Customer attrition: Can’t agree on how you can stop losing customers?
Recently I was asked by a client to help the leadership team understand why they were losing customers. The company is in the paper products industry, which is dominated by a small number of large companies.
Leaders had different perspectives on the reasons for customer attrition.
When I joined the team, I asked them for their views. Leaders had entirely different perspectives. The sales manager said the prices are too high, the marketing manager said not enough advertising, the IT manager said our technology is out of date, the supply chain manager said our product range is too broad, and it slows us down, the finance manager said: “I don’t know why I’m here, it’s not my problem!”.
People in the meeting became very tense and emotional. I suggested a break, and someone said: “Yes, let’s get an ice-cream and cool down.”
So often, when decisions are being discussed and made, the customer is excluded from consideration. The first step is to consult with customers. To remind us of the “customer viewpoint,” we might like to do, as Amazon does in many of their meetings, have an empty chair in the meeting room that reminds them to refer to the customer. It is the customer’s chair.