Your customers need a lot of reasons to stick around, but just one good reason to walk away. Unfortunately, many businesses provide plenty of incentive for their customers to move on to greener pastures. Often, these customer experience “sins” are committed unknowingly.
The best way to prevent this from happening in your own company is to be keenly aware of what these seven sins are and, more importantly, how to avoid them at any cost. Let’s take a look.
What’s important to your customers should be equally important to you. Yet, many of those in customer care roles fail in this critical area. If a customer calls or visits your business and gets the impression that an employee representing your company doesn’t care, you might as well usher them to your competitor’s doorstep. Your employees must learn to place themselves in the shoes of your customers and always treat every issue with respect and genuine concern.
How many different individuals does a customer have to go through in order to get the answer to his or her question? Every time a customer is handed off from one person to another (either directly or indirectly via a complicated phone tree), they’ll be one step closer to giving up and taking their business elsewhere. Make sure that customers are treated exceptionally from the moment they get in contact with your company.
This is indifference and dismissal all rolled into one hideous, poor-customer-experience package. Coldness might rear its ugly head in situations where an employee fails to acknowledge that a problem brought up by a customer is legitimate or when an employee treats that problem as if it’s a nuisance to them. Front line employees who work with customers must always be warm, engaging and tuned into each customer with whom they are working.
This behavior can be blunt, such as when an employee speaks in a condescending tone to a customer, or it can be subtle, such as when employees us jargon or acronyms that customers aren’t familiar with. In either case, the interaction can rub customers the wrong way, enough so that they might look elsewhere. Instead, employees should speak to customers with a friendly, respectful tone and using language that the customer can easily understand.
Ever call a customer service line and have the rep start the conversation mechanically asking for the account number? No greeting or niceties. No friendly banter. Just straight down to business. It’s not a great experience, to say the least. You want your customers to feel as though they are valued, which means that they should be treated like humans by other humans, not robotic sales reps reading from scripts.
Without flexibility, customer experience suffers. If your employees are taught to only follow the rules and never use their common sense or their gut instincts, they will inevitably come across to your customers as cold and uncaring. Obviously there has to be some order to how things are done, but a willingness to at least try and bend the rules to accommodate a customer’s needs once in a while will only help strengthen your relationships.
What’s more frustrating than hearing an employee of a company say “that’s not my job?” If your customers are being given the runaround every time they try to get support, they’re eventually going to run right into the waiting arms of your competitors. Employees should recognize that sometimes a customer needs a little extra hand-holding. Going the extra mile will take a little more effort, but it will pay dividends in customer loyalty for years to come.
Are you guilty of committing any of the above deadly customer experience sins? If so, the time to turn things around is now. Apply the advice given and you’ll be well on your way to delivering exceptional service and support that will keep your customers coming back again and again.