As a business owner, you know how important customer service is to the success of your business. Your business provides customer service no matter your industry. Your clients expect it and you strive to serve their needs and desires. Without great customer service, clients don't remain loyal. Don't make the following 12 customer service mistakes.
Not Greeting Your Clients
When your clients come call or visit your business, they expect to be greeted. When this doesn't happen, a client or potential client may feel unappreciated or ignored. Don't let this happen to you! Greet your clients first. Ask how they are doing. If you want happier clients and to provide top of the line customer service, don't forget to greet your clients.
Don't give the cold shoulder to your clients or act unfriendly toward your clients. They will feel unwanted. A client who receives unfriendly treatment may take their business elsewhere. You and your employees must be friendly to your clients. A little bit of friendly behavior can go a long way! A friendly greeting and small talk can encourage your client to stay loyal to you.
Unprofessional businesses don't deliver excellent customer service. If you or your staff stay on the phone, look bored, or ignore the client, it makes you look unprofessional. If you or your staff look at your mobile phones when talking with a client, it not only gives the impression of disrespect towards the client but also gives the client the impression that they aren't worth your time.
Treating the Client as If They Are Wrong
If you find yourself trying to win arguments with clients, stop right now. In these arguments, you may insist that your point of view is the right one. You also may insist that your client is wrong to blame you or your business when something goes wrong, to point out a problem, or to when they voice a concern. Even if you’re right, stop doing this. When you argue with your client and need to win the argument, you tell them they are wrong and you are right. Generally, this makes clients feel cornered and even patronized. It puts a strain the relationship with your client and your client may walk away and look for a provider that they feel truly listens to what they say. Needing to be right isn't customer service. Don't try to win arguments only for the sake of winning. You may lose not only your client but your reputation may be damaged as well.
Not Listening to Your Client
Many businesses ignore the wants and needs of clients. A client who feels ignored soon finds another place to do business with. Don't let this happen to your business. Loyal clients stay with businesses who keep their needs, wants, and ideals in mind. Keep your ears open to hear and implement your client's wishes. Learn and implement active listening. Train your staff to use it as well.
"But It's Not Our Policy" - Never Going Beyond the Policy
Written policies exist to make your business neater and to provide your staff and clients with a written order of how your business works. However, most policies aren't rigid rule books that hold dire consequences if you were to bend them for a client. Some companies treat them as such, using an excuse of "If I do this for you, I'll have to do it for everyone." Exceptions to rules do exist for everyone. It's not good customer service to hold so rigidly to the policies that your business drives away your clients. Policies protect your company, but if your client doesn't routinely expect to undermine your policies, you can bend them to make your clients happy. This can be important since existing clients are much easier to continue to sell to than it is to find a new client.
Keeping Disorganized Client Records
As a business owner, you must keep records. It's important to keep your records accurate and organized. Keeping your records accurate ensures that you don't call your client the wrong name or send mail to the wrong address. Mistakes happen, but reoccurring mistakes may make a client look to take their business elsewhere.
Not Honoring Promises
Promises should be honored as soon as possible in the business world without exception. If you can't fulfill a promise to a client, don't make excuses. A poor form of customer service includes ignoring promises made. If you don't fulfill a promise, apologize and do a little something extra to make your client happy.
If you ignore your promises, you could lose clients. Protect yourself from lost clients by honoring your promises and even by over delivering.
Providing Inefficient Service
Your business must provide timely service to your clients. A client doesn't want to be passed around from staff member to staff member when they need a question answered. It wastes their time as well as your business resources. Show respect of client's time by making it easy to get to the person they need to speak with. This may include making separate extensions for your staff members or providing a receptionist who can get them to the person they need.
Not Providing an Easy Way for Clients to Reach You
Your business needs to provide easy ways for your client to reach you. If a client must jump through hoops to contact you, they may decide to take the easy way out and find someone different to do business with. Don't distance yourself from you clients. They want your time and attention. You can use phone, email, texting, and even social media to make it easy for your clients and potential clients to contact you.
Failure to Provide Live Responses
No one likes receiving an email from a robot. Clients frown on canned responses. Instead of using an automated method or a canned response, send personalized emails that address your client and what they contacted you about.
Not Training Your Staff
Keeping your staff trained in providing superior customer service can be hard work. It is essential to provide this training, however. You wouldn't like to find you lost business because an employee didn't keep up with your vision for customer service. Don't let this happen to you. Train your staff in the way customer service should be delivered.
Need Customer Service Help? Contact Clients ARM!
Do your clients feel ignored? You may need customer service help! Clients ARM has over 30 years of experience with helping businesses like yours build customer relationships through providing excellent customer service. We use old-fashioned customer service values and innovative technology to bring you the best help for your business. What are you waiting for? Contact Clients ARM today for your free consultation!