6 signs your customers may be cheating on you

25 January 2017
Our recent research has shown that 91% of consumers around the world would cheat on their favourite retailer with a competitor. While this might start out as just a fling, it could turn into something more serious so what are the six tell-tale signs that your customers might be about to leave you?

They’re shopping less often and their basket size is shrinking

•  You’ve been seeing each other for a while and things have been going well, but suddenly your data is telling you that your customers aren’t making purchases with you as often as they used to. When they do shop, they are spending less. Is it just timing, or have they been tempted away by a competitor? Your revenues are being affected regardless.

•  Two-thirds of consumers would spend more if their favourite retailers understood their individual needs better. Double-check your data, and use it to reach out to them with something relevant. Make them feel special and let them know you’re there for them.

They’ve stopped opening your emails

•  At the beginning of your relationship, your customers were opening your emails without fail. You had segments with super-high open rates, and click through rates were soaring. As they get comfortable with you, they stop looking at those emails, or even worse – they unsubscribe. Are they simply getting too many emails or are they no longer interested in what you have to say? Whichever it is, your customers have stopped listening to you and if they’re not aware of any special offers or sales you might be sending them they can’t take advantage of them.

•  60% of consumers admit they would spend more if their favourite retailer communicated with them better. Cut your communications down to timely, meaningful and relevant messages that your customers will make time to read.

They don’t trust you with their data

•  With big brands including Tesco, TalkTalk and Three all suffering data breaches in the past 18 months, there’s a chance your customers have been burnt before. Despite shopping with you regularly, they’re still checking out as a guest rather than setting up an account, or when they shop in store they are declining the opportunity to receive their receipts via email. Are they just not ready to commit, or is it a case of once bitten, twice shy? Either way, you’re missing out on the chance to engage with them further and encourage repeat custom.

•  77% of consumers admit they would spend more with their favourite retailer if they trusted the retailer better. Make sure that they know their data is safe and make it clear how you intend to use it.

They’re not earning or redeeming their loyalty points

•  They’ve taken the next step in your relationship and signed up to your loyalty programme, but they’re not earning or redeeming their points. Are they finding it too much like hard work to participate or are they just not seeing the value? If they’re not engaged with your programme, not only will your breakage go up but your customers will start to feel you don’t appreciate them. How long then until their heads are turned by another brand?

•  3 in 4 consumers admit they would spend more with their favourite retailer if they were rewarded better. Help your customers understand how your loyalty programme can benefit them, and make sure your staff have all the information and equipment they need to promote the programme to its fullest extent.

They’re complaining more

•  It’s been plain sailing for a while but now the cracks are starting to show in the relationship and your customers are making complaints – both in person and on public forums such as Twitter. Whether they are just pushing your buttons or they are disappointed in your customer service, negative reviews and postings will have a damaging impact on advocacy for your brand, in turn affecting your customer acquisition.

•  78% of consumers would spend more if their favourite brand’s offering was consistent and reliable. Aim for a seamless customer experience across on and offline channels to limit the potential for complaints, but most importantly, if they do occur make sure you are responding in a timely way.

They’re being courted by your competitors

•  As time goes by, you find yourself getting jealous that your customers might be window shopping or opening emails from other brands, let alone actually making purchases with them. Is it just a bit of harmless flirting, or are your customers really having their heads turned? It’s not just the green-eyed monster you need to worry about, but also the loss of revenue should your customers start to shop elsewhere.

•  Half of consumers would spend more if their favourite brand treated them with more respect. Don’t take them for granted, but make sure you are recognising and rewarding them as valued customers and giving them a unique customer experience they can’t receive anywhere else.