STAGGERING 76% of Customers Are Lost From Bad Account Management

Have you ever been taken for granted? Can you describe the emotion? Does it make you feel unimportant, resentful, angry, and indifferent?

The reality is, and the data tells us, that close to 76% of customers are lost because of neglect and poor account management. Not prices, not products, not the economy, not aggressive competitors. Neglect! They feel taken for granted and unimportant.

Often when we lose a customer we fail to face the real reason. In most cases, we assume and ask only about the rational reasons for defecting and unfortunately, even if you ask your customer directly why they left, they’ll likely respond with a litany of “logical” reasons because it is difficult (and painful) to articulate the emotion of neglect.

It is easy for organizations to accept the excuses of their account managers, customer service reps, and salespeople for the reason the client moved to a competitor. They’ll tell you it was price, product, service, or an unscrupulous competitor – but you’ll never hear, “I just didn’t pay enough attention to the customer and make them feel important, so they moved on to someone else who showed them much more care and attention.” This leaves executives chasing expensive external fixes instead of focusing on improving the customer’s emotional experience which almost always delivers a higher return on investment.

Bad account management slowly damages your customer relationships and leaves room for an attack of relentless competitors

The reality of the hyper-competitive marketplace is that if you do not take care of your customers, someone else will. When you fail to proactively manage your customer relationships, those competitors slip through the silence and encourage buyers to consider other options. Aggressive competitors do not miss an opportunity to topple embedded, long-term relationships. The battle never ends, and vigilance is the key to protecting your turf. Keep your fingers on the pulse of your customers. Take nothing for granted because every customer and every relationship is always at risk. Reinforce the value of your product or service, respond swiftly to any real or perceived service issue no matter how small. And you must get proactive in meeting with your customers to learn about their business issues, uncover problems, and proactively suggest ways to solve those problems.

You Must Radically Change Your Approach to Account Management and Customer Success

The key to protecting your turf is a structured approach and a system that proactively engages customers. Some organizations set up monthly or quarterly account reviews that focus on account updates and problem solving. Others set aside time each day to proactively reach out to customers. This daily focus is powerful because the cumulative impact of touching a few customers each pays off over the long-term. Those calls and e-mails keep you connected to your clients and let them know you care. You must Nurture Your Accounts.

Start with ranking and segmenting your customers based on revenue and profit contribution. Once you know where your customers rank by revenue and profit contribution, take a closer look at how often and in what ways you are connecting with them.

  • How often are you contacting them through phone, e-mail, regular mail, or face-to-face interactions?
  • How are you using social media to remain in their bubble of familiarity?
  • What are the objectives of those interactions?
  • Are some customers getting lots of attention while others are getting none? Why?
  • Where do these customers rank on your list?
  • Are you listening to them, anticipating their needs and solving their issues?

Based on your analysis, develop a more streamlined approach to contacting and building relationships with your customers. Decide on the frequency, objective, and methods for staying connected. Staying connected will put your finger squarely on the pulse of your highest value customers while they are still customers and ensures that your business stays top of mind. When a customer is in need of your service you should be the first one they think to call and they should have the utmost confidence that they will be served well and taken care of all the way through. Duane Lue-Fung is an award-winning entrepreneur and is the Founder & Chairman of the Caribbean’s #1 Sales Development Company, Think Grow Lead. For more insights on sales & customer experience training, sales recruiting and sales outsourcing please visit TGL’s website. or email me your comments at



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