All it takes is one slip up and you have lost a customer. Here are 10 ways a business can make a mistake and lose a hard won relationship. If you recognize yourself, it is important to change right away.
- Don’t listen tell them what they want
You do not decide what your customers need or want, they do. Clearly, not all customers are alike, so take the time to ask for feedback and listen. Really hearing them may help you discover innovative new ideas for products or services, and uncover small issues before they become something bigger. You do not want to put your customers into a position they did not ask for in the first place.
- Ignoring Them
Leaving a customer hanging or ignoring their concerns sends the signal that their business does not matter to you. Always let a customer know how much you appreciate their business, and always be prompt when returning phone calls or emails. If you don’t have the information they’ve asked for right away, be open about why there is a delay and when you will be able to get back to them.
- Be clingy
While you obviously want to let the customers know their importance, you do not want to constantly bother them. Calling them or emailing them all the time with sales calls will detract from their experience and encourage them to simply tune you out. If you need feedback about their experience, send them a customer satisfaction survey after your work is complete in order to gauge where you could improve.
- Treat them like everyone else
A customer relationship is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Take the time to get to know their needs and concerns. Canned sales scripts may guarantee consistency, but customers may feel they are just another revenue source. It is important to understand the unique needs of each customer and adjust accordingly. Your customers will notice and appreciate you providing products or services that feel tailored to suit their specific need.
- Be unreliable
Not calling when you say you will and missing deadlines is a quick way to lose a customer. Set clear expectations on timeline and communication from the very beginning, and stick to it. That way, your customers won’t be left wondering.
- Don’t communicate clearly
The key to a good relationship is good communication. Be clear about what your customer should expect. No one likes feeling like they got the run-around, and we’re all familiar with that sinking feeling when you realize someone hasn’t been forthright with you.
- Pressure them
If a customer isn’t ready to sign on the dotted line, you need to respect that. By hounding them you’re far more likely to turn them off than you are to secure that deal. If you’ve taken the time to completely address their questions, give the space to think it through. Ask how much time they need, and then let them know you’ll get back in touch to answer their questions and discuss the opportunity at that point.
- Leave when the going gets tough
There are always going to be rough spots. It’s how you handle the ups and downs that determine whether or not customers will stay with you. Think of a problem as an opportunity to prove yourself. If something goes wrong, demonstrate your commitment instead of avoiding their calls and hope for the best. Instead, let your customers know you understand their situation, correct any misinformation, apologize for any mistakes and outline how you will address it.
- Refusing to take “no” for an answer
Accept rejection gracefully. Remember that it’s not always personal, and behave professionally. You don’t want the reputation of being needy by continuing to send them unwanted messages — not to mention the legal ramifications!
- Be negative to seem more powerful
Although explaining your customers’ problem can help them, do not make it the main point of emphasis. Putting a positive spin on your conversations goes a long way in creating good experiences for your customers. Explain that you are there to help and working together, you can overcome any shortcomings they customer may have.