Customers are the power behind your business. Without them, your business suffers. And if they are unsatisfied, there are plenty of alternatives out there. Your company could be losing customers and profits without even realizing it, due to bad customer service habits your staff has picked up. A customer will never forget a bad customer experience. And as people tend to do with any bad experience, customers will do whatever it takes to avoid having that experience again. Often, the easiest way for a customer to avoid that bad experience is by never using your company’s products or services ever again. To find out more about the detrimental effects of bad customer service, check out our infographic below:
To keep your business from sinking into the shadows of your competitors, employers must remove any barriers to customer satisfaction that exist in their companies. Here are some bad customer service habits that exist in many businesses, and by removing them your customer loyalty will greatly improve:
1) Not Sticking to Your Word
If your customers don’t trust your customer service staff, they won’t trust your brand. One of the bad customer service habits that show untrustworthiness is not following through on promises your staff makes to customers. Examples include product deliveries that arrive later than their scheduled time or hidden fees for products or services that cause customers to have to spend more money than they were initially told. Remove barriers to customer satisfaction by being transparent and straightforward.
2) Ignoring Customer Feedback
Your customers are the ones buying your products, and can tell you firsthand some of your barriers to customer satisfaction. So if they think something can be improved, you should do everything in your power to make that happen. Listening to customers is how your company will continue to improve its customer experience.
Bad customer service habits that get in the way of customer satisfaction include telling the customer you will pass along their suggestion and never doing so, and only taking feedback from certain customers (such as longtime customers). The value of customer feedback has nothing to do with what customer it’s coming from or how long they have used your products or services. Pay attention to feedback you get in person, as well as on social media and online reviews. Make sure there is a streamlined process for reporting customer feedback, and that the information is getting to the product development team.
3) Discrepancies in the Multi-Channel Customer Experience
Make sure your customers are getting the same treatment and information regardless of what customer support channel the use. This includes speaking to someone in your store, on live chat, using virtual agents or finding information through your website. One of the bad customer service habits that turn off customers is inconsistency, which leads to distrust. If a customer service agent tells them that they are eligible for a product upgrade in a year, and your website says it will be 18 months, they get the message that your company is careless with how it treats customers. Make sure your customer service agents are thoroughly trained and have proper resources to refer to when giving customers information. Emphasize to your customer service team the importance of making customers feel secure and confident in your company.
4) Failing to Create a Personalized Customer Experience
It’s not just about what you say in response to customers, it’s how you say it. Failing to create a personalized customer interaction is among the bad customer service habits that can destroy customer loyalty. Creating personalized responses to customer questions shows that your company is paying attention, and establishes a warmer exchange with the customer. Try mentioning their name, asking how they like the last product they purchased with you, and thank them for being a loyal customer. If they are a new customer, ask how they found your company and offer them incentives.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.