9 Ways You May be Failing Your Customer
No matter your specific industry, business goals, or annual revenue, one thing is for certain… your business is nothing without your customers. So shouldn’t that always be the # 1 priority? Sometimes it’s easy to forget when you’re faced with the daily hurdles of running a business. Here are nine ways you could be failing your customer – the good thing is that these mistakes are easy to avoid and fix.
- Not adapting to their changing needs. Like any company in any economy, you have to be sensitive that all businesses grow and change over time. A client that you have had for 3 years might be looking for something more now. Perhaps they could really use one of your other services, but they aren’t aware you offer it. Continue to provide them the service they originally signed up for, but keep an eye on how their business changes and seek openings to improve their experience with you.
- Not letting them know about product updates or new offerings. If you are a SaaS company, you eagerly wait for your development team to let you know about new updates to your product. In the excitement of new features and offerings, you may be focused on just prospects and forget to let your seasoned customers know about them. You should be making sure that your current customers are using your product to its full potential.
- Having limited customer service representatives. Needing to call customer support can be a drag. Make it as painless as possible for your customers and make sure you have enough customer support reps to handle the phone traffic, as well as the right systems in place to handle it. No one wants to sit on the phone for more than 1 minute when they have an issue. It only aggravates the customer and gives them a reason to complain about you to others.
- Having poorly trained customer service representatives. Pay attention to the way your support people handle communications with customers. Are they acting like problem solvers or barriers? Do they have the authority they need to keep your customers happy? Your service reps need to not only understand how your business works but also how to properly deal with customers. One without the other can lead to frustrated customers and bad word of mouth.
- Making it difficult for them to reach you. For existing customers to add on or expand their business with you, they need to know where to call or email. Make it easy for your customers to find out how to contact you (put your contact info on every page of your Web site, put it on refrigerator magnets, put it on your vans, etc.). Also, if it fits your business model, urge your reps to give out their personal extensions and make sure they are making themselves available.
- Only having phone assistance available. Not everyone is a phone person. Some customers like the option to email in requests for assistance. You should have a general customer service email available for your customers. Another option would be a live chat function on your website. Some people prefer to handle issues via online communication, since not every person wants to deal with a customer service rep on the phone.
- Not understanding your customer. Any person on the street could tell you that “Bob’s Plumbing” is a plumbing company. But just because you know what they do, you shouldn’t assume that you know all of the hardships of your customer’s business. Do your research or just start asking them questions and your customers will appreciate that you are putting yourself in their shoes.
- Forgetting simple customer appreciation. You know that you would be nowhere without your customers, don’t forget to tell them that! Just letting your customers know that they are valued and important goes a long way. Making the effort to get to know your customer is the difference between a business transaction and a lasting business relationship.
- Not having social media outlets, or if you do have them, not keeping up with them. Social media presence is one of the most important things to your customer these days. You don’t need to have an account for every site, but you should at least have a company Facebook page. Your customers are on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites and you need to know what they are saying – not just about you, but TO you. If you create a Facebook page and let the wall posts roll in without response or upkeep, your social media presence can be ruined. Read more about social media for your business.
What other ways could you be failing your customers? Or better yet, what are some tips for maintaining happy customers?
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