Customer Experience News & Trends

4 sins that turn customers off instantly

A lot of customers chose to suffer in silence. The problem is, that silence doesn’t help you improve the customer experience or give you an opportunity to make things right. That’s why you must seek out trouble spots before they start costing you customers.

These four deadly sins are some of the biggest drains on customer satisfaction, says Lisa Ford, customer service expert and author of Exceptional Customer Service: Exceed Customer Expectations to Build Loyalty and Boost Profits.

1. Difficulties at early touchpoints

If customers run into glitches or long delays when trying to get a hold of you, they’ll think twice about doing business with you — immediately or down the road. They pay close attention to the first call, visit, email, online chat or order process.

So check those touchpoints at least monthly, and take a walk through your processes as if you were a customer to uncover glitches.

2. Stringent rules

Most rules are written for 3% of customers who either want too much, push the limits of safety or are unsavory, says Ford. Then the rules meant for them alienate other customers who are just trying to easily do business with you.

Unless there’s a safety or confidentiality issue, don’t bother advertising any rules. Instead, put customer service guidelines in place and give employees the flexibility to bend when necessary.

3. Broken promises

If someone fails to follow up, misses a deadline or allows an error to happen, customers will be disappointed.

Two ways to ensure customers get what’s promised:

  • Place reminders to follow up with customers on an office calendar or in a digital app — like Outlook, and
  • Regularly check company literature online and off to make sure your company isn’t making any promises that can’t be kept.

4. Bad attitudes

If anyone is abrasive, short-tempered or curt with customers, they’re chasing money out the door. Customer won’t bother returning with the hope that someone else will be nice to them.

Because nearly everyone in any organization will have contact with customers at one time or another, it’s best to give them all some service training.

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