When Customers Leave and Nobody Asks Why

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customers leave

When Customers Leave and Nobody Asks Why

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What happens when customers leave? Does anyone notice, or only when it is far too late?

People sometimes call it growing pains. The pain an organization experiences as they’ve shifted from a very small operation to a much larger one.

It happens to restaurants. The fantastic mom and pop add on to their existing operation or buys an additional location to set up shop.

The concept is, more is better. More room, more customers, and more financial reward.

Often these measures crash and burn.

Watching the Store

It is true for many operations in many sectors, from manufacturing to banking, and from a landscaping contractor to the automobile repair shop.

When the business is small, those in charge notice everything that is happening. From the first customer to the one most recently served. If something goes wrong, responsible persons can fix it.

As the business grows, people are added, levels get deeper, and the resources are present but are likely underutilized.

There is a shift in focus.

When Customers Leave

The priorities shift. They shift from the job of satisfying the customer, to the job of satisfying the boss.

There are meetings to attend, policies to make, and metrics to measure.

Proving what is happening, or not, becomes a backroom deal. The front-line is happening, but only the front-line is aware of what is truly working and what is coming up short.

What is likely worse is that the quest for information often rewards good news over the bad. Bad news isn’t appreciated and the tough feedback is rejected. Messengers are punished and good news bearers receive more appreciation.

The metric of new customers, orders taken, and revenue gained is only part of the picture.

Become the customer and measure the experience.

Lose sight of your customers and they’ll lose sight of you.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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