There are many things that can drive customers away. In this article, I am only covering five of those mistakes. Making even one of these mistakes can cost you customers.

  1. Letting your customer know how busy you are. Customers want to think they are the most important customer you have. On a phone that one might take from a customer, this may sound like, “I only have a few minutes. I have another appointment.” Adding in sighs and other frustrations noises won’t help. Interrupting won’t help. Saying, “OK, I need to wrap it up to get going” will make your customer feel unappreciated and will make them hesitate to call you again, or ask questions when they need help. All this will do is make your customer go away. You can word these phrases as politely as you want and it has the same effect on your customer. If you don’t have time to take a call with a customer, because you are legitimately waiting for an appointment with another customer, don’t take the call. 

    Currently, I have a service provider who has done this to me. I have needed her help in the past 6 months with a quote and she has put me off to her assistant who does a terrible job in communication. Now, I need to buy more of the service she provides and I have made the decision to go elsewhere. Interestingly, I am one of the 4% to complain, but with the “I’m too busy stigma” she gives off, I figure why bother telling her, because she will be too busy to hear it or accept that she has a problem doing that. She is the owner, so there is no one else to lodge my complaint. Customers want to know that you have their back and at one time this service provider earned my trust, but now when I need her services again and for more money, I am not convinced she will have my back. And, if I complain to her, she may be angry with me and not have my back.

  2. Not having a professional voice mail greeting. Whatever numbers you publish as a way for customers to get a hold of you, needs to have a professional business greeting. Many a times, I have called the number in someone’s email signature or on a business card to get a voice mail greeting that says something generic from the mobile service provider. What crosses a customer’s mind can be one of a few things: 1) Did I call the right number? 2) Is this company serious about their business? 3) If this is how unprofessional this business is on their voice mail, then how else will they be unprofessional? You only get one chance to make a great first impression.

  3. Not keeping good customer records. A repeat customer comes to a business to re-order something they previously ordered and expects the business to know what they ordered the last time. Keeping good records on each customer by using a CRM software can alleviate this problem.

  4. Texting customers without their permission. To text customers you need to have their permission. I have had a business not only text me without permission regarding a re-order I placed via email, but they did so on the weekend. To top it off, the text was asking me questions they should have already known if they had done a good job with keeping my customer records.

  5. Broken promises and lack of follow through can kill a business’s reputation. Businesses should use an under promise, over deliver culture. Promise what you know you can do, not what you hope or think you can do. Follow-up and follow through when you promise. If you don’t have the information at that time, apologize and ask for an extension to get the information.

Delivering exceptional customer service is making sure you are not making these mistakes and so much more. If you have a company in which you have employees and you think they might be making some of these mistakes, you can hire a secret shopper to know for sure. The Voice Customer Experience can provide affordable mystery shopper services to identify training needs. Contact them for a complimentary phone consultation.

About the author

Beth Boen, Founder of SHE Leads Group

Beth Boen has more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and customer service. She is an award-winning marketer. She is also a professional trainer and customer experience consultant. Beth loves helping people build long-term, loyal relationships that produce quality connections in their business that lead to lifetime customers and endless referrals. Beth helps people do this through her thoughtful blogs and training curriculum. Members of SHE Leads Group have access to more in-depth business development training through presentations at meetings from Beth, her curriculum, and guest trainers. In addition to being the Founder of SHE Leads Group, Beth has had a training and consulting business, The Voice Customer Experience, that she started in 2005.

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