Customer Experience News & Trends

4 mistakes customers don’t forgive – and how to avoid them

Customers can forgive most little mistakes on your end. But there are a few things that they can’t forget and forgive.

For many customers, these customer service failures are deal breakers, according to finance website Wise Bread expert Julie Rains. The good news: You can avoid them.

The worst offenses include:

  • Careless answers. Most customers do a lot of research online before they even contact you. So the questions they ask when they finally call or email are the most important to them. If an agent doesn’t know the answer, or acts indifferent when answering, customers won’t try to find out more. They’ll go elsewhere.
  • Justifying mistakes. Giving excuses for mistakes only makes the errors worse. Customers will do business with companies that own up to their mistakes and prove that they won’t commit the error again.
  • Failing to meet needs. Customers usually know what they want but can’t always identify exactly what they need. They expect product and service providers to help them find the right fit. If agents fail to ask the right questions, suit the right needs and make customers happy, customers will leave after one failed attempt.
  • Committing two mistakes in short order. Customers can almost always handle one mistake in a transaction. Beyond that, customers believe the company and/or agent is incompetent and wouldn’t be able to do anything right.

So how do you avoid the unforgivable mistakes that crush customer loyalty? Try these tactics.

  • Listen before speaking. Make sure you understand customers’ needs before offering a solution. Clarify what they’ve said by asking, “I believe this is what you need today … Is that right?”
  • Offer expertise. Offer referrals and your first-hand knowledge to help customers make choices, rather than rush them into any one product, service or solution. Rely on satisfied customers, in-house experts and your intense training to guide customers to what best fits their needs.
  • Be honest. Tell customers when you think something won’t work for them. They’d rather not learn from mistakes.

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