Do You Make These Mistakes with Your Customers? Part 1

By Enabliser Helene

It can take years to create a great customer relationship, but only moments to tear one apart. There are so many ways to lose your existing customers - if you aren’t careful in your daily customer interactions. The 7 mistakes below create a lot of frustration among customers. You may like to review them and ask if your company can improve your customer processes and procedures.
1. Not Knowing the Customer
Nowadays when you call a company you expect them to know your history with them after you have introduced yourself. It is frustrating to have to give an update every time you talk to a company regarding what has happened, what products, or services you have bought etc.  The employees need to have the customer information at their fingertips and be able to have a valuable discussion right away. It is commonly suggested to give a level of decision making authority to the front line person too, allowing them to resolve many issues directly. 

2.Shuffling the Problem
We have all experienced the frustration of contacting a company by phone, regarding a complaint, and then being transferred from one unhelpful person to another where you need to repeat your story over and over again. “Customer shuffling” is a nasty customer non-service practice that employees in some companies use to avoid taking responsibility for dealing with a customer’s problem. 

To solve the “customer shuffle” your company has to have effective processes which at least capture the customer’s information in the first instance and people know where to find the necessary information to solve the customer’s problem. 

3. Over-Promise and Under-Deliver
Employees should not make claims or promises that they cannot keep. When a promise has been made, the company must keep that promise. If the company for some reason cannot keep the promise, they must apologize and try to make it up to the customer in another way. This is often referred to as Service Recovery.  There need to be clear processes and procedures in regards to managing customers’ perception of what is delivered, whilst ensuring the Sales and Service teams have the same view of what should be delivered.

If you treat your customers poorly, your competitors will thank you. Teach your employees to “under-promise and over-deliver”.

4. Taking the Customer for Granted
Some companies assume their customers are dependent on them.  In today’s highly competitive environment other good options are always available for our customers. We need to be conscious of this continually, while giving our customers good reasons for them to stay with us.

This series is continued in Part 2, and focuses on dealing with customer problems.  To learn more about how Enabling can help you do better business click here.

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