Customer Experience News & Trends

Avoid 4 mistakes that cost you customers

Ever wonder why customers don’t come back after they were wooed by Sales and impressed by Service? You might have made one of these mistakes that cost companies customers every day. 

Many companies drive to gain customers and rush to satisfy them.

Then sometimes they do nothing – and that’s when things go wrong. Customers need constant attention.

“Customer care should be continuously adapting to provide a seamless experience,” says Holly O’Neill, Chief Client Care Executive and Leads Consumer of Small Business & Wealth Management Client Care at Bank of America.

Here are the major mistakes in retaining customers – and how to avoid them.

1. Move on too quickly

Sometimes sales and service pros chalk up the purchase or inquiry and move onto the next prospect or issue without making sure the new customer is completely satisfied. And if customers have just a little feeling of indifference, their satisfaction will drop – possibly to the point they won’t come back.

The fix: End every interaction and/or transaction with a question to gauge satisfaction. For instance, “Did we handle this to your satisfaction?” “Are you happy with how this turned out?” “Did we meet your expectations?” Listen for tone when they respond, too. If it doesn’t match the words – for instance, a terse “Fine” almost never is actually fine – dig deeper to find out what’s wrong and make it right.

2. Avoid complaints

When something doesn’t go exactly as expected, some organizations might avoid follow up because they don’t want to hear and deal with complaints. Guess what happens then? Customers complain to friends, family and colleagues – and no one does business with the organization.

The fix: It’s critical to follow up when experiences have fallen short. Sometimes just asking customers how they’re doing and acknowledging things didn’t go as well as normal is enough to make them happy.

3. Stop learning

After a new sale, and initial interactions with customers, sales and service pros sometimes figure they know everything they need to about those customers and their needs. But more often, those customers have more or evolving needs that aren’t met – so the customers move on to another company that adapts to their changes.

The fix: Never stop learning. Ask customers when you interact about changing needs. Ask if the product or service they use completely meets their needs – and if not, give them the opportunity to try something else.

4. Stop sharing

Customers don’t know everything about your products and services, yet they’re often left alone to figure it out. If customers can’t, or don’t have the time and inclination to figure it out, they’ll be done with you.

The fix: Customers continue to need your advice. To retain customers, regularly give them information – via social media, email, hands-on training, white papers, etc. – that will help them use your products and services more effectively and live or work better.

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