By Debbie Gregory.

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Loyal customers are the best customers! They continue to buy from you and they will usually refer you to their acquaintances, family and friends.


Typical American businesses lose customers every year due to factors outside of their control such as a changing economic climate. However, most customer loss is due to a failing by the business itself. If your customers do not get the attention they need from your business they will move on to your competitor.


Here are five reasons your business may be losing customers:


1.) Focusing on Price Instead of Customer Value

The best approach for smaller businesses that cannot compete with the huge corporations is to focus on the value of their offerings more than the price point. Trying to get involved in a price war with a large corporation will only squeeze your margins and make it more difficult for your business to operate.  This leaves you vulnerable for someone else to swoop in and steal your customers. Customers demand good service, convenient operating hours, accessibility, and quality. Focus on delivering the best you possibly can instead of trying to be the cheapest in your market.


2.) Providing Poor Customer Service

Placing customer service at the heart of your business model will lead to a successful business and loyal customers. You need to be consistent, reliable, and responsive. One poor experience with you business can easily drive your customer to your competitor.


3.) Neglecting Technology

Customers today have very high expectations coupled with short attention spans and very little tolerance for inefficiencies. These expectations are not limited to a physical business location.  Your company’s digital presence must also be up to date. Slow checkout, lack of convenient payment options, lack of delivery options, bad website layout and design, unfriendly mobile website, and more will make customers turn away from your business and to others who better meet their needs.


4.) Not Rewarding Loyalty

Discounts and promotions are great but if a customer does not feel like they are receiving the best value from you, they may move on to your competitor. Continually making your customers feel appreciated in small ways can pay off big time in the long run.


5.) Staff Issues

If your employees are not happy and you have a high rate of turnover, you cannot expect to keep your customers happy either. Your employees need proper incentives, engaging work, and they must feel able and empowered to take care of the customers that come through your door. Happy employees = happy customers.


Operating a successful small business comes with many diverse challenges. Make sure that you are doing all that you can to provide what your customers need, make sure they can get it how they prefer to get it, and make sure that they know how much you appreciate their patronage.