Business Mistakes That Will Drive Away Your Customers

In business, customers are everything. You must do all you can to find them, keep them on your side, and ensure that their word-of-mouth benefits (and not damages) your business. If you don’t make customers your focus, your business will fall, and with it, your pride and reputation. Make any of the mistakes mentioned below, and unfortunately but that latter truth is likely to happen. So read them, heed them, and if any of the following are true to your business, start making changes today.

Mistake #1: Lying to your customers
Taking a lesson from the prosecco on tap conundrum, don’t make the same mistake with your customers. If they discover you have been misselling your service or product, and it isn’t ‘what it says on the tin,’ you are liable to incur their wrath. Your customers will lose trust in you, bad mouth your company, and in extreme cases, take legal action against you. Honesty is always the best policy. Don’t over exaggerate in your selling pitches. Don’t cover up your mistakes with further lies. Don’t make promises you can’t live up too. Tell the truth, and you will get their respect instead of their mistrust.

Mistake #2: Giving bad customer service
What is bad customer service? Well, it’s not communicating to them effectively for a start. If you are always too busy to take phones calls or answer their emails, they will stop trying to reach you. If you don’t mind your P’s and Q’s when talking to them, even with the most frustrating of customers, they won’t be polite about you when they talk to their friends. If you take on the attitude that you are in the right and your customer is always wrong (even if they occasionally are), your arrogance will get their backs up. So improve your customer service, take time to speak and listen to them, be respectful, and improve your attitude towards them.

Mistake #3: Haranguing your customers
Pestering your customers isn't good, especially when it comes to marketing. It’s great you already have customers, but if you persist in trying to win them back to your business, with mass emails, phone calls, leaflet drops, and so on and so forth, they will put a block on you for good. Yes, it’s important to remind them you still exist, but take a step back. Give them the option to unsubscribe from your emails. Only write to them when you have something useful to say. Never ring them at home. If you show respect to them, even if you are desperate for their spending power, they are more likely to be receptive to your marketing in those occasional instances you reach out to them.

Mistake #4: Having a terrible website
Your website is often the first port of call for your customers. This is where they find out what you have to offer and how much your product is. Hopefully, they will like what they see and spend their hard-earned cash on whatever you are selling. However, your website can have the opposite effect. Instead of attracting your customers to you, it can actually drive them away. Such things as pop-ups, too many ads, cluttered web pages, and a confusing navigation system, are examples of the ways websites can appear off-putting to visitors. Considering many people are using small screens (phones, tablets) to go online these days too, your website needs to be optimised for these smart devices. So get your website up to scratch, hire a web design firm if you need that professional help, and start attracting people to you, rather than repelling them.

Mistake #5: Treating customers as a commodity
You are dealing with human beings, so treat them as such. Yes, they are only there to make you money, and you aren’t trying to make a new best friend, but when it comes to business, you need to make them feel otherwise. Offer that personal touch to make them feel special. Make them feel valued in the service you offer to them. Remember they have a name and not just a customer reference number. Tailor your service to their specific requirements. We all like to feel valued, and while the customer isn’t trying to be your best friend either, they are more likely to return to you if there is a better business-customer relationship existing between you.

Think of your experience as a customer when dealing with other businesses, online or retail. What made you feel frustrated? Was there anything that drove away your custom? If so, reflect on this, and learn from their mistakes. Many businesses close their doors within the first few years of opening. By focussing on your customers, you won’t have to do the same.

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