Common Customer Service Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them

  1. Not being apologetic for issues with service.
    Sometimes it’s hard to say sorry when you feel that you’ve done nothing wrong. Often times, when a customer is complaining, there isn’t necessarily a need for you to be sorry. However, it’s important to recognize when your customer is upset and try to make things right. Saying sorry and giving an authentic apology will never lead you in the wrong direction. Too often business owners let their emotions do the responding to angry customers, instead of their logic. Always remember to be sincere, apologetic and helpful when addressing any customer complaint. When dealing with a customer, it’s not a competition- don’t try to win the argument.
  2. Treating your employees poorly.
    Believe it or not, this is huge! Your employees are often the face of your business and if they are unhappy or feel that they are being treated poorly, that will reflect on the way they serve your customers. Make sure your employees are not disgruntled, but rather are recognized for their good work and are in a happy environment.
  3. Not having well-trained staff members.
    Along the same lines of the previous post, having happy employees isn’t your only employee concern. Your employees need to be well-trained and able to answer any questions that are thrown at them. They need to be well-versed in your product, services and processes. It’s important that your employees have been trained on customer service, and that they don’t take too long to complete the task at hand. The customer’s time is valuable, and having under-trained staff only wastes that time.
  4. Being Inaccessible to customers.
    Don’t make your customers call you over and over or try to contact you in several different ways just to get a response. Everyone is busy sometimes and unable to answer the phone, including you! However, it’s important that if you do miss a call, or Facebook message, or email from a customer, you respond as quickly and efficiently as possible. The customer will only try so many times (sometimes just once), before they move on to the next business with their question.
  5. Keeping poor customer records.
    Customers will be impressed if you have all of their previous transaction history available when they contact you. It’s important to keep these records for many reasons, and customer service is certainly one of them. If a customer has worked with you before, they won’t be happy about having to keep giving you their information. A customer shouldn’t have to be the one informing you that you’ve worked together before or what you’ve done for them in the past. Keep clean, organized and thorough customer records!
  6. Forgetting the basics.
    Most customers just want simple, friendly customer service. Don’t forget your basic manners like saying, “Please,” “Thank you,” and “Have a nice day.” These are easy to remember and simple phrases really go a long way!

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!