In these stressful times, it can be easy to put your head down and focus so hard on dollars and cents and your bottom line, that you lose your focus on your organization’s main purpose: to serve your customers. Here’s a past blog post that will help remind you and your team of the mistakes to avoid when serving your customers during these tough times.
On that note, as my customers, I want you to know if there’s anything I can do to support you or your organization to help you achieve your goals, please reach out to me directly at Amy@AmyCastro.com!
Most companies talk a lot about the importance of customer service, but the actions of their employees don’t reflect that they value customer service above all else. Before the internet, poor customer service stories spread one-to-one, meaning one person had a bad experience and shared it with others one at a time. However, in the internet age, customer service fails have the potential to go viral and can destroy an organization’s reputation and possibly put it out of business.
Awhile back, I decided to track the customer service fails I experienced in a 30 day period. My goal was to see if I would experience 30 mistakes in 30 days. In the end, I easily experienced three to four customer service fails each day. Some of them were minor and some of them were major. Had I posted them on Facebook or Tweeted about them, any of these experiences would have had the potential to spread to hundreds, if not thousands of people.
After eliminating “repeat” errors, here are the top 30 customer service fails I experienced in just 30 days. I’m not going to name the organizations, because calling them out isn’t the point of this post.
What I want every reader to do is to identify the mistakes your organization is making and more importantly, what you are going to do to avoid them in the future so you maintain your reputation and ultimately your customers.
1. Not returning calls at all
2. Not returning calls when your voicemail SAYS you will (by close of business, within 24 hours, etc.)
3. Not keeping promises or commitments
4. Making promises you KNOW you can’t keep
5. Trying to justify or rationalized poor service to your customer
6. Hiring (and/or keeping) staff with bad attitudes or poor service skills
7. Blaming the customer
8. Being inaccessible to your customers
9. Responding to complaints with excuses
10. Placing “policy” before “service”
11. Waiting until after a deadline or commitment date has passed to let your customer know there’s a problem or delay
12. Not following up
13. Not treating all customers equally (cost of services, adherence to policies/procedures, etc.)
14. Failing to listen
15. Skipping basic, common courtesies such as “please,” “thank you,” etc.
16. Blaming a coworker or employee to avoid taking responsibility for a mistake
17. Poor product or service knowledge
18. Poor eye contact
19. Bringing negative personal “baggage” to work and sharing it with a customer
20. Hitting customers over the head with baggage you’ve carried over from a previous customer interaction
21. Employees socializing with each other and ignoring customers
22. Inconsistency in any aspect of business
23. Keeping callers on hold for more than 60 seconds
24. Multiple telephone transfers
25. Criticizing or reprimanding employees in front of customers
26. Calling a customer, “Hon,” “Sweetie,” or another unwanted term of endearment
27. Holding an in-depth conversation with “sir,” or “ma’am” and not bothering to ask (and use) the person’s name
28. Presuming to call a customer by his or her first name
29. Having a long voicemail greeting or an automated, multi-optioned phone answering system
30. Having a long, automated, multi-optioned phone answering system that either disconnects the call when the caller presses zero or starts the whole announcement over again
If you have any other customer service mistakes you’d like to add to this list- comment and let me know!