There are many factors that can effect a customer’s perception of your company: ease of navigation, return policy, speed of shipment/order fulfillment, your actual customer service team. All of which can have a positive or negative influence on how your customers view you and your business. I recently read an article on AllBusiness.com that outlines the Top 10 Customer Service Mistakes, and I feel that the insights they provide are worth sharing. Now, since there are 10 points, I’ll split this up so as to not overwhelm you with information. That being said, here are the first five customer service mistakes.
- Untrained Staff
Let’s face it; we all have to start out somewhere. Customers are generally forgiving of new employees. What really drives them up the wall (so to speak) is having numerous employees without a clue about the company’s policies, customer service expectations, or basic company functions. Be sure you train your employees on your customer service plan.
- Trying to win the Argument
We’ve all heard it, “the customer is always right”. However, in practice, that’s not always the case. The important thing with this point is to not argue with customers about who is right or wrong, but rather try and find a solution that benefits either both parties or will at least remedy the current issue at hand.
Have you ever tried going to return something and the customer service counter was closed? It’s very frustrating. Make sure your customers have a way to get in touch with you in case they have questions, concerns, or even if they just want to thank you. We’ve outlined multiple times how important it is to provide contact information on your site, but that’s just the first step. Make sure that you respond to customers in a timely manner so they think their business does actually matter to you.
- Standing by your Policy
Having a firm policy is great. It tells the customer what to expect in the event that something comes up. However, viewing these policies as absolute is a quick way to turn customers away. I like to view customer service policies as guidelines. Do what you can to make the customers happy, even if it involves bending the rules a little bit. Just play up the fact that you’ll do it for them “this one time” so they know they’re getting special treatment.
- Unfulfilled Promises
Nothing irritates me more when I plan something with friends at a specific time and they’re late. That’s probably one of my biggest pet peeves. Same goes for shipping an item. If you promise an order by a specific date, make sure it gets there by that time. If it gets delayed, try as best as you can to eat the extra shipping cost to make sure it arrives as promised. If that’s not possible, give the customer as much of a heads up as you can, and possibly even offer a discount for their next purchase to try and remedy the situation.
That’s it! The first five customer service mistakes! Be sure to keep an eye out for part two where I’ll finish the list out!