How To Avoid Turning Your Customers Against You
Please don’t let this happen to you! (image)
Are you looking to turn your customers against you? Are you sick of their impatient demands, and time-wasting questions ruining your day? Are you sick of listening to their dumb complaints? Well, the answer to one of those questions should have been a definite ‘no’ (the first one), and while you may have answered ‘yes’ to the latter questions, you need to adjust your attitude. Yes, customers are a pain in the proverbial butt sometimes, and yes, they will take up a lot of your time. But think about it. If you didn’t have them, you wouldn’t have much of a business. In fact, you wouldn’t have a business at all!
A bad attitude can turn your customers away. They aren’t stupid, and they will sense your hostility and impatience. You need to get your attitude in check, and then consider the other ways to quickly turn your customers against you.
Annoyance Factor #1: Having a terrible website
Don’t assume you can throw a website together with little care, and assume your customers will make use of it. If your website is the key way to make sales, but nobody has been buying for a while, it’s probably because the site has issues. Annoying pop-ups, poor navigation, terrible design… just some of the ways your website is a massive turnoff to your customers. To stop them from clicking onto your nearest competitor, it’s in your best interest to improve your website. Get on top of any issues, or outsource to a web designer if you don’t have the time/skills to work on your website yourself.
Annoyance Factor #2: Telephone frustrations
That ringing you can hear isn’t tinnitus. Your customers need to speak to you, so be sure to pick up the phone to hear what they have to say. And if you don’t have the time to chat to them, ensure you have staff at hand to do this part of the job for you. You see, if your customers can’t get through to you, they will give up eventually. They will also give up if you put them on hold for ages and play annoying jingles while they’re waiting, so you really do need to improve your customer’s telephone experience.
Annoyance Factor #3: Lack of communication options
The telephone isn’t everybody’s first choice of communication. Many people prefer to communicate to a business online, whether that’s on social media, using email or through dedicated website options, such as live chat and contact forms. As a business owner, you need to give your customers a range of options. Not only will this serve them well, but it will also serve your business well, as you be able to manage queries and make sales in double-quick time.
Annoyance Factor #4: Rudeness
If you answered ‘yes’ to those questions at the beginning of this article, then this is something you may be guilty of. Showing impatience and a lack of care when your customer rings you will not stand you in good stead. Word of mouth will spread about your rudeness quicker than a contagious disease. You need to be polite, even when the customer isn’t. You need to be fair, even when the customer’s demands are impractical. You need to be patient, even when the customer isn’t in the right. You need to be all of these things, as does your team, as your customer will put the phone down eventually (assuming you haven’t already done so with a rude attitude). Listen, there will be times when you have to be firm to a customer, but rudeness should never be part of the equation.
Annoyance Factor# 5: Offering limited payment options
You want your customers to pay for your product/service right? Of course you do, unless you are trying to give stuff away for free (or not sell anything at all). Still, it’s important to get into the 21st century with the range of payment options you offer. While you should click here if you haven’t sorted out a credit card merchant yet, you should also consider the range of alternatives, including contactless payments, PayPal, Apple Pay, and even Bitcoin. We are living in the modern world, and customers demand speedy and secure payment methods, so it’s in your best interest to explore the range of payment options that are currently (or soon will be) available.
Annoyance Factor#6: Leaking customer data
Here’s a biggie in today’s technological world. If you want to avoid legal issues, you need to ensure your computer network is secure. With the rise of computer hacking and malware, you will have some very angry customers on your hand if their sensitive information (such as credit card details) gets out into the hands of the criminal miscreants who are sabotaging businesses today. This means installing firewalls and anti-virus software onto your computer, as well as finding safer ways to store information. You should also password everything, as it’s entirely possible you have staff members or business visitors with criminal tendencies as well.
Annoyance Factor #7: Pestering your customers
You know you need to market your business, but there is a limit. If you are continually pestering your customers with emails, social media updates, phone calls, and leaflet drops, you are going to get on their nerves. They will unsubscribe from your newsletters, block you on Facebook, put the phone down on you, and throw your ecologically unsound leaflet into the bin. Your marketing will be for naught, and your time and money will be wasted. So, be sensible. Time your marketing, using automated tools to manage this part of your business, and only contact your customer when a) you have something useful to offer them and b) you want to send them a gentle reminder you still exist if they have been away from you for awhile. So, in the same way you don’t like it when your customers pester you, remember the reverse is also true!
Are you looking to seek and attract customers to your business? Are you prepared to do all you can to keep them happy? Do you want to make any profits at all this quarter? We think we know the answer (it should be ‘yes’ by the way), so ensure you do all you can to care for your customers. You need them as much as they need you, after all.