Top 3 Ways to Kill Customer Loyalty


Long term customer retention is definitely simpler in some industries than others. Many products and services strategically involve customer exit barriers, such as contractual agreements, high initial costs, fine print, and other ways of locking in the client. In other sectors, (the app marketplace for example, which is often described as competitive and even saturated) this is not quite the case, and some extra work is required to maintain content customers.
Even if your product is unique and of high quality, there will always be a multitude of competitors out there who have superior performance in at least one aspect and are ready to do all they can to capitalize on this and swoop in on your hard-earned customers. When there is no significant obligation or penalty preventing your clients from leaving, what’s stopping them from switching at any given moment?

This is where the significance of investing in creating customer loyalty is apparent—neglecting this piece of your strategy can cause a great loss that will be a real struggle to recover from. Here are a few of the most common and detrimental mindsets that are huge drivers in destroying customer loyalty. 

Attitude #1: Concentrating on customer acquisition—retention is a given

Spending all of your time and funds getting customers on board initially, and once they’ve committed, forgetting about them and moving on to new prospects. There’s no point in wasting your time worrying about keeping them around—if they chose your product it means they believe it’s the best and they are a customer for life.

Don’t forget that obtaining a new client does not necessarily mean that they are yours forever! Sometimes you have to work just as hard to maintain them as you did to gain them in the first place. Think about all of the advertising, promoting, etc. that you do to initially get them on board, and try to apply that same level of care and attention throughout the entirety of your relationship. If you’re not consistent in the way you treat them from start to finish, someone else will certainly be willing to offer them a tempting conversion incentive. 

For apps this means consistently offering fresh content and updated features, sending push notifications that keep the user excited, including contests and other opportunities to promote engagement and show your interest and appreciation for the user. Just because a user downloads your app does not mean that the work is done; having a concrete strategy for retaining them is vital, as deleting the app and switching to a new provider is painless and they won’t think twice.

Attitude #2: Promising your customer anything and everything they could ever want

The best way to deal with a nagging customer is to agree to whatever they ask—their request is your command! Even if you know their demand is far out of reach, yes is always the answer—anyways, they will probably forget about their request eventually. 

As tempting as it may be to take this easy way out, empty promises will really come back to haunt you in the long run. If you enter into an agreement that you know you cannot fulfill just for temporary appeasement, you’re setting yourself up for an angry, betrayed customer who will most certainly discredit you completely.  It’s better to be honest with the customer up front about what you can and cannot do for them rather than deal with an ugly fiasco later on. 

Attitude #3: Considering bad reviews a loss beyond repair

Customers have easy access to all tools required to share their opinions and experiences with companies: social media, review sites such as Yelp, forums, opportunities to make ratings/reviews in the two app stores, etc. When a customer has a negative experience and decides to release their anger via blasting the business on all forms of the internet, you can consider your relationship with them over, and kiss potential future clients who have been exposed to this goodbye as well. Trying to repair this damage is a lost cause—accept defeat and move on.

Unsatisfied customers and bad reviews are inevitable, so an effective method for dealing with this unfortunate situation is vital (and it doesn't have to be the end of the world!). More times than not, a livid customer will be ready to take revenge, so be prepared to respond appropriately to their reviews instead of dismissing them as irrational. Step into the customer’s mindset and try to get a genuine understanding of what went wrong from their point of view, and based on this offer them the appropriate explanation and/or compensation. It’s your only chance at regaining their trust—if they, as well as everyone reading this public confrontation, see a decent reaction even in the worst of crises, there’s a good chance of you gaining respect, and even building loyalty. 

The more loyal you are to your customers the more loyal they will be to you

If you are identify with one or more of these scenarios, you are the one guilty of being disloyal, and you will probably suffer some unpleasant consequences—consider adjusting your approach to create a more allegiant and overall satisfied customer base. It’s important in every industry, but as I mentioned before it’s even more vital in the app marketplace, as users often have a lower level of commitment and obligation to the product.