How Unhappy Customers Will Make You Grow – As Long As You Do This | Ep. #560

In episode #560, Eric and Neil discuss ways that unhappy customers can actually help you grow as a business. Tune in to hear how you can turn failure into future success.

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: How Unhappy Customers Will Make You Grow – As Long As You Do This
  • [00:55] Eric’s business grew 139% in 2017, but there was an “incident” and they lost 40% of their clients.
  • [01:31] So they called an all-hands meeting and found out why they lost the clients.
  • [01:50] Eric then reached out to the clients to see what their experience had been.
  • [02:02] If you talk to your customers, it will help you figure out what needs to be fixed.
  • [02:26] Neil calls former clients to see why they left and he performs surveys every month for current clients.
  • [03:14] There is a process in place now at Eric’s company to help retain clients.
  • [04:22] You need to do whatever it takes to improve.
  • [04:36] Talking to unhappy customers helps you grow as a business.
  • [05:18] If you please the majority of the customer base, they will remain loyal.
  • [05:37] Eric personally reaches out to happy clients and he finds out what their goals are for the coming year.
  • [06:24] That’s all for today!
  • [06:26] Go to for a special giveaway!

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The post How Unhappy Customers Will Make You Grow – As Long As You Do This | Ep. #560 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Speaker 1: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: And today we are going to talk about how unhappy customers will make you grow, as long as you do this.

Neil Patel: Here's the thing, when your business is growing you're like, "Yeah, everything's good. We don't need to change anything," and life is awesome. And Eric had this. During and end of 2017 or mid 2017, actually if you just look at 2017 as a whole year, Eric, your business grew by what percentage?

Eric Siu: 139%.

Neil Patel: 139%. But towards the end of 2017 you had a incident. You guys lost a lot of clients.

Eric Siu: Yep, we lost a lot of clients.

Neil Patel: And what percentage of your clients did you lose?

Eric Siu: We lost ...

Neil Patel: Revenue wise?

Eric Siu: I would say 40%.

Neil Patel: All right. And you were probably ticked off.

Eric Siu: To say the least.

Neil Patel: Okay. I would've fired people. Eric is much kinder. He believes you train them, they learn from the mistakes and then they improve. Taking that old IBM philosophy, someone makes $100 million mistake, why would you fire them? They just did $100 million in training. What did you do once you lost those clients?

Eric Siu: We got everyone together and we said, "We need to solve this problem right now. Why do we think that we lost these clients?" So it was a triage thing.

Neil Patel: Okay, and then you found out why you lost them based off of internal checks. But you also did one other thing, you reached out to the clients and you started talking to each client. Why'd you do that?

Eric Siu: To see what they were really feeling and to get the, not the qualitative, ... It is qualitative.

Neil Patel: Yeah, it's qualitative.

Eric Siu: Yeah, to get the qualitative data. Yep.

Neil Patel: Yeah, so what he did is you look at Google Analytics, it shows you numbers. If you talk to your customers, especially the ones that you lost, and you get feedback from them, that'll help you determine on what you need to fix in the future. Funny enough, I make my sales guys do this as well. When they lose a deal and they do the pitch, they need to talk with the customer or I'll get on the phone if they can't get ahold of that "potential customer" that we lost and find out why did we lose the deal. What was wrong? What did they not like? Even if someone's a customer and they don't renew or they cancel, we call them. "Why'd you cancel? Why are you unhappy?" We also started doing surveys each and every single month ... We jacked this from conversion rate experts, it was part of their process ... in which we end up asking them, "Are you happy with the service? Are you dissatisfied? What could we be doing better? What do you like?" This helps us fine tune our business to figure out how we can delight everyone.
And Eric was doing the same thing. He lost quite a bit of revenue, 40% roughly. He started talking to the companies, got their feedback, and he started talking to his team. Now what I'm curious about, and I've never actually asked him this, what was your process or what did you end up doing? You started talking with your customers, you found out why they weren't happy. How'd you deal with your team so that way they can improve and future clients would be happy and you wouldn't make the same mistake over again?

Eric Siu: Yep, so we have a process now. Originally I was ... And I'm not the kind of person to micromanage but there comes a time where it just makes sense to get everyone together and then basically figure out, "Okay, what are the issues and then what do they not like?" And then, now what we do is we basically are able to, when we sign a client we have these innovation meetings, strategy meetings, we have these QA processes that we didn't have before. People like to say it's often a people problem but I always say it's a process problem, right? So even hiring the wrong people, that's tied to the wrong process, that ties up to you as the leader of the company or as a marketing, right? So having the right processes. I knew we had some broken ones and I said, "Hey guys, we can solve this. We just need to have the right processes. Now we have the right ones in place, we're meeting on it, we're using the collective brainpower and things aren't just being worked on in silos." And that was the problem that we discovered.

Neil Patel: Yeah, and if you don't really focus on improving, then people are going to run into the same problem over and over again. You're going to create a bad experience. People are going to release shitty reviews about your product, your service. You need to do whatever it takes to improve. Everyone's like, "Oh, we got amazing clients. They're all happy. Amazing customers, they love our product. They're all happy." But talking to the happy customers gives you some insights on how you can be better, but what really helps you grow as a business is talking to all your unhappy customers. If you can talk to each and every single one and figure out what you did wrong and improve it, because you'll never be able to delight every single customer. But if you can increase the percentage where at one point if Eric lost 40% of his revenue, let's say hypothetically each client was paying the same, 40% of his customers aren't happy.
And if he can continually improve that number and then he gets it to, oh okay, instead of 60% being happy, right? Because you're taking the 40% that's not happy, that leaves 60%. You can increase that number to 70%, then 80%, then 90%. Sure, he may not be at 100% and that's okay because you'll never please everyone. But if you start pleasing the majority of your customer base, you're going to grow much faster. And your customers that are happy, what do they do at the end of their contract Eric?

Eric Siu: They renew and they also end up spending more money.

Neil Patel: That's right. There's more up-sells, down-sells. Actually, out of curiosity, when someone's really happy how do you up-sell your customers?

Eric Siu: Yeah, so we reach out to them or actually it's me personally reaching out asking how things are going and then asking what their goals are for the next quarter or the next year. And they start to talk about things. It's like, "Oh, we could really use help with this video," da, da, da, da, da. And the thing is, a lot of these services, let's say I can't potentially help with, I at least know people that I can make introductions where I'm continually adding value at least once a quarter or every couple couple weeks. I'm just constantly checking in with them to see how I can help. And eventually that will lead back to a up-sell or a cross-sell at my company.

Neil Patel: So now you have it, that's what we do with our customers who aren't happy. We learn from it, we try to improve the business so that way the future customers don't have the same issues and they keep renewing or spending more, saying good things, leaving positive reviews and creating that "word-of-mouth marketing," right? That's pretty much it. If you want the daily giveaway, make sure you go to

Speaker 1: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow right here on Marketing School.

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