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5 Reasons You’re Losing Customers That You May Not Be Aware Of

How You’re Losing Customers Without Even Realizing It… And How To Fix It

Losing a customer is never fun. You work so hard to do the best for your prospective customers, so when you lose the sale, it stings. It’s even worse when you don’t even know why you lost a customer. In this article we’re going to share 5 reasons you might be losing customers that you’re not even aware of. Fixing these issues can patch up a “leak in your bucket” that could be costing your business every month.  

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1. Not Answering Your Phone and Not Communicating Well

Person answering the phone in a professional manner

The first is one that you might not think is a big deal, but it really is. If you're not answering your phone and not communicating well with your prospective customers, it can be a real turnoff. If you're not answering your phone, you're losing business, period. 

If your team isn’t communicating in a professional manner, you're losing customers. If your prospects are waiting too long for a response from you, you're potentially losing customers.

We've run advertising campaigns for lots of different businesses all over the country. When we run a Google Ads campaign, we actually incorporate phone tracking in our campaign, which has many benefits. If someone clicks on an ad and calls the business we track those calls so our client can know exactly what he or she is getting out of the campaign.  

We save their calls in a secured data center for our clients to review so they can see who turned into a lead from paid Google Ads and how much they were worth.

As a little side benefit from this, you can learn a lot about how a business operates by how the phone is answered. Spot checking some of these calls for paid advertising clients of ours has revealed some interesting things.  

We’ve heard some terrible, terrible recordings where the owner of a company very unprofessionally answers the phone and loses potential customers. We've heard secretaries at a law office absolutely butchering phone calls and being so rude to a prospective customer that the owner of the firm just paid 20, 30, 50 bucks a click to get to the point where they've got an inbound lead. So, the owner of the company is paying really big money to market the business using paid advertising and the leads are getting cut off before they even have a chance of turning into a real client because of how the phone is answered.

We can't stress this enough, how you answer the phone matters and it matters so very much. It's important, beyond measure, to answer your phone professionally, capture the information you need to capture, be professional, and provide a good first impression for your business, because that's their first interaction with you. 

If it's not a positive one, guess what? They're going to hit the back button, they're going to pick the next person on the list, and they're going to call them instead. You could be losing out on new customers and business growth for your business just based on how you're answering the phone.  

Here are some simple tips on how to answer the phone properly in your small business:

The first is one that you might not think is a big deal, but it really is. If you're not answering your phone and not communicating well with your prospective customers, it can be a real turnoff. If you're not answering your phone, you're losing business, period. 

If your team isn’t communicating in a professional manner, you're losing customers. If your prospects are waiting too long for a response from you, you're potentially losing customers.

We've run advertising campaigns for lots of different businesses all over the country. When we run a Google Ads campaign, we actually incorporate phone tracking in our campaign, which has many benefits. If someone clicks on an ad and calls the business we track those calls so our client can know exactly what he or she is getting out of the campaign.  

We save their calls in a secured data center for our clients to review so they can see who turned into a lead from paid Google Ads and how much they were worth.

As a little side benefit from this, you can learn a lot about how a business operates by how the phone is answered. Spot checking some of these calls for paid advertising clients of ours has revealed some interesting things.  

We’ve heard some terrible, terrible recordings where the owner of a company very unprofessionally answers the phone and loses potential customers. We've heard secretaries at a law office absolutely butchering phone calls and being so rude to a prospective customer that the owner of the firm just paid 20, 30, 50 bucks a click to get to the point where they've got an inbound lead. So, the owner of the company is paying really big money to market the business using paid advertising and the leads are getting cut off before they even have a chance of turning into a real client because of how the phone is answered.

We can't stress this enough, how you answer the phone matters and it matters so very much. It's important, beyond measure, to answer your phone professionally, capture the information you need to capture, be professional, and provide a good first impression for your business, because that's their first interaction with you. 

If it's not a positive one, guess what? They're going to hit the back button, they're going to pick the next person on the list, and they're going to call them instead. You could be losing out on new customers and business growth for your business just based on how you're answering the phone.  

Here are some simple tips on how to answer the phone properly in your small business:

Try to answer by the 3rd ring – the quicker you and your team can answer the phone the better.

Offer a Professional Greeting – Hint, don’t just say, “hey, this is Gary…” Instead, say something like “Hello this is Gary from Gary’s Construction, how can I help you today?”

Welcome The Call – A lot of interpersonal communication is subtle. People on the other end of the line can pick up on little things. Whomever is answering your business phone needs to smile, be welcoming, and give the attention that call deserves. Every business owner is busy and even a front desk administrator is super busy, but how you answer the phone matters. Give that caller the attention they deserve as it could be the difference between them choosing your company or someone else.

Ask Questions – The person answering the phone at your business should seek to understand who the caller is and what they are looking for. Ask their name, capture contact information (so you can follow up properly), and ask them how you can help them. Let them tell you what they are looking for and why it’s important to solve that issue they are having.

2. The Look and Feel of Your Website

The look and feel of your website can be a reason that you're losing customers

The second reason you’re losing business that you might not realize is the look and feel of your website. Your website is the digital front door of your business. It's your digital curb appeal, and it can turn people off if it's not a good experience. Your potential customers determine whether they'll trust you with their business based on the look of your website. Unclear messaging, poor grammar, an outdated look and feel, an incomplete website that doesn't accurately reflect who you are and what you do and the full scope of your services, and more, play a major role in determining if your prospects will actually pick up the phone and contact you or fill out a web form on your website. Make sure your website is something you're proud of and that it accurately reflects who you are, and what you do, what you're all about, and why somebody should choose you over a competitor in the market.

Here’s a quick story that illustrates this point well…

We recently heard a first hand story from one of our clients, Tammy, who owns a residential clean business. We had done a website redesign for Tammy some time back. She happily let us know that she got hired by a new client because he loved the look and feel of her website. He found her on Google, was impressed by her online reviews, and then went to her website to learn more. He was further impressed by what he saw on her website and decided he was going to call her to quote the cleaning on his home.    

This wasn’t just any client, this particular client owned a multi-million dollar mansion and Tammy’s company was chosen to spend multiple hours a week cleaning their beautiful home because he liked the look of her website and how professional it was. This client became a recurring, high-ticket client for Tammy’s business and the first impression he had of her business helped seal the deal. This is how it should work.  

First impressions, even online, matter.

The second reason you’re losing business that you might not realize is the look and feel of your website. Your website is the digital front door of your business. It's your digital curb appeal, and it can turn people off if it's not a good experience. Your potential customers determine whether they'll trust you with their business based on the look of your website. Unclear messaging, poor grammar, an outdated look and feel, an incomplete website that doesn't accurately reflect who you are and what you do and the full scope of your services, and more, play a major role in determining if your prospects will actually pick up the phone and contact you or fill out a web form on your website. Make sure your website is something you're proud of and that it accurately reflects who you are, and what you do, what you're all about, and why somebody should choose you over a competitor in the market.

Here’s a quick story that illustrates this point well…

We recently heard a first hand story from one of our clients, Tammy, who owns a residential clean business. We had done a website redesign for Tammy some time back. She happily let us know that she got hired by a new client because he loved the look and feel of her website. He found her on Google, was impressed by her online reviews, and then went to her website to learn more. He was further impressed by what he saw on her website and decided he was going to call her to quote the cleaning on his home.    

This wasn’t just any client, this particular client owned a multi-million dollar mansion and Tammy’s company was chosen to spend multiple hours a week cleaning their beautiful home because he liked the look of her website and how professional it was. This client became a recurring, high-ticket client for Tammy’s business and the first impression he had of her business helped seal the deal. This is how it should work.  

First impressions, even online, matter.

3. Having an Unprofessional Business Email Address

Person looking shocked and frustrated while looking at their cell phone.

Another one is just having unprofessional email. We've seen some pretty bad emails on small business websites in our days. If your email address is not @yourbusinessdomain.com, you're potentially losing some customers. 

If you've got an email address such as [email protected] or a [email protected], it may be preventing would-be customers from reaching out to you. We’re not stuck on that you have to have a professional email address. There are other options – for instance, you could not list your unprofessional email address and you could have a simple contact form on your website that somebody can reach out to and that gets forwarded to you. That's fine. But if you have publicly displayed [email protected], you might be turning away some customers. 

It's an easy fix. You can get a Google Workspace account and have a professional email for a whopping fee of around $6 a month. It's worth it. Invest the money in that. A professional email can up the look and feel of your business and give potential customers the confidence to reach out to you. 

4. Unprofessional or Low Quality Social Media Presence

Person on their phone with the thumbs up and heart Facebook advertising reactions.

If you're posting any of the following on social media, you're probably losing customers: 

  • Low quality images 
  • Posts with grammatical errors or poor language
  • Posts not related to your business
  • Political posts
  • Posts that will offend others

If you're not posting often enough too, you might be losing customers, because everything you post is another opportunity for somebody to discover you and learn more about you. 

It's a digital first impression of your business. So, you want to make sure you're leading with your best foot forward and you want to be posting on a regular basis. Every business should post at least once a week on their Facebook page and on their Google business page. In an ideal world, you're posting more than that; three to five times a week.

This is another big one too, not responding to comments or reviews. 

When someone takes the time to write your company a comment about the services you provide, whether it be positive or not, it’s important to take time to respond. Something as simple as “thank you for your kind words” does wonders. If there’s something negative said, it’s best to address it before it escalates further.

Person on their phone with the thumbs up and heart Facebook advertising reactions.

If you're posting any of the following on social media, you're probably losing customers: 

  • Low quality images 
  • Posts with grammatical errors or poor language
  • Posts not related to your business
  • Political posts
  • Posts that will offend others

If you're not posting often enough too, you might be losing customers, because everything you post is another opportunity for somebody to discover you and learn more about you. 

It's a digital first impression of your business. So, you want to make sure you're leading with your best foot forward and you want to be posting on a regular basis. Every business should post at least once a week on their Facebook page and on their Google business page. In an ideal world, you're posting more than that; three to five times a week.

This is another big one too, not responding to comments or reviews. 

When someone takes the time to write your company a comment about the services you provide, whether it be positive or not, it’s important to take time to respond. Something as simple as “thank you for your kind words” does wonders. If there’s something negative said, it’s best to address it before it escalates further.

5. Low Quality Of Work

Your online reviews can play a huge role in why you're losing customers. 7

There's definitely a ripple effect that comes from how well you service the customer. Do a great job, maybe get a great review. Do a bad job, you will likely get a bad review. Sometimes, despite our best efforts you will still get a bad review posted online. Unfortunately, if you have a displeased customer, word of their review can spread like crazy and have a negative impact on your business. 

No matter what business you're in, you're going to have a negative experience with a customer. Something goes wrong, it happens. It’s how you handle it and respond that will make or break your online presence. Maybe you're a restaurant and perhaps the server at your restaurant that was waiting on a couple had a bad day and she just wasn't at the top of her game. That couple was disappointed and decided to leave a bad review on your Google Business page.  

How you respond to that review and how you handle that negative review on Google or Facebook or any other review platform that's online can affect your overall reputation, matters. There's a pretty big ripple effect to doing less than a great job. Bad reviews online can really tank your business and bad word of mouth can turn away prospective customers. 

When you get a bad review, you should do everything in your power to try to make it right, in fact, you should go out of your way to make it right. Best case scenario the disappointed customer really appreciates how you reached out and helped resolve the situation. That customer you helped turn around may become one of your biggest fans!  

Maybe the customer was unreasonable. Maybe there’s nothing you could do to solve that. How you respond to that negative review says a lot about who you are, how you handle your business, and whether prospective future customers will want to do business with you or not. It only takes one bad review or one person's bad experience with your business to negatively affect your reputation, especially online.

I encourage you to do everything you can to do a good job for your clients and your customers. If something bad happens, or if they have less than an ideal experience, do your best to try to make it right with that person. The worst case scenario is that the response that you leave to that bad review is going to be a future indicator, because your prospective future customers will read that bad review and they're going to determine, based on your response, whether they still want to give you a shot or not. 

Respond professionally, respond with care and empathy, and say how you strive to really provide a good user experience and customer experience for all your other customers. It'll go a long way.

There's definitely a ripple effect that comes from how well you service the customer. Do a great job, maybe get a great review. Do a bad job, you will likely get a bad review. Sometimes, despite our best efforts you will still get a bad review posted online. Unfortunately, if you have a displeased customer, word of their review can spread like crazy and have a negative impact on your business. 

No matter what business you're in, you're going to have a negative experience with a customer. Something goes wrong, it happens. It’s how you handle it and respond that will make or break your online presence. Maybe you're a restaurant and perhaps the server at your restaurant that was waiting on a couple had a bad day and she just wasn't at the top of her game. That couple was disappointed and decided to leave a bad review on your Google Business page.  

How you respond to that review and how you handle that negative review on Google or Facebook or any other review platform that's online can affect your overall reputation, matters. There's a pretty big ripple effect to doing less than a great job. Bad reviews online can really tank your business and bad word of mouth can turn away prospective customers. 

When you get a bad review, you should do everything in your power to try to make it right, in fact, you should go out of your way to make it right. Best case scenario the disappointed customer really appreciates how you reached out and helped resolve the situation. That customer you helped turn around may become one of your biggest fans!  

Maybe the customer was unreasonable. Maybe there’s nothing you could do to solve that. How you respond to that negative review says a lot about who you are, how you handle your business, and whether prospective future customers will want to do business with you or not. It only takes one bad review or one person's bad experience with your business to negatively affect your reputation, especially online.

I encourage you to do everything you can to do a good job for your clients and your customers. If something bad happens, or if they have less than an ideal experience, do your best to try to make it right with that person. The worst case scenario is that the response that you leave to that bad review is going to be a future indicator, because your prospective future customers will read that bad review and they're going to determine, based on your response, whether they still want to give you a shot or not. 

Respond professionally, respond with care and empathy, and say how you strive to really provide a good user experience and customer experience for all your other customers. It'll go a long way.

How To Fix These Problems

How to fix these issues that I just talked about. 

  1. Always be professional. That's a big thing. Care about your customers. Do the right thing for them. 
  2. Be active on your social media. 
  3. Always do a great job for your clients, that goes a long way. 
  4. Always view your business from the eyes of your prospective clients and customers. 

You should be periodically Googling yourself, seeing what shows up, and that'll be a big indicator of what you need to work on. Maybe you don't have enough great reviews. That's something you need to start being more proactive on. 

What does your overall online presence look like? Are you happy with it? If not, be proactive and get some help to improve it.  

Those are all things that are fixable and you could work on it.

Person typing on their computer.
Kyle Battis, Co-Founder of NH Strategic Marketing.

Time To Meet With Kyle Battis

Kyle Battis has been involved in advertising and marketing since 1999. He has a background in Website Design, Direct Marketing, Online Media Buying commanding $150,000 per Month Ad budgets, Live Presentations, and he has extensive experience designing Marketing Campaigns that make money for small businesses.

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