5 Customer Service Mistakes That You’ve Probably Made
In a previous article, we shared various ways to offer great customer service to your customers. In this article, however, we’re going to shed a little light on small things you (or your staff) may be doing that are hurting your reputation. But don’t worry, all of these customer service faux pas are quick fixes. Ready to review the potentially cringe-worthy behavior? Let’s go!
1. You Let Your Mood Dictate Your Manners – It’s the end of a long day. Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong. You’re tired, irritated, and ready to go home. However, the new customer standing in front of you (or on the other end of the phone) doesn’t know any of this. All they know is that they need help from you and that you get paid to help them. But you don’t feel like helping them so you’re tempted to be impolite and give short answers so that they’ll leave you alone. But take a minute here to put yourself in their shoes. If you were a customer that needed help, how would you want to be treated? The lesson here is “fake it ‘til you make it.” As far as every customer you encounter knows, you are having a great day and are happy to be at work. So, act like it.
2. You’re Bored With Your Job – And it Shows– Every job can feel monotonous at some point. I’m sure that even rock stars, dolphin trainers, and beer taste testers all need a break now and again. You can feel like nothing you’re doing matters, and that it doesn’t matter how you treat the customer because you’re over this job. However, no matter how small your job might seem to you, in one way or another you have the opportunity to make someone’s day easier, if not a little better. A friendly and efficient cashier can make a trip to the grocery store easier for a busy customer. Holding the door open for your customers as they exit your retail store can make them feel cared for. Helping a customer with directions over the phone will keep them from wasting time. See? It’s not that hard.
3. You’re TOO Friendly With Your Customers – While it’s important to connect with your customers and make them feel welcome in your store, restaurant, or café, you shouldn’t treat them like your friends, even if they are your “regulars.” When they ask you how you are, don’t open up about how the beer delivery was late, you’re understaffed, hungover or exhausted. Remember, your customers are coming in on their free time, and their time is precious. So, put on a smile and tell them that things are going well, and then ask them about themselves. Save the venting for your friends and family after work.
4. You Let Tasks (Not Customers) Be Your Priority – We all know there is more to running a business than interacting with customers. Inventory, re-stocking, administrative tasks, cleaning, organizing, interacting with vendors and suppliers… the list goes on and on, especially for small business owners who might have to do a lot of these tasks themselves. However, a real life customer – either in-store or on the phone – should be your first priority, every day. If you’re in the middle of restocking the pastries at your café, and a customer approaches, don’t seem put off or irritated that they’re interrupting your “work.” This customer is your work. All it takes is a friendly, “’Sorry about that, just doing a little restocking. How can I help you?” to put you back on the right track.
5. You Got The Sale, But Then You Oversell – It’s a great feeling when you help a customer find what they were looking for. Sometimes that customer wants to buy more, and all they need is an expert salesperson to assist them. However, sometimes they don’t want to buy anything more, and they just want to make their purchase and leave. Upselling is a part of business, but it shouldn’t be obvious to your customers. Learn to read your customers, and step in when you are needed. Offer help, but don’t be a pest.
So… Have you made any of these mistakes on the job? (It’s ok if you have) Have you witnessed any of them as a customer? (Haven’t we all?)