Four Ways You’re Letting Your Customers Walk Away

customersA new study from research firm Ovum shows 90 percent of companies are losing customers because they’re failing to adapt to the new ways of doing business.

In a recent article, columnist Erik Sherman summarizes the findings so businesses can learn what they’re doing wrong, as well as how to fix the issues.

Certainly, many companies are using CRM platforms to understand how their customers are buying, and to extract meaningful insights from mountains of data.

But businesses of all sizes and shapes are shedding customers and losing sales because their current processes and systems aren’t keeping pace with technology-savvy consumers.

Slow decision cycles: Sherman notes that even if companies can recognize how purchasing behavior is changing, change tends to come slowly in most organizations. If your organization is reacting to a current customer trend, any action you take will be already out of date.

“Management is following customers through a maze at such a distance that customers will have already turned in another direction while out of site.”

Anticipating future customer behavior puts organizations in a better position than reacting to what they are currently observing.

Managers encourage other priorities: The Ovum study suggests managers aren’t designing compensation and incentives to encourage a customer-first mentality from their employees.

Maintaining client and customer relationships should be a priority, but Sherman notes that in many organizations,”people at the top say customers are important but they likely encourage other activity instead.”

The data isn’t helping: If your organization is using a CRM platform to maintain and track customer behavior through the purchasing cycle, you’re likely sifting through piles and piles of reports to extract meaningful insights.

The problem, according to Sherman, is multiple data points aren’t always telling the full story, so any decisions made based on that data aren’t benefiting from a completely holistic view.

“Operational and channel silos parcel data out, effectively treating customers like some sort of composite.”

A “serendipitous attitude toward innovation”: Organizations that embrace a culture of innovation will remain ahead of the curve, able to anticipate changes to their industry, their customers, and the competitive landscape.

Too often, Sherman notes, not enough time, money, or other resources are focused on finding better ways of doing business.

Are you letting your customers walk away?