Customer Service: 7 Ways to Lose Business
August 8th, 2017
Top Notch Service is a Must
“Growing up in retail, I have known from the very beginning that the customer is far smarter than the retailer is. When retailers fail, it’s because . . they believe they know what the customer really wants.”
—Robert Tillman, former chairman and CEO Emeritus of Lowe’s Companies
Everyone has experienced bad customer service. The rude store clerk, the curt receptionist, the apathetic customer service representative. You could probably offer advice to these people on how to shape up their attitudes.
The situation takes on new meaning when it’s your clients or customers that are being snubbed. And remember, every time a client doesn’t come back — and tells others about a bad experience — it could mean thousands of dollars that won’t end up in your bank account.
Here are seven no-no’s that encompass the most common reasons for lost business:
1. Rudeness. Your customer, in a very real sense, is the highest-ranking person you deal with.
2. Broken pledges. If you make a promise, follow through on it. Build a level of trust with your customers by living up to your word.
3. Arguments. The customer is always right…even if you know they’re wrong. It’s generally better to take the high road and come out smelling like a rose.
4. Indifference. The old “fake it til you make it” adage applies here. If you’re having a bad day or couldn’t give a hoot about your customer’s problems, pretend like you do. By the end of the day, you may find you actually do care.
5. Impatience. If customers ask for help, go out of your way to make sure they’re taken care of. Their requests should never be seen as an interruption. They are the very reason you’re working at all.
6. Misinformation. One way to turn good customers into ex-customers is by giving the impression that you know the answer when you don’t. If you don’t know, tell them you’ll find out.
7. Gloom and Doom. Nothing turns people off faster than a grumpy, negative attitude. On the other hand, friendliness encourages customers to come back for more and send their friends to you too. Telephone etiquette is especially important. The person answering the phone is usually the customer’s first contact with your company.
How callers are treated can determine how much business — if any — they will do with you. Here are some telephone Do’s and Don’ts.
While these no-no’s and phone tips may seem obvious to most of us, we’ve all come across people who seem to have skipped out on Customer Service 101. Even the smallest impoliteness, such as not getting a “thank you” after a purchase, can turn customers off and cost your company hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.
And don’t forget the grapevine aspect. Customers tell twice as many people about a bad experience as they do a good one. Add to that the fact that it costs as much as six times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an old one and customer service will shoot to the top of your priority list.