Customer service can be described as the backbone of any successful business. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re running or how big/small your business may be. If your services/products don’t satisfy the customers or if you end up disappointing them then you and your business will be in a world of hurt.
Companies that fail to realize this simple fact will tell you exactly what we’re talking about; even one simple mistake could end up costing your business big-time! It’s a domino effect really; one bad mistake or customer experience will spread like wild-fire and reach audiences you could not have possibly imagined.
According to the American Express Customer Service Barometer, nearly 33% of customers take their business elsewhere if they’re not happy with a single instance of service. In fact, the same report concluded that more than 50% of Americans changed their plans to make a purchase due to bad service. Moreover, according to NewVoiceMedia, US businesses lose over $62 billion per annum as a result of bad customer service.
The last thing you’d want after putting in all the hard work to keep the business up and running is to disappoint and deter customers with your mistakes. Here are a few common ones that businesses make and you should definitely avoid.
Tough to Do Business With
Absolutely no one enjoys doing business with a company that makes it unnecessarily difficult or annoying to do so. It could be anything from extremely long waiting times when on call or unnecessary policies that customers are forced to follow. These can make the customer experience bad and that means they’re unlikely to continue doing business with you.
Customer effort is an important factor to consider when running a business; they don’t want to put in the added effort where they’re gaining next to nothing from it. A customer is four times less likely to stay loyal to a brand after a bad experience and 94% more likely to continue business after a positive experience.
Failing to Solve Customer Issues Promptly
Every business will have customers facing some kind of problems—it’s inevitable. It could be a problem with a product or just a simple query, the point is that they would contact the business to get to the bottom of it. The worst thing a business can do is make them wait for hours or even days before addressing the problem.
No customer is happy with a business that takes their sweet time to answer the problems they have; they want and expect a prompt response. These cases are very time sensitive not just for the business but for the customer as well and neglecting the customer’s needs could end up causing the business a lot of harm. Customer issues and concerns should be addressed and solved promptly in order to avoid negative reviews and bad publicity.
Under-equipping staff without providing them with the training or the resources to deal with the customers can doom your business. Your staff should be provided with sufficient training to be able to deal with customers needs and demands on the spot, without having to run to managers or seniors for guidance on what to do.
Your business will have a certain style or culture that you need to maintain and the staff will not implicitly understand this if you don’t communicate to them clearly what’s expected of them. If you want your employees to handle customers in certain ways then you have to train them in those ways. In addition, give your customers the benefit of the doubt and ensure they’re more than happy with the service.
Customers will almost never tolerate rude or obnoxious behavior from staff and you can be certain they won’t entertain the business any further if they’ve had a bad experience with your staff.
Unable To Stay with The Times
In the world today where everything is becoming digitized and moving to an online platform, it is absolutely imperative that your business model also stays up-to-date with the current trends. Using outdated technology and ideas for your current business model can cause your business to fall apart.
Inability to have an online presence will destroy sales and profits in a world where most business transactions today take place online. In fact, by 2040, over 95% of purchases are expected to be made online! Your presence on the web will make you more visible among competitors and allow you to reach a much larger audience if done right.
Your website should also be designed with a user-friendly interface and be accessible through mobile devices. Why? That’s simply because your website is the first place your leads will check to get to know you and develop a first impression. A dull and outdated website will not impress any customer, while a modern and appealing website that’s easy to navigate will have the opposite effect.
Deals and Policies That Are “Too Good To Be True”
Every customer has at least once in their life come across a deal or a policy from a business that just seemed out of this world. It was too good, and customers absolutely love when they encounter such gimmicks. However, almost always the customer faces reality when they see the “catch”. Another thing every customer has experienced is finding these deals/policies only to find out later that there was still a catch or agenda that wasn’t made fully clear when advertising their lucrative offer. This is a problem.
Customers don’t enjoy being scammed or tricked into agreeing with businesses by being trapped by what seemed like a great deal. For example, you see a buy 1 get 1 free deal; only to find out that the free items are either limited to a specific pile of items or if the initial item you’re buying basically covers the cost of both items.
These kinds of elusive deals or offers actually make customers wearier of the business and bad experience here can do some very heavy damage in the near future. Never offer a deal to customers that you cannot uphold. It’s better to provide them with limited services at fair prices rather than promising them what you cannot deliver.
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