Bad customer experience is something most companies work to avoid. Businesses depend on happy customers in order to reach or maintain a level of success. There are so many common mistakes that companies tend to make within the customer experience space, and these are the top 10:
- “Your call is important to us”
Is it though? Is my call really important to you? Hundreds of surveys done across the globe have shown that this is voted one of the highest customer experience annoyances. Coupled with that frustrating hold music that is designed to calm you down but only boils the blood as you begin to talk to yourself, hoping that you are being heard by SOMEONE as they’ve told you that “your call is being recorded”.
It is a FACT that customers perceive this statement as a big fat lie, and it simply makes them angrier.
- Employee Knowledge
How infuriating is it when a consultant is unable to answer a question of a customer? Someone who WORKS at an establishment, day in and day out, should be able to answer anything related to the business without hesitation. Companies need to ensure that they train their employees extremely well before communicating with customers unsupervised. It deters customers away from your company.
Whether it is being kept on hold or standing in a queue, people hate waiting. A survey by Forrester found that 41% of customers expect a response to a customer support email within 6 hours. Only 36% of businesses actually responded with that sort of turn-around time. Nowadays with social media being available, people expect to be responded to within 30-60 minutes! Companies need to keep up because this sort of disgruntlement will make your customers eager to try out your competition in hope of better customer service.
- Being passed around.
This is also one of the aspects that tops the list in most surveys when it comes to bad customer experiences. Banks tend to do this all the time. Customers are thrown from department to department in order to solve an issue. By the time the customer has reached the 4th consultant they are ready to explode! Could you blame them? Why has the customer not been put through to the correct person in the first place? It is completely unfair and very damaging to the brand’s image.
- Obvious upselling.
Whether it’s in a retail store, at a restaurant or on the phone to a consultant, there are very few more annoying things than when someone is blatantly trying to take advantage of you and get more money out of you. This clearly demonstrates the lack of concern for the customer and lack of honesty. “No, I do not want another bottle of wine at the end of our meal, or the extra T-shirt when I’m already paying for my selected clothes at the till, or the extra insurance policy you are offering that your robot machine already told me about while I was on hold. THANKS!” Companies need to train their employees to be tactful and respectful towards their customers and to upsell in a way that is satisfying the customer appropriately and not in a greedy manner.
- Being followed around.
This mainly pertains to retail stores. It is so, so aggravating when you are trying to shop and have been offered assistance that you’ve politely declined for now, and then the person decides to hover over your shoulder in case you may urgently need help. It chases customers away and makes them feel very uncomfortable. Companies need to train retail staff in how to approach customers and general in-store self-conduct.
- Breaking promises.
All customers need to feel valued in order to retain them. Promising to call or email them back and not delivering that promise will repel your customers. Companies often place too much focus on the “glitz and glamour” of the business and they then fail to deliver on the most basic things. Committing to a turn around time and not delivering is not ok. Companies must make realistic promises and follow through with them. That is a fundamental aspect of a business as a whole; it is the essence of customer experience. According to the White House Office of Consumer affairs, news of bad customer service reaches twice as many ears as praise of good service experience. Remember that.
- Rude attitude.
How can a customer be made to feel blamed for the unhappy position that the company representative is in? Companies need to ensure that they employ people that are happy and proud to be there. Keeping your employees happy and training them with regards to their behavior towards customers is crucial in creating good customer experiences, as it is the employees that drive the business and deliver the experience to the customer.
- Being called at the most inconvenient times.
Companies need to research when would be the appropriate times to call their target market. It is so frustrating to be called by a company selling funeral cover first thing on a Monday morning! People are working. How could you think that they are able to talk to you about this at that time? Perhaps companies should even survey their own customers and see when they are most likely to be able to speak on the phone. Contacting customers needs to be tactful because it is this very act of tactlessness that will make them hate your business.
- No acceptance of responsibility.
Often, representatives of companies are quick to tell customers that “this is the company policy” and “it is what it is”. Employees need to treat their customers as they would like to be treated. There should be a respectful explanation to anything they want to know the reason for. Employees should be trained well enough to be able to understand and relay messages so that the customer does not have to be more dissatisfied and ask to speak to a supervisor or manager, which is usually the next step after being told to accept the policy.
Did you know that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for 1 negative customer experience? All businesses need to consider this when designing their customer journey and avoid these 10 infuriating aspects that so many businesses get wrong. Deliver respectful, human experiences and stand out; your customers will love you for it!