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Your Customers Are (Probably) Lying to You

Have you ever been blindsided by a seemingly happy customer who suddenly decided to switch to a competing vendor?

If you’ve been in B2B sales for very long, chances are good that you’ve had this extremely frustrating experience at least once. In fact, experts say that 40-50% of your customers are probably considering defecting right now.

In an attempt to stave off some of these defections, a lot of companies use customer satisfaction surveys to help them find customers who might be unhappy. Sometimes these surveys work as intended, but more often than not, they really aren’t all that helpful for one simple reason: Customers lie on satisfaction surveys.

Research shows that customer will often return favorable surveys right before they switch to another vendor. In some cases, they may be trying to hide their dissatisfactions so as not to sour the relationship and lose their current concessions. In other cases, they may not be lying intentionally. They may actually be happy with your products and services, but another vendor may be enticing them to switch.

So if you can’t believe what they tell you, how can you tell when your customers are considering changing vendors?

Instead of listening to what your customers say, look at what they are doing. Most buyers have “tells” that signal when they aren’t telling the truth and may be considering jumping ship. If you can identify these behaviors, you’ll be able to spot potential defectors and intervene before it’s too late.

Our SellingBrew Research Report on “How to Prevent Customer Defection” offers some invaluable tips for customer retention. It covers:

  • The most common ways B2B companies attempt to improve retention.
  • Three reasons why “satisfied” customers defect to the competition.
  • Behavior patterns that often signify a customer is about to defect.
  • Advice for setting up a defection early-warning system.

Customers might lie, but numbers don’t. If you track and analyze your customer buying patterns, you just might find the advance warning you need to identify which customers are at risk of defection and intervene before it’s too late.

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