One of the most important things your business can do is make sure your customer service is on par. Regardless of everything else, if you have good, valuable customer service representatives who know what they are doing, you will be okay. However, bad customer service can cost you thousands of customers and millions of dollars in lawsuits. And we’ve seen many examples of bad customer recently.
Don’t force unrealistic expectations
It’s good to set goals and encourage positive behaviors in your company. That being said, the stress of unrealistic goals, especially those tied to job security. Wells Fargo is one example where unrealistic expectations caused employees to create thousands of duplicate checking and savings accounts without the permission of customers in order to meet those goals. After having to pay $190 million in fines and losing many customers and employees, Wells Fargo is now working to promote trust with new ad campaigns to be launched in the coming months.
Don’t lie to or deceive your customers
Salespeople used to be able to get away with lying to their customers to make a sale. And while it was not the best practice, it didn’t really affect the company. But with smartphones making the internet so readily available, lying to your customers can get you into big trouble. Or at least that’s what Volkswagen discovered when it created a technology to cheat emissions testing. In reality, cars were emitting nitrogen oxide pollutants up to 40 times above what is allowed in the US. The carmaker has now purchased back over half of the polluting vehicles, but it is having a very difficult time regaining customer trust.
Avoid physical altercations with customers
Really, avoid physical touching of customers in all circumstances unless the job requires it. Unfortunately, the recent incident at United where a customer was literally dragged off a plane, so some flight crew could take his seat left a sour taste in the mouths of customers. Whether or not United was in the right when forcibly removing the passenger from the plane doesn’t really matter because in the eyes of the people who watched the video of a man being physically removed and hurt in the process, it was completely inappropriate.
As United is trying desperately to respond and fix customer relationships (which hasn’t been smooth sailing), more stories keep emerging making matters worse. One of which was the couple who was recently kicked off a flight on the way to their own wedding in Costa Rica.
Don’t ignore problems
If you have a problem, it is better to address it immediately with customers and get it fixed than try to ignore it, so you don’t lose business. Word will get out fast about the problem, and customers will be mad they heard it from someone else instead of directly from the source. Chipotle had an issue with this when a food poisoning debacle was ignored instead of addressed immediately. More customers got sick than necessary, and it meant the restaurant lost a lot of business. Had the company simply come out, used text marketing to let their customers know about the problem, and focused on resolving it, fewer customers would have been lost.