You might not even mean to hurt their feelings, but lax customer service and punitive policies could lead to heartbroken clients. Here are ten customer experience fails that could get your business dumped to avoid.
Are you disappointing patrons with any of these customer experience fails?
Many business owners worry about whether their customers love them without asking the question why. Customer love for a isn’t sparked by products or services, but by people. So the real question becomes, are the people who represent your business delivering (or even empowered to deliver) a customer experience that has the potential to trigger a positive emotional response?
Customer experience fails lead to broken relationships. McKinsey research shows that 70 percent of how customers feel about a buying experience is based not on what they buy, but on how they feel they’re being treated. (Cited in Why Loving Customers Works on helpscout.net.)
If you want to avoid customer experience fails, you’ve got to make patrons feel like they:
- Are important
- Have been heard
- Are valuable
- Have important insights to contribute
- Aren’t interchangeable or replaceable
And you need to make sure this is how they feel every time they do business with you. Get it right and customers will come back and feel confident in referring loved ones, friends and colleagues to your business. Miss the mark and you might not get a second chance.
These 10 Customer Experience Fails Might Make Clients Dump Your Business for Good
- Break a Promise
Whether they are written in stone, on paper, or merely exist in the customer’s mind, the expectations they bring to the customer side of the buying experience must be met. Fail to deliver on an aspect they have come to count on or serve up an unpleasant surprise and it might mean the honeymoon is over.
- Flirt with Someone Else While They’re Still in the Room
The art of being present in every customer transaction from beginning to end can be very difficult, especially during busy hours. No customer wants to feel like you’re more interested in the next person in line when they are still standing right in front of you.
- Play Favorites
The investment you’re making in growing new relationships can be shattered if a customer realizes that they are still in the outer circle. No customer wants to feel like you have an inner circle of patrons that get preferential treatment.
- Talk Over Their Heads
Are you making people feel uncomfortable? Insider jokes, industry jargon and other messages customers have trouble deciphering could all push them away instead of making them want to know more about your business.
- Give Them the Silent Treatment
When a customer follows you on social media, subscribes to emails or signs up for your mailing list and all they hear from your brand are the sound of so many crickets chirping, they might just go look for a business that has something to say.
- Make Them Feel Lucky
A customer should never feel like they are “the lucky one” in the relationship. They aren’t lucky to get to do business with you; it’s always the other way around. The minute that doing business with you begins to feel like an obligation, they’ll be on to someone new.
- Get Too Comfortable
When we get comfortable with people personally, we stop worrying so much about what we wear or how we look when we’re getting together. Businesses can’t afford this kind of familiarity. While you definitely want to make customers feel comfortable when doing business with you, that doesn’t mean you get to stop prepping for your “dates” with them by making your business look it’s best.
- Keep Secrets
Jean Racine once said, “There are no secrets that time does not reveal.” When these secrets come out and customers discover that the real cost of doing business with you is higher than anticipated due to hidden fees, expiring introductory rates or penalties outlined in the fine print, they’ll want nothing more than to never see your business again.
- Leak Secrets
Unless a customer has given you permission to share their information with a third party, don’t do it. Some may not realize where the leak came from but there will always be some customers who only gave their information to you who will feel betrayed when they realize you gave it away.
- Stop Growing
People, technology, marketplaces, demographics – everything about your customer base is always evolving over time. Even the customers who love your business the most might leave if your business fails to grow with them over time.
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