Is customer churn draining the energy, profits and brand equity out of your company? If it is then you need to stop the customer churn immediately. Committing your company’s resources to acquiring customers only to see them leave during the next buying cycle is a prescription for failure. Stopping churn requires you to examine you relationship with your customers throughout the customer experience.
In any relationship, whether it is a marriage, a friendship, or a sales relationship, there are phases when problems or conflicts are apt to arise. If such dilemmas are not confronted and resolved early on, the premature dissolution of a partnership may result. In the case of a customer partnership, there are phases when the buyer’s expectations of your product or service are tested. During these times you must prove to your customers that your product or service is their best alternative. Such confrontations are called Moments of Truth, and how you handle them will determine the longevity of the relationship.
Moments of Truth are the real acid tests of long-term partnerships. If your product or service performs as intended and delivers the benefits the customer is seeking, everyone is happy and the relationship is secure. On the other hand, if the product or service fails to perform or deliver the expected benefits, the customer is unhappy and the relationship is in jeopardy. This is the starting point for customer churn.
A Moment of Truth can occur at any time, in a variety of situations. However, to best understand these moments, it is helpful to focus on the six most common sales situations that constitute Moments of Truth. Because of their frequency and potential impact on the sales relationship you must master the skills demanded by each of these six Moments of Truth:
- When you’re making the sale.
- When the product is delivered or the service begins.
- When you discover a problem.
- When the customer complains.
- When the competition puts on the pressure.
- When you make your regular customer retention contacts.
To ensure that you handle each Moment of Truth successfully you’ll need to develop a specific plan for each one. Having a well developed plan increases your chances of solidifying the customer relationship and in stopping the cause of customer churn.