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It’s painful when a customer walks out the door. The good news is that you can create an early-detection system to alert you when a departure is impending. You need such a system because most customers are not going to tell you they aren’t happy—they will just leave.

This is just three of the ways to be more alert to customer behavior that could indicate a serious issue.

  • Track customer engagement. For example, you could track: which customers don’t open emails, don’t use your website or online service, or don’t respond to your personal emails any more. (You have to come up with what kind of engagement you can measure that fits for your business.) Yes, this might be a new concept, but brainstorm which processes you may be able to get in place to start tracking engagement. It will be a huge life saver in the long run.

  • Track the frequency with which customers reach out for customer service. When a customer reaches out more frequently than usual–that’s a big indicator of an issue. For example, if customers tend to contact you once a month, you may wish to take a closer look at those who reach out 2-3 times per month. Look at the reasons they are calling. It might be a good idea to also have someone follow up with that customer (if the issue or client warrants it). Let them know how seriously you are taking their feedback and what steps you will be taking to address their issues.

  • Follow up after surveys. This is an important warning system, too. It’s similar to the suggestion above: If a customer gives you low ratings and/or negative comments on a survey, follow up with them in 24 hours of less. This is a powerful best practice. Customers often will be delighted that you cared enough to call them and offer help or just listen to their issues. This kind of recovery system can help build a stronger relationship and bond than existed before they were called.

Do you have a great way to detect potential customer issues? Let me know. There are many ways to track and set up this kind of alert system, I’d love to hear your ideas too.

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