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Practice Management > Marketing and Communications > Social Media

10 crimes against the customer

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Are you guilty of disrespecting your customers? That’s a rhetorical question, and I’m sure the answer is no. At least I hope the answer is no.

Our friends at Provide Support sent over an awesome infographic about different reasons customers don’t like the companies they do business with. I don’t think you’ll disagree with any of the reasons, and you’ll probably hope that your company is not guilty of what I call Crimes Against the Customer. With that said, here are ten of the more flagrant wrongdoings companies are guilty of, along with some of my commentary:

1. Not appreciating loyalty

I’m amazed at the number of companies that take customers for granted. At least say thank you. I recently made a purchase at a store and the cashier didn’t even bother to say thank you.

2. Not valuing their time

My dad taught me one of the most disrespectful things you can do to anyone (especially a customer) is to be late. If you say you’ll be somewhere or will call someone back at a certain time, do it. It is basically saying your time is more important than theirs, which is very disrespectful.

3. Not providing clear contact information

I hate going on a website and having to hunt for an address or phone number. Make it easy to connect with you and your company.

4. Not being easily accessible

How long does it take to reach a live person on the phone? Or, to put another way, how easy are you to connect with? Doing business should be easy. Take the friction out of connecting with your support and sales people.

5. Putting them on hold for too long

This is another way to disrespect your customer’s time. With the technology available today, you can inform the customer of how long the wait will be and give him or her the choice of being called back within that time or a time that is more convenient to the customer. There’s no longer an excuse to keep customers on hold for unreasonable periods of time.

customer service wait time

If you want to make sure to irritate your customer, keep them waiting for a resolution to a problem or complaint. (Photo: iStock)

6. Failing to resolve their issues quickly

When there is a problem or a complaint, don’t let it linger. Take care of it as fast as possible. Acting with urgency builds confidence and makes the customer feel as if you care about taking care of their problem.

7. Not giving them opportunity to solve issues on their own

Self-service options for customer service are becoming the norm. Many people would rather get answers on their own, so give them the opportunity to do so. Provide options like a frequently asked questions section on your website.

8. Ignoring them on social media

The customer’s voice can now be heard by many. Be sure to respond — and do it quickly — to all customers’ comments, good and bad. If there is a problem or question, realize the customer expects an answer quickly, not hours or even days from when they posted or messaged you on social media.

9. Lack of employee knowledge

If you want to destroy credibility, put untrained people on the front line. Knowledge creates confidence. If an employee doesn’t have the answer, that’s OK. Just make sure they know who to go to or where to go to get the answer.

10. Being rude or unfriendly

With all of the options that customers have to buy similar good and services from competitors, how can anyone act rude or unfriendly toward the customer? Enough said on that one!

So, if you like these, then be sure to check out the original infographic. There’s actually 15 Crimes Against the Customer with interesting stats and facts to support each one. Great information that may help you stay away from being found guilty by your customers.

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