Top 10 Customer Pet Peeves and How You Can Avoid Them

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One out of three people are routinely disappointed by customer service interactions. Only 7% say their expectations are usually exceeded.1 Why does this matter? Customers are more likely to be loyal and will even pay a premium price to buy from a business with great customer service. They’re most likely to switch to another provider after being treated poorly. Here are ten common customer pet peeves—including some from our SUCCEED: Small Business community members—and how you can avoid them in your business. Double-check this list to make sure you are staying on your customers’ good side.

Text of Top 10 Customer Pet Peeves and How You Can Avoid Them

  • Top 10 Customer Pet Peeves and How You Can Avoid Them
  • One out of three people are routinely disappointed by customer service interactions. Only 7% say their expectations are usually exceeded.1 Why does this matter? Customers are more likely to be loyal and will even pay a premium price to buy from a business with great customer service. Theyre most likely to switch to another provider after being treated poorly. 1 http://about.americanexpress.com/news/docs/2012x/axp_2012gcsb_markets.pdf
  • one & two & three & four & five & six & seven & eight & nine & Here are 10 common customer pet peeves including some from our SUCCEED: Small Business community membersand how you can avoid them in your business. Double- check this list to make sure you are staying on your customers good side.
  • 01 Lying No one likes to be treated dishonestlyand your customers are no exception. Even fudging the facts unintentionally because you are in a hurry can come back to haunt you. Take time to anticipate what customers will ask and make sure everything you say is accurate.
  • 02. Rude and Unhelpful Customer Service Reps A single interaction with an impatient and disrespectful representative can destroy a customer relationship. Heres a real-world example that you can use to train your employees on how to make every customer interaction a positive experience:
  • For two years out of a 10-year career in customer service, I wrote down every time a customer thanked me for something specific. The top five words customers repeated in their thank you notes were help, patience, competence, niceness, and time. Paula Kramer, Consultant Smiles Spark Success, and SUCCEED Member
  • 03. Slow Service and Shipments Do your service technicians have impaired punctuality? Does it seem like your products are shipped by pack mule? No wonder your customers feel frustrated. To avoid unnecessary delays, systemize and automate your processes with appropriate technology. Your business will be more organized and efficient. Youll offer faster service and be able to notify customers right away if theres an unexpected delay.
  • My pet peeve is when the person on the other end of the phone is more engrossed in what is going on in their space instead of the conversation they are supposed to be having. Tamika Warner, Adjunct Professor Lincoln College of New England, and SUCCEED Member 04. Lack of Focused Attention
  • If you cant take a call without being interrupted, let it go to voice mail and call back as soon as you can do so in a quiet setting.
  • 05. Poor Priorities What I really hate is when you are at a store and the great people trying to help you are forced to answer the phones to answer a question from someone who may or may not ever come to the store. Jeff Fox, Founder DBSA Northridge, and SUCCEED Member A customer in the store is worth two on the phone. Have someone who isnt working the floor available to do phone duty.
  • 06. Speakerphone Faux Pas Unless your customer is expecting a conference call, he shouldnt be on speaker. If you must use the speaker function, ask permission first. Otherwise, you cant blame him for reacting poorly.
  • Whenever anyone puts me on speakerphone, I belt out a nice: Youre listening to K E Vall Kevin, all the time. Go ahead, listener, youre on the air! It usually leaves them speechless. Kevin Hoult MBA, Business Advisor Services Manager Western Washington Universitys SBDC, and SUCCEED Member
  • 07. Reading the Slides If youre putting on a presentationwhether on behalf of your clients or to your clientsdont do this: My pet peeve is speakers who read the slides. I dont mind so much that someone turns to refer to a slide as long as they dont do it too often, but saying the exact same words for the whole dang thing bores me spitless. Shawn Greene, Prospecting and Sales Performance Expert, SUCCEED Member To avoid using slides as a crutch, prepare your presentation without slides first.
  • 08. Mumbling & Talking Too Fast Whats the point of having an office phone number if customers cant understand you? Dont mumble! Please, please, PLEASE...just slow down your speech and let the person youre greeting absorb what youre saying when you answer the phone! Linda Feinholz, Business Breakthrough Expert, SUCCEED Member
  • 08. Unintelligible Speech on the PhoneIf you find yourself speeding through a phone greeting, edit it to be shorter. Take a deep breath before you answer the phone so you dont accidentally sound rushed.
  • I hate it when they use the B word, and no, not that one! BUSY. Never tell the client you are busy. It implies they are not important. Youre busy? OK, Ill find someone who thinks my business is worth the time to un- busy themselves to talk with me! Shirley Dawson, Nursing Administrative Assistant Hampstead Hospital, and SUCCEED Member 09. Overly Busy BusinessOwners
  • Postpone a conversation more politely: I have one more commitment to fulfill today, but I want to take care of you ASAP. Can we meet at 4 p.m.?
  • When I call about an issue, I hate when the people on the phone are overly apologetic. I am not looking for an apology. I am looking to rectify a problem. One apology is enough. And really, you do not know how I am feeling. So do not think you do. David Silverman, Food and Beverages Professional, SUCCEED Member Dont pretend to be sorry and think this will make customers happy. Fix the problem. Actions speak louder than words. 10. Fake Sincerity
  • You should spend as much energy on nurturing customer relationships as you do on making sure you have a good product. Advice InspirationAction Engage a mystery shopper to give you feedback and a fresh perspective on what its really like to interact with your company. Youll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture cant be copied. Jerry Fritz
  • In the end, it really is customer service that helps you make more happen. Visit our SUCCEED: Small Business Network to share your suggestions for ways businesses can improve their customer service. Share this SlideShare with a fellow small business owner.