3 Ways to Lose Customers and Destroy Your Business

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Let’s start with this: the last thing you want is to lose customers and destroy your business. And yet, here you are, reading an article that promises to tell you how to achieve precisely that. Are you in sabotage mode? No, don’t worry. You’re merely doing what most of us do when we drive past an epic pile-up (hopefully with no casualties), or when a news announcer tells you to stay tuned to hear about the latest catastrophe.

In other words: there is something within us that compels us to pay more attention to bad news than good news; or at least, to remember it for longer. Perhaps this is instinctive and baked into our neurological wiring. After all, back when we were hanging out in caves, it was more valuable to know where not to go (say, a gathering of local hyenas) than where to go (the ol’ watering hole for a refreshing dip).

And so, with this primordial insight in mind — and knowing full well that your only goal is to keep your business strong and successful — here are three proven ways to do the exact opposite and end up having a sell-off or a shut-down:

  1. Ignore your current customers.

That’s right, go ahead and take your current customers for granted so that you can pursue new customers (you’ll be as “popular and beloved” as phone companies and wireless carriers). And while you’re at it, ignore the fact that according to research by Bain & Co., a 5 percent increase in customer retention can boost profitability by a whopping 75 percent.

  1. Routinely run out of stock.

If you’re a retailer and especially if you’re an e-tailer, one of the best ways you can get obliterated by your competition is to routinely run out of stock. How else will you earn those coveted 1-star reviews and downvotes?

  1. Ignore social media.

When social media first arrived on the scene about 20 years ago, it was greeted with scorn and skepticism by so-called (and often self-described) business pundits, who labeled it everything from a passing fad, to outright stupid. Well, here we are closing in on the third decade of the 21st century, and social media isn’t just a legitimate business communication tool, but for some businesses it’s their dominant channel to connect with customers and their overall community. Basically then: businesses that ignore social media or are waiting for it to go away do so at their peril.

The Bottom Line

Let’s switch the paradigm now from alarming to inspiring: you want and need your business to stay successful, and keep growing into the long-term future. To that end, ensure that you love and care for your current customers, partner with an order fulfillment company so that you never run out of stock (or if you do, have a backup plan to keep your customers from getting mad), and treat social media like an asset vs. an afterthought. When you tick all of these boxes, you can be assured that your business is heading in the right direction!

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