Every customer has unique expectations from her purchases. These expectations range from quality to unfaltering customer support. The challenge posed to every business is its ability to orchestrate the operations to meet these expectation. Failure to do so translates into irritations for customers. Here is a list of eight customer irritants you want to avoid.
- Inadequately trained reps
The internet is packed with a wealth of information. Customers can be very knowledgeable about what they look for. Your sales reps must be prepared to address these informed questions. This means training needs to be multi-faceted and up-to-date. An annual training strategy is not going to be adequate. A customer who is ready to make a purchase could walk away when the sales rep is not able to remove his doubts.
- Unreasonable wait time
Waiting in queue is not always avoidable, but it is not acceptable to have a customer on hold for 30 minutes. If staffing is an issue, figure out how best to address the peaks and valleys. There are different channels of support that you can make available. Your competition is keen in acquiring the customers you can’t handle.
- Delegation of work to unwilling customers
Not every customer likes the self-help option. When a customer reaches out for assistance, provide the help she seeks. A travel agent’s job is to offer advice on options so that customers are able to plan and make decisions effortlessly. Handing over a list of websites for different cruise lines and asking the customer to do his own research is a sure way to lose the booking. Be cognizant of what constitutes effective self-help and deploy that option appropriately.
- Pushing the limit on brand loyalty
Customers could be forgiving because of brand loyalty. Occasional sub-par service might be acceptable. There is a limit on tolerance though. Well-known brands such as Apple and BMW face the same scrutiny from their customers when they fail to serve. In fact, they better ensure every facet of their operations is aligned to meet the high expectations.
- Disrespectful attitude
Arrogant account reps turn away customers. The non-verbal cues, the body language often speaks louder than the words. Customers are entitled to ask trivial questions. Educate the customers if they are not familiar with your products and services. Be patient with difficult personalities. There is no need to be disrespectful. The last thing you want to see is a clip of an unruly exchange posted on social media.
- Defiant of mistakes
Delivering a package to an address incorrectly recorded or due to mis-communication is an unintended error. The best move is to admit the oversight and take whatever action is necessary to correct the mistake. Accusing the customer for vague instructions, for instance, is not going to solve the problem. It would be helpful to have some guidelines on do’s and don’ts in handling various customer situations.
- Consistent failure to deliver
If your business offers a subscription service, you have a steady revenue stream. Nonetheless, there is no immunity from an unhappy customer ending his subscription when he is fed up with the poor service. For the customer, it could be a hassle to make a switch. However, he has likely complained but you haven’t followed through to remove the deficiency.
- Cumbersome return policy
The biggest concern with retail customers is ease of return. If you adopt the omni-channel strategy, it is crucial to have an omni-channel return policy. When a customer returns an item purchased online to a store, you ought to be able to process the return at the store. If the backend applications are not integrated, you need to make the investment for that integration.
It is so important to align operations to deliver the expectations the company promises. For employees who have direct contact with the customers, they ought to be well equipped to serve. Otherwise, the business would lose its credibility it earned through years of hard work in a flash.