There are multitudes of stellar customer service habits that provide great customer experiences. And incorporating these habits will allow for huge gains in market-share. But first, the bad habits that ruin customer experience must be addressed. Root-out those bad habits that ruin customer experience. By eliminating your bad customer service habits, your company can be completely turned around. Customer-loss will halt, and new customer acquisition will start again.
Bad habits that ruin customer experience cause them to feel stress.
Bad customer experiences cause bad memories in your customers, especially memories created by stress. And these are very hard for people to forget. There’s a scientific reason for this. It has been determined that the stress hormone Norepinephrine, which manipulates a chemical receptor in the brain called GluR1may, may cause the brain to remember bad events as a defense to ensure future avoidance of a threat. These findings are referenced on WebMD and can be read in the article Why Bad Memories Stick.
You don’t want your company to be seen as a threat in the brains of your customers! That type of memory can be deeply ingrained in a person’s mind. It is nearly impossible to bring these previous customers back to your company. Change your bad habits that ruin customer experience now and stop creating bad memories in your customer’s brains NOW…before it’s too late!
10 examples of bad habits that ruin customer experience
1. New customer preferential treatment
Treating new customers better than how you treat your retained, loyal, long-term customers makes no sense at all, especially in today’s small business marketplace. And providing incentives like discounts to attract new customers may really bring them in for sure. But stop these bad habits that ruin customer experience and treat existing customers at least as good as new ones, if not better.
Existing customers have a higher profit margin…the price of customer acquisition has already been paid for them. So don’t be afraid to spend a little more on those customers. And ALWAYS surprise them with the same incentives. They may not even know about them. This will be a pleasant surprise which will increase their loyalty.
2. Breaking your word or late delivery
This touches on the honesty aspect of customer service. Customer loyalty starts with trust and this will break that trust. So don’t stress out your customer by not delivering on-time. This example from the list bad habits that ruin customer experience causes those bad memories for sure!
Every minute they wait for you causes that trust to diminish. And if it doesn’t arrive at all, after they’ve waited for who knows how long, a strong sense of betrayal sets in. That type of dishonesty will cause dissent among your customers. So remove this tendency immediately from your bad habits that ruin customer experience.
3. Surprise expenses and hidden fees
A lack of transparency throughout all of your company’s processes, especially the billing process, causes diminished trust and loyalty…even customer loss. In my experience, while purchasing a truck at a local car dealership, they slipped an $800 fee in there that made no sense. I believe they did this because I negotiated the price way down causing their commission to be lower.
To that dealership, at that moment, losing the additional commission was so devastating that they were willing to risk losing a repeat customer, just to get it back. I would have walked away, but I was successful reducing the price so I made the purchase, less the $800 of course. Then I mentioned my repeat purchases at another car dealership in another state where I lived previously – eight cars over 12 years. Then, I told them I’d never return.
4. Taking customers for granted
Whether you maintain a steady stream of new customers or you have a loyal customer base, or both, you need to continue to treat them with dignity. Even though it may be human nature to become complacent over time, don’t ever let that happen.
Knowing that complacency CAN happen, you should now put measures in place to prevent it from occurring in the future…remove it from your bad habits that ruin customer experience. So keep the level of customer service you provide high and ensure that it improves year after year.
Since long-term loyal customers are so important to any business, you may try something like this: Each year a customer stays with you, give them a gift, and increases the size of the gift each year. It would be hard to beat the kind of loyalty this type of action will provide.
Never allow the level of customer service you provide to diminish. Keep it fresh, and treat all of your customers as if they mean the world to you. If you don’t, your world will certainly collapse around you as they migrate to your competitors.
5. Failing to go above and beyond
You should know, good customer service is EXPECTED by the public, especially from small businesses. To stand above, and to stay ahead of your competition, you need to go above and beyond your customer’s expectations. Spend some time and use some creativity or ideas from Google searches. Come up with a plan for implementing customer service that will surprise and impress your customers. Sometimes one of your bad habits that ruin customer experience may be laziness…simply not acting.
6. Unreturned calls, emails, or texts
Nobody likes to feel insignificant. Bad habits that ruin customer experience like this will insure that your customers feel as if they don’t matter to you at all. Being busy is a good thing, but be sure to have measures in place to ensure your customers concerns are answered promptly. They do matter, so get back to them quickly!
7. Lack of attentiveness
Have you ever been to a store, had a question, and was unable to get the attention of one of the workers? Then, after you choosing your items, you go to pay for them and nobody is there to help you? Be sure to not make your customers feel this way. With bad habits that ruin customer experience like this, they may never return!
8. Mistakes made without apologies
First rule: Don’t make mistakes. They make you look bad to your customers. Of course, everybody makes mistakes, so it WILL happen.
Believe it or not, in my experience, a good recovery from a mistake can have an even better positive impact on a customer than the type of impact they receive from a fast, flawless transaction, as long as mistakes normally never happen. Complete transparency about the mistake, a good humble attitude, a sincere apology, and a token of appreciation for the customer who is the victim of your mistake will not only make it right, it will cement the loyalty and provide word-of-mouth marketing from that customer.
Treat your customers the way you would treat a prospective employer. The rule-of-thumb for job interviews is to show up 10 minutes early. Do this for your customers as well. Tardiness is certainly one of the bad habits that ruin customer experience.
Being late to appointments generates poor sentiment while the customer is waiting. Then, when you do arrive, they already think negatively of you. When you show up before them, they feel important, and will be responsive to you.
10. Inconsistent cross-channel customer experience
Since customers usually deal with multiple points of contact with companies, consistency is very important. If a customer service agent tells you one thing, but then billing person tells you another, or when you call back days later and receive conflicting information from another agent, you will certainly feel many negative emotions and stress. This kind of experience can cause customers to look elsewhere, and then migrate to your competitors.
Having a consistent company theme throughout your organization is imperative. It causes customers to become accustomed to the environment conveyed to them from all of the points of contact at your company. Familiarity can be achieved from your customers which is very powerful. When familiarity is layered on top of customer service that goes above customer expectations, customer loyalty will grow by leaps and bounds.
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