Customer Experience

4 Customer Service Mistakes You’re Probably Making

November 16, 2016

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It’s necessary for businesses to deliver excellent customer service in order to compete in today’s customer-driven business landscape.

Customer service is also one of the keys to successfully fostering customer loyalty, and it has a major impact on the entire customer experience.

  • According to a survey by American Express, 78 percent of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.
  • Meanwhile, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, news of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience.

For some businesses, especially those that are growing fast and expanding with multiple locations, it’s easy to lose sight of the ways frontline employees and staff treat and serve customers. That’s why we have listed down 4 common customer service mistakes which we hope your organization is making sure to avoid:

Mistake 1: Overlooking customer service training

Kevin Stephan, senior sales manager at Hanover Toyota, says his most significant customer service mistake was not giving training the focus and attention it deserved.

“The biggest mistake that we’ve made with customer service is not giving our reps the proper training. When we first hired our staff, we spent a little time on training, but we never stopped to think about the common issues that many people would need to call about.”

Stephan’s team took a step back and even trained customer service on how to resolve 15 hypothetical customer scenarios.

Mistake 2: Arguing with the customer

“The biggest mistake any company can make is forgetting that the customer is the whole reason you are in business,” says Jeff Street, COO of Boss Heating and Air Conditioning. “They are the ones you are offering services or products to, and they are the ones you need to take care of.”

He adds, “The old saying, ‘the customer is always right,’ is true.”

Street suggests that, if you are dealing with an unhappy customer, it’s important to simply listen to them — not argue with them — and then solve their problem.

“Let them tell you why they are disgruntled and then help them solve the problem,” he says.

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Mistake 3: Leaving out practical information

“I think most businesses fall short of their customer service duties long before a customer walks in the door,” says Chris Post, CEO of Sacramento web design and marketing agency Post Modern Marketing.

Post thinks it’s important to make sure customers know the practical information about your business, such as address, phone number, menu, specials, and even online reviews. You can do that by establishing your presence online, beginning with your business website.

“The first point of contact between business and clients is usually the website, which often lacks key information that customers want.”

Read more about why you should incorporate online reviews into your website.

Mistake 4: Failing to create a customer-centric culture

“Good customer service is a culture, not only a job,” says Ray McKenzie, founder and principal of management consulting group Red Beach Advisors. “Community businesses have to inject a positive and customer-focused culture into each employee to have a true impact in performance from top to bottom.”

If your customers aren’t front and center of your organization, recognize the need to change. Listen to customer feedback. Tell stories about your customers to employees. For more ideas, tips, and examples on how to build a customer-focused organization, check out our recent blog post.

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