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5 Ways to Lose Your Customer

By: Shep Hyken


A sure way to lose customers is to deliver a bad customer service experience. And the customer service doesn’t even have to be flat-out terrible—although that would surely do the trick. But even a lack of concern or an attitude of indifference can make customers question whether they want to continue doing business with you. If you want to avoid this, carefully consider these five things that drive customers away. 

  1. Don’t greet the customer. How do you feel when you walk into a store and there are employees standing around, perhaps talking to one another, and they do not bother to greet you or acknowledge you in any way? Years ago, I walked into a hotel, lugging a heavy suitcase, and the front desk clerk was busy typing on his computer. After a long 30 seconds, he looked up and said, “I’ll be right with you.” He kept typing for another minute or so before finally asking, “Are you here to check in?” I responded in a nice way, but even years later, I remember the feeling of not being acknowledged.
  2. Don’t show concern for the customer. There’s an expression attributed to John Maxwell that states, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  Caring is an essential part of customer service, and it’s something that you can’t fake. The customer can tell if you have genuine concern, and if you do, it goes a long way even if there is a problem that is beyond your control. On the other hand, indifference is a customer relationship killer.
  3. Don’t listen to the customer. Sometimes you just have to stop talking and listen to what the customer has to say. Even if you already know there’s a problem and how to resolve it, the customer still wants to be heard. A breakdown in communication is the worst Moment of Misery you can have with your customer. You may resolve the issue on paper, but the impression that the customer leaves with is, “They don’t listen to me. I don’t like doing business with them.”
  4. Don’t respond to the customer. How do you feel when you leave a message on the phone, or send an email or Facebook message, and get no response? Frustrated? That’s how customers feel, too, when companies don’t respond to customer service complaints or problems.
  5. Don’t show gratitude to the customer. People need to feel appreciated. Customers, especially, are making the choice to spend their hard-earned money at your place of business. Don’t forget to say thank you. In person is essential, but you can also send a thank-you note or email. Let your customers know you appreciate them.
I’ve shared five, are there any other ways you would add to this list?
Published: January 16, 2015

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Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken is a customer experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession. Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. For more articles on customer service and business go to http://www.hyken.com.

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