilst they are telling anyone and everyone who will listen, they may not be telling you about their unhappy experience with you. You simply don’t understand why they haven’t come back to buy. That’s if you remember them at all of course.

Stop over-promising

The interesting thing is that research shows the companies who break promises tend to be repeat offenders. This could be down to bad organisation or they are just way too busy to deliver on their promises. If you fall into this category, be honest with people and stop making those promises. You have more chance of selling to someone who isn’t expecting something you can’t deliver on.

We all know the old adage of ‘under promise and over deliver’ so stop setting unrealistic expectations and making promises you can’t keep.

Go back and look through past prospects and clients.  Did you promise anything that you failed to deliver?  If so, see if it’s not too late to rectify the situation and gain that trust back.

And for the future, set yourself up with a simple database. Every time you have contact with someone, go update their record and set yourself a task to do what you promised to do. It’s not rocket science.

And look on the flip side. If you do keep your promises, give great customer service and make your customers feel valued, you can create repeat customers for years to come.