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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Avoid These Customer Service Mistakes That Send Customers Running


Customers are the lifeblood of any company, and service provided to them is what helps them thrive. Unfortunately, this is an area where many companies make common missteps that cost them future business. By avoiding these common customer service mistakes, businesses can be on the road to growth and productivity.

Over promising and under delivering
Whether it is a parent, a friend, a co-worker or a company that has promised something, no one wants to find themselves being let down. When customers know what to expect, even if it is not what they want, at least they feel secure. A common mistake made by employees is promising more than they can deliver to their clients. Especially in large companies, representatives may not be aware of the capabilities of other branches of the organization and find themselves in the trap of promising something to their client that is not achievable. It is best to take the approach of under promising and over delivering rather than the other way around.

Not being there for your customers
When a client is going through a transaction, they often have questions about the process. When they cannot get answers to their questions, they are left at an impasse. Representatives often make the mistake of not being accessible enough to their customers. Not returning emails, phone calls or other messages promptly will ensure that customers go to the competition or not return for more business. Constant and consistent communication is the key to maintaining good relationships with customers.

Bad record keeping habits
Nothing is more frustrating to clients than representatives who lose paperwork or other records. People may have been promised promotions or be relying on representatives to maintain information and when those records are lost, the entire transaction can come to a screeching halt. Keeping good records is an essential part of maintaining a good relationship with clients.

Arguing with customers
Disagreements happen during business transactions and are a common part of any industry. The important thing to remember is to treat clients with respect, understanding and patience. It costs, on average, 5 times more to gain a new customer than it does to keep a current one. Representatives may fall into a trap of arguing with clients over details or issues that arise and this should never take place. Keeping customers happy is the number one goal of any organization.

Without customers, businesses cannot survive; therefore, maintaining good relationships is paramount. Avoiding these and other common customer service mistakes ensures that an organization will have repeat business and continue to grow in the future.

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