businesswoman covering her face with angry mask isolated grey wall background. Negative emotions, feelings, expressions, body language.jpegResearch shows that customers are four times more likely to switch to one of your competitors if they have a service-related problem. Furthermore, many of them won’t even tell you about the problem. Instead, they’ll wait for you to approach them about it. If you don’t, they’ll silently go away. That is why it’s critical for you to recognize when your customers are dissatisfied. There are five signs that you have an unhappy customer who may be ready to jump to one of your competitors, and here they are: 


1. Voices frequent complaints

Customers complain frequently when you’re not properly addressing their problems, or when they have a recurring problem. The good thing about complaints is how they show that your customer is willing to continue to do business with you. They’re giving you a chance to make things right, so take advantage of the opportunity. Unresolved complaints weaken relationships and push your customers toward your competitors.


2. Refuses to respond to calls or emails

Customers who frequently complain might seem like an issue, but the unhappy customers who don’t complain at all are much worse. At the very least, you’ll have a chance to make things right with a customer who complains about his or her problems.  Studies show that for every unhappy customer who complains, there are 26 customers that remain silent. If a customer does not answer your calls or emails, it is a sure sign that a customer is dissatisfied with you. If you find yourself in this situation, attempt to visit them in person and uncover the source of their dissatisfaction. However, be sure to do it quickly, because these customers are most likely looking into the service of your competitors.


3. Neglects discounts and special offers

Customers will generally open your emails, especially when you offer special discounts in the subject line. If they stop opening your promotional emails, you may have a problem. This could mean that your customer no longer values your service, even at a discounted rate. This usually happens as a result of a poor product or bad customer service experience. These customers are tough to retain, because it can take up to 12 positive customer experiences to overcome one negative experience.


4. Compares you against competitors

Through the Internet, your customers are aware of how your products and services stack up against those of your competitors. As a result, you have to constantly deliver what you promise. Loyal customers demand the best from you, but they never give you hints that they’re leaving. On the other hand, customers who frequently mention how your services compare to what other companies have to offer may be ready to leave you. It is important to take this warning sign seriously and find out how you can better meet expectations.


5. Lacks trust

When your customer feels you’ve continually under-delivered or failed to meet your commitments, they lose trust in you. This is usually the final stage of dissatisfaction in which the client looks to your competitors for another solution. In this case, your only hope of winning them back is offering them something of immediate value. If this tactic delays them from switching to a competitor, then it is important that you learn how you’re falling short and take the necessary steps to meet your customer’s expectations.

While it’s inevitable that you’ll lose some customers and gain others, your goal is to retain as many customers as possible. In order to do that, you must recognize the signs that your customer is unhappy, determine the cause, and take the necessary steps to fix the problem.



Jeff Ruby

Jeff Ruby

Founder of RedRock Leadership

During the course of his professional career, he has worked in organizations ranging in size from a sole practitioner to Fortune 500. Included in his experience are roles in starting and selling companies, sales and sales management, training and development and executive coaching.

RedRock Leadership is a sales training and leadership development company committed to growing companies by growing individuals through on-going training infused with the competencies of emotional intelligence.