Top 10 Customer Service Turn Offs

Contributor:  Lee Kennedy
Posted:  12/20/2010  12:00:00 AM EST
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It takes only a few moments to damage a customer relationship that took several years to build.  The best way to retain your existing customers is by being diligent in your everyday dealings.  Given below are the top 10 customer service turn offs and ways to turn things around to reinforce and strengthen your customer relationships.

Amateur Staff

Nothing irritates a customer more than a customer service representative with half-baked knowledge.  Even if you have a small team of customer service agents, it helps to train them adequately so that they can represent your company appropriately. It helps to understand that, each and every customer service agent is the face of your company for the customers, and hence should be knowledgeable enough to give correct information and provide suitable solutions.

Trying to Win an Argument:

You can certainly win an argument by defending your company and reacting to your customer’s complains, but you cannot win his loyalty by doing that. You can only win his allegiance and loyalty by empathizing and apologizing (and that even holds true when it’s not your mistake).

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Rigid Policies:

Sticking to stringent policies can be the fastest way to lose customers. Depending on the strength of the customer relationship, you should be willing to bend policies, or at least try to identify ways of doing so to strengthen customer relationships.

Futile Commitments and Promises:

Only promise when you are 100 percent confident that you will be able to deliver within the committed time. If you realize you cannot deliver when originally promised, have the courtesy to call your customer and inform him of the reason and the changed date of delivery.

Diffidence:

Customers like doing business with accessible companies. If you have not kept your customer informed about the point of contact during an hour of emergency, then it is more than a probability that your client will soon shift to another company. If you want a customer’s loyalty, provide them with accessibility and warmth.

Poor Acknowledgements:

Failing to provide your customers with appropriate acknowledgements will result in the customer feeling neglected, which will inadvertently lead to loss of business. If a customer is unhappy about a personal or professional loss, expressing concern, commenting suitably and acknowledging the issue will ensure satisfaction.

Poor Records:

The same goes for titles. It may sound petty, but referring to Mrs. Thomas as Mr. Thomas, or Mr. Jackson and Mr. Johnson is only going to worsen your bond with the customer. Constantly misspelled names and inappropriate titles discourage a customer’s loyalty.

Ignoring the Basics of Customer Service:

Simple acknowledgements such as “Thank You” and “Sorry” still mean a lot to the majority of  customers.  If you ignore these basic phrases, you can count on losing clientele.

Call shuffling:

This is the worst and the most common customer service turn off. If a customer’s call is being transferred from department to department, and if no one is ready to take the responsibility,  it could turn off even the most patient customer. On the contrary, if you’re able to provide your customer with ‘First Contact Resolution’, you can count on customer satisfaction.

Apathy and Failure to Listen:

Apathy and failure to listen are two of the most unforgivable customer service mistakes, and are often taken seriously by customers. You can often make your customer’s day by listening to them attentively.

In today’s tech-oriented, increasingly incongruous business world, businesses can win the hearts and loyalty of customers by avoiding the above 10 customer service turn offs. Contact Global Response to learn more helpful hints and insider tips of the customer service world.  

Lee Kennedy Contributor:   Lee Kennedy


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