Losing A Customer From An Unforced Error

Imagine losing a customer. Now imagine they say, “I love what you do, but I’ll never buy from you again.” Yikes, right?

Last week, I had just finished a keynote to a room full of business leaders and was chatting with a few of them. One pointed to another and asked about his shirt.

“Hey Chris, is that an Untuckit shirt?” the first guy asked.

And that’s when Chris delivered that fateful line, “Yes, and I love their shirts. But I’ll never buy an Untuckit shirt again.”

Here’s Chris’ story:

Chris needed shirts for a business trip. He contacted the Untuckit customer team to make sure the shirts would be delivered before he left. After they confirmed the shirts would be delivered on time, he bought. The clear YES from customer support convinced him to make the purchase.

Then, the shirts didn’t arrive.

He got back in touch from his destination, still hoping to get the shirts. They hadn’t been shipped. He explained the story and asked if the package could be rerouted. Chris was sure they would send them to his hotel. 

Nope. No such offer. They simply told him the package would be leaving their company for his home and would be delivered soon.

“Soon” wasn’t the right answer. Getting those shirts delivered to his home wasn’t, either.

Yes, he had bought their shirts before.
Yes, he liked them. A lot.
But Chris walked away as a customer.

The worse and worst part…

The worse part for Untuckit isn’t Chris’ story. It’s that Chris goes out of his way to tell people his story. He is happy for me to share his tale of woe.

“The real disappointing thing is that I would love to order more of those shirts. But I won’t buy more. They lost me.”

Actually, here’s the worst part. The folks from Untuckit may not even realize they’re losing a customer. They may not know they antagonized a customer to the point that he is making a point of sharing anti-referrals.

You may be thinking, “Hey now…companies can’t drop everything to serve every customer’s wishes.” And that’s true enough. Companies need to have appropriate boundaries. Delivering customer excellence doesn’t mean bending to the whim of every customer. 

In this case, Chris purchased based on their promise of timely delivery. When he didn’t get the delivery and the company didn’t make any effort to fulfill their promise, he didn’t feel valued. And he walked.

You boost loyalty when customers feel connected to your company.

The feeling piece is key. The feeling is emotional – and people buy on emotion. Not logic.

In fact, a whopping 70-95% of a customer’s buying decision is based on how they feel they’re being treated by a company.

Connection develops when customers feel, seen, heard, and valued.

You have an opportunity to inspire customers to feel seen, heard, and valued – and it doesn’t happen by accident.  

How is your company inspiring customers to feel seen, heard, and valued?

Tapping into that feeling state is just one of the factors that unlocks customer loyalty. There are five factors in total.

I go through all of the Five Factors That Unlock Loyalty in my new book, Keep Your Customers.

Check out the Five Factors for yourself. Just go to your favorite online book store and download the free excerpt.