Customer service is at the heart of every good business. No matter how good your product or service is, without customer loyalty, your business will never thrive. Unfortunately, many business owners have yet to realize this. Here are the worst mistakes that your company can make, and how to avoid them:
1. Lack of Information
Your customers should never have to search for information about your products or your company. Transparency is the key when attempting to achieve customer loyalty. Customers should be looked at as constantly seeking information; make sure that you give it to them.
2. Ignoring Feedback
Whether positive or negative, all feedback should be taken into consideration. While positive feedback is a great boost to the ego, negative feedback provides an avenue for improvement. Scour the Internet at least once each week, looking for feedback regarding your company. Thank customers who leave positive feedback. For those customers that have left negative feedback, offer a solution to their problem or start a dialogue.
3. Uneducated Employees
No matter your employee’s position within your company, he should know your products inside and out. If you provide services, each employee should know how they benefit consumers. Your employees are an extension of your company. No employee should ever be forced to tell a customer “I don’t know.”
4. Incorrect Pricing
Prices that are too low make customers wonder what is wrong. Prices that are too high drive customers to your competition. Study the local market and price your products and services accordingly. There’s nothing wrong with offering discounts to undercut your competitors. There is something wrong with setting your prices so low that they send up a red flag.
5. Slow Response Time
Whether it’s waiting on a customer face-to-face, answering the phone or responding to an email, it better be done quickly. People do not like to be kept waiting. If you utilize a call center for customer support, pay close attention to wait times and the frequency of transfers. If you welcome customers into your store, sit back and watch how quickly they are waited on. If you notice that response times are slow, look for ways to speed them up.
6. Social Media Flops
Social media can make or break your business. When handled correctly, your social media page can attract new customers and help retain old ones. When you fumble through social media, you will hand your customers over to the competition. No presence in social media is better than a poor one. If you have a Facebook page, update it at least twice daily, communicate with your customers, and keep your postings entertaining.
7. Website Angst
Every business should have a website. More importantly, every business should have a user-friendly website. Ask friends and family to navigate your website and provide honest feedback. If your website is not easy to use, your customers will a competitor’s that is.
The experience that your customer has with your business will either turn them into a loyal customer or one that heads for the hills. Do whatever it takes to make the customer’s experience a positive one. The success of your business hinges on the experience that each customer has.