How to Lose A Customer in 10 Ways


Question: What’s the fastest way to lose a customer?

Answer: Stay steadfastly uninterested in their Customer Experience.

I’ve been paying attention to the customer experience for 25+ years, so I’ve learned some strategies and some no-no’s to keep customers happy, to help them finish what they start and to keep them coming back.

Want to know what they are?

Last week we covered 3 strategies that assist your customers to finish what they start. It’s no good having wonderful products and services that nobody finishes.

It’s also not profitable.

A sustainable business model is not trying to catch every prospect that comes your way. It’s much more effective and sustainable to focus on the quality of the customer experience so that, even a minority of, your customers stick around for the long haul.

And understanding how to get customers to finish what they start is precisely the study of Product Consumption Theory.

This week we’re covering all the things entrepreneurs do to lose customers. Avoid these mistakes or clean them up if you’re making them.

Disclaimer: These mistakes are focused on entrepreneurs who are coaches and trainers, like myself, but they apply to almost every entrepreneur out there.

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Why Does the Customer Experience Matter?

Every single one of these mistakes have to do with overlooking your customer experience. So correcting them may take a bit of overhaul of your sales process.

Once you’ve smoothed out your customer experience you’re going to have a paradigm shift. You will start to view your business from the point of view of your customer.

Seeing things from this perspective will give you an edge in your business because, frankly, this perspective is overlooked and disregarded by a lot of entrepreneurs and startups.

A typical way that businesses operate these days is to get the service up and running as fast as possible to impress their investors and “work out the kinks” as customers bring up problems.

What a dumb mistake.

There will always be things you can improve as you go but to assume your customers are the ones to correct their own experience is arrogant and reckless. Not only can you lose a lot of customers like this but it can also be dangerous.

A case in point is the small and burgeoning scooter industry. Just 6 days ago, at the time of this writing, Reuters reported on a JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) study showing that injuries, especially head injuries, are on the rise in U.S. cities.

The study showed that injuries went from 6 per 100,000 to 19 in 100,000 in 4 years. This doesn’t seem like a big jump unless you’re one of those customers with a head injury and possible life-long symptoms.

Do you think the person with a head injury is going to get back on a scooter?

How sustainable is that business model over the long haul if the owners of these businesses don’t give a sh*t about their customers’ experiences? What kind of reputations are they building? And how long will they stay in business?

And how easy would it have been to observe and study their customer experience before using the public at large as their guinea pigs?

You may be thinking I’m comparing apples to oranges talking about scooters in a post directed at coaches and trainers. Ok. What if you’re a coach giving inappropriate or un-relatable advice to your new clients because you haven’t done your market research?

Wake up.

If you’re in business, any business, you need to understand your customers’ wants, needs and safe guards for a successful experience. If you think doing this research is too expensive or a waste of your time, please go get a job.

I’m being harsh for a reason. I’ve staked my reputation on my clients’ experiences. I believe in and preach ethical marketing practices. If you’re not interested in living up to those standards kindly move along.

In this day and age of the cowboy-preneur and “throw-it-against-the-wall startup,” the ones who stand out will be the ones who take their customer experience seriously. So stick with me and learn how to not lose a customer.

10 Ways to Lose A Customer

First Impressions

These first 5 mistakes have to do with the POC or Point of Consumption of your customer; the first contact your customer makes with you, your product, your social media and your business.

1) “Subscribe” Issues

Nowadays people are experiencing your product or service through the “internet of things.” This is a term that relates to smart home products like smart thermostats, smart speakers, smart TVs, etc.

Thinking about how your clients may find you is invaluable.

If someone finds you on their TV how do they subscribe? Sometimes it’s not so easy to hit ‘subscribe.’

One solution is to set up mobile subscribe and have a “subscribe” pin to text to your number on your social media. This solution works across the board for your social media because people just use their phones to connect.

It’s a great way to avoid issues with “smart things” and have a simple way people can always subscribe to your social media.

This is a very subtle, simple troubleshooting issue but it speaks to peoples’ first impression of you. Ease-of-use is a big topic for first-time users so take it into consideration.

2) Not-Great Expectations

A part of your on-boarding process should be dedicated to managing your potential client’s expectations. Hype is great but don’t promise stuff you’re not going to deliver. Truth in marketing is almost dead in the marketplace, but that doesn’t mean you can’t retain your integrity.

Be colorful but be truthful. My mantra is: Under-Sell, Over-Deliver. And it still works. I love doing this because people are genuinely happy with the results when their expectations have been properly managed.

3) Not Setting Your New Clients Up for Success

Take the time to tell your clients exactly how to experience your product or service. You will be amazed at how effective this strategy is.

Layout to your new clients what each step of the process is, how to consume each step and…how to feel about each step.

Most ethical businesses see the value in explaining how to use their products and services. Most neglect to tell their customers how to feel. Sounds weird.

You will get a much better response with, “I want you to feel happy and confident using our widget. At the end of your experience you will feel lighter, freer and more comfortable in your own skin.”

Study the cosmetics industry to see how successful it is to tell your customers how to feel about their products. Your mind will be blown.

4) Un-engaged ‘Thank You’ Pages

The Thank You page of your Sales Funnel is just as, if not more, important than the Landing Page.


Because this page is the beginning of the customer experience. They’re not a customer until they’ve bought something from you. The first place they end up as a customer after their purchase is the Thank You page.

So how’s your Thank You page?

There is so much you can do with this page. You will, of course, say ‘thank you’ and you can set them up for success on this page as well, by adding the following:

  • Providing info on how to receive their new product or service (duh)
  • Manage their expectations
  • Tell them what they’re going to experience
  • Tell them how to feel about it
  • Provide FAQs
  • Provide your Support or Help info
  • How to get in touch and stay connected

All of these elements are vitally important to a successful Thank You page and a wonderful first impression of you, your product and your company.

Don’t leave them out. Take the time to develop a wonderful Thank You page and wonderful first impression. Plus, this is the perfect place to set them up for success.

5) Not Having A Help Desk

Everyone has a help desk. No brainer. I’ve formalized my online support and made it exclusionary – only for paid members.

Now for one-time customers there are numerous ways to get a hold of my staff and get technical help for my products.

However, for ongoing technical and theoretical support I’ve formalized the process. I got this idea from the highly successful podcaster, John Lee Dumas.

I have a lot of courses and higher education for my members. So a few years ago I created a private group for members only. It’s manned by one of my team members so someone is always on standby to answer questions.

Also, members help each other. It’s such an ingenious system and it’s a wonderful way for potential one-time buyers to become indoctrinated into our community and stick around. My help forum assists in turning one-time buyers into ongoing, lifelong clients.

My client-member support has four fundamental features:

  • it’s for paid members only
  • it’s private – dedicated to our members only
  • members help each other
  • someone from my staff is always monitoring it to assist – 24/7

It’s really a beautiful system and has been working really well for the past 6 years. I’m really proud of it.

Think about integrating something like this for your paid, on-going clients only. Highlight it as a feature on your products sales pages. It will assist in creating a tighter, closer community for your members.

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Content and Consumption

These next 3 mistakes regard your online content and your ongoing relationship with your target market through your content.

6) No Editorial Consistency

Content is invaluable for keeping up with your clients, prospective clients and followers. I’m not necessarily talking about staying consistent across platforms. That’s kind of a no-brainer by now.

What I mean by ‘consistency’ is your ability to speak with authority on a subject for more than one post or tweet or video.

That takes skillz.

One thing that will skyrocket your success is presenting yourself as an expert in your field. And the way you do this is to tackle a subject from many different angles.

Use your social media to delve into a particular topic within your subject or industry and take a week, a month, 3 months to dissect it.

By doing this you will position yourself as an expert on the topic and you will become an expert if you’re not already.

My rule of thumb for learning a new subject is, I consume 5 books, 2 audio products and 1 event.

What does this mean?

Say I’m interested in getting more knowledge on a part of my industry I may not know very much about; for instance, online shopping carts or funnel software.

I would delve into one of these topics by reading 5 books, listening to 2 podcasts or audio books and attending 1 event about the topic. I wouldn’t do one of these, I’d do all of them.

Then, I’d take a month of my editorial calendar, like I do here for my blog, and write about it for my followers and clients.

When your clients, prospects and followers view you as an expert you are relocated to a specific place in their brains. When that subject comes up you will be one of the, if not the, expert they turn to for answers.

This has everything to do with the customer experience. You are allowing yourself to be experienced as the go-to product for their questions and needs.

By taking this seriously you elevate your position in their eyes and keep yourself relevant and invaluable.

7) More is Better?

No. My rule of thumb is: Create Less, Repurpose More. Re-visit subjects over and over so you saturate your market as the expert in your field.

Have the courage to pare down your editorial calendar and create less content. Repurpose, reuse and recycle what you have.

Don’t write a book every couple of years. Write a book once every 5 years and repurpose the book’s content so that your clients, prospects and followers become experts too.

Allowing your clients and followers to become experts right along with you is reciprocity done first. As Robert Cialdini states, “be the first to give and to ensure that what you give is personalized and unexpected.”

Taper the knowledge you give to your audience and give abundantly.

8) Losing Sight of Your Bullseye – Your Ideal Customer

As you give abundantly don’t lose sight of who all this giving is for.

Through the process of ‘expertizing’ your audience make sure it’s the right audience. Make sure that the stuff you are becoming an expert in is what your customers and prospects are going to be interested in as well.

You don’t want to be in a situation where your ideal customer is someone who is tech-averse and feels more comfortable outsourcing that stuff. Then you happen along with a month’s worth of posts about online shopping carts and how to set them up successfully.

That’s probably one of the fastest ways to lose a customer, especially a new one. Make sure that the content you are deep-diving into is exactly what your ideal customer wants to learn about.

So stay connected with her, your ideal customer. Change with her, keep learning about her. Keep getting to know her. Like any relationship, it’s a never-ending story.

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Continuing the Conversation

These last 2 mistakes regard not using unique resources at your disposal to enhance the customer experience.

9) Not Aligning with Thought Leaders

One of the greatest ways to cultivate existing and new relationships with your clients and prospects is to align yourself with thought leaders in your field.

When you do you can reach more people who are interested in your similar message.

Some of the ways you can do this is to ask to interview them on their favorite subject or area of expertise, ask them to do a guest blog post, or to simply re-post their content for your followers.

You could also use a quote from a thought leader that represents your values, interests or morals. You can add the quote to your ‘Thank You’ page or somewhere attached to your product or service.

Aligning yourself with your favorite thought leaders will enhance relationships you have with your followers and attract new customers and prospects.

This kind of alignment is like a shortcut to your target market. And not doing this slows the growth and visibility of your business, so why not give it a try?

10) Not Optimizing Your JV Partnership Launches

Say you’re lucky enough to be at a place in your business where you’re doing JV launches with your peers. During the launch I consider it a best practice to align your content with what your partner is launching if it’s their launch.

The other way to optimize your partnership is to introduce your current and new clients to your partner through posting and repurposing their content alongside your own.

Take the launch seriously and make sure all your clients, prospects and followers know about your joint venture. And make sure your content aligns with your joint venture to keep the conversation going and raise visibility for it.

This will enhance the customer experience and raise your reputation as a great JV partner.

It means you’re thinking beyond the sale. What happens to these people after the launch closes? These new prospects, clients, and followers are appreciating assets.

Each person is an appreciating asset. Ask yourself, “what is the Lifetime Value of this new client of mine?”

That’s a big question. Not asking it is a big mistake.

And not taking care of your appreciating assets is the biggest mistake.

The Wrap Up

If you want to keep getting what you’ve always gotten don’t fix any of these mistakes.

If you want to take the Lifetime Value of each of your customers seriously, if you want to enhance the Customer Experience for your on-going clients fix these mistakes. Loyalty will flourish.

When you change your perspective and start looking at your business from the point of view of your customers and clients a magical thing happens.

You begin to see your products and services in a whole new light. Innovation takes hold and you get inspired to improve the customer experience in a myriad little ways.

These are only a few of the ways you can improve your customer experience and turn one-time buyers into lifelong clients.

I’ve got another little tool for you, if you’re interested. Click here to get a free 5-minute editorial calendar template that will help you plan and create clickable content.

When you put some planning time into your content you will see the results on the back-end…more shares, likes and sales.

“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular planning.”

—Robert H. Schuller

Get the calendar to assist you with easy, unspectacular planning 😉

Are you already studying product consumption and your customer experience?

What are your strategies? I’d love to hear about them.

Join the Conversation>>

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