Getting customers for most businesses is not an easy task. As I often talk about in my blog, books, and at live speaking engagements, the prospective customer of today has a lot of competition for not just their time and attention, but options for their business and patronage.

It pains me greatly to see businesses of all shapes and sizes do such incredibly foolish things to drive customers away. It happens for several reasons, but I believe it often happens due to a combination of apathy and poorly trained employees. This is a toxic brew that sabotages not only customers from coming back again, but it also damages the most treasured form of marketing which is positive word-of-mouth.

Here’s a quick list of ten reasons why losing customers is so costly:

#10: A former customer is often tough to win back
#9: A former customer is lost future business and profits
#8: A former customer means lost referrals from people in their circles of influence
#7: A former customer can now share their dissatisfaction via social media and tell hundreds of others in a matter of seconds
#6: A former customer can bring down the morale of staff and vendors
#5: A former customer can distract attention and energy from other opportunities and expansion
#4: A former customer can severely damage years of built of goodwill and reputation
#3: A former customer takes not only their business somewhere else, but they often plant seeds of doubt in the mind of those who stay
#2: A former customer often provides marketing momentum to eager competitors
#1: A former customer not only reduces revenue, but it also can stall or halt expansion plans

So, let this serve as a cautionary tale and reminder to each of us that losing customers is not only something to avoid, but that it is even more costly than we might have originally imagined.

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