Having dissatisfied customers is a problem of its own right. No business can afford to have a significant number of people have or share a bad experience. Scaring customers away is another problem entirely – and it’s much worse. If people don't even want to shop with you because the experience is off-putting, your customer base can quickly dwindle down to zero. Are you scaring people off? You might be doing just that if you are guilty of any of those 7 behaviors.
1. Aggressively Emailing Them
Email marketing is undoubtedly important. Sending your customers updates about upcoming sales or abandoned cart reminders is commonplace. It’s not commonplace to email blast them every few days in an attempt to persuade them to make a purchase. Coming across and desperate and annoying will cause customers to unsubscribe from your mailing list – and likely never shop with you again.
2. Passing Them Through a Phone Chain
Someone calls because they need help. Maybe they have a question about a product or a policy. Perhaps it relates to troubleshooting. Their call gets answered. They’re put on hold. They’re shifted from person to person before they finally (if at all) find their answer. The phone call was a nightmare, and the impression they’ve gotten is that they should start shopping somewhere else for better customer service. Have a reliable phone system for your customers, and make sure all calls get routed where they need to go the first time.
3. Seeming Like a Faceless Entity
Who owns your store? Who is behind your website? What entity are these people making purchases from? Having some sort of an “about” page or featuring your story in your marketing will help people associate the owner with the brand. They’ll know where their stuff is coming from and that an actual person stands behind the product.
4. Marketing the Pros and Hiding Huge Cons
Be wary of using devious sales tactics to get through the door. Marketing strategies that withhold information will become apparent the moment someone goes to complete a transaction – and that will quickly sour your relationship with anyone who visits your location or tries to make a purchase on your website. If customers are required to complete a certain action in order to cash in on a deal or score a freebie, make sure they know that upfront.
5. Looking Illegitimate Online
Statistics show that around 82% of customers use their smartphones while they’re in a store to help them make a well-informed purchasing decision. If they’re comparing prices with your competitors, they’re likely bouncing back and forth between mobile versions of your website. If your mobile site is a nightmare, it’s going to make you appear disorganized. Sometimes, they’ll be more inclined to shop with your competitor simply because they present a much better image. Always optimize your site for mobile viewing.
You might also consider offering free WiFi to your customers. This might entice them to linger in your store just a little bit longer, increasing the chance that they will make another purchase.
6. Presenting Them With Stressed Out Employees
If it’s very clear that your employees are overwhelmed or in a bad mood, customers are going to notice. This will result in one of two things. The customer will believe the employee was merely rude or disrespectful, chalking the event up to a horrible customer service experience. Or, the customer will see how stressed out all the employees are and believe you’re treating them terribly. Neither scenario works out well.
Make sure your employees are taking their scheduled breaks. Learn to recognize the signs of burnout. Be certain that everyone is getting enough time off, and try to avoid asking employees to come in early or leave late when possible. Hire enough seasonal staff for when things get busy. If your employees aren’t overtaxed, they’ll be able to represent you properly.
7. Forcing Them Through an Experience
Nobody likes to feel rushed. Sometimes, slow shoppers spend more. The longer they look, the more likely they are to find things that they like. If they feel as though the browsing process is being expedited for them, they lose the leisurely experience of shopping. It’s okay to have sales staff available to assist people, but don’t encourage your staff to borderline micromanage everyone who walks through the door. Give people some breathing room and a little bit of control. If they feel crowded, they might leave without buying anything.
Make sure your attempts to gain customers and boost sales aren’t driving away the ones you already have. Give people what they want and allow them the experience they desire. The rest will essentially happen naturally.
Audrey Robinson is an experienced customer care manager and an occasional blogger, currently supporting Maxo – telecommunication experts. Audrey can often be found online, sharing her tips about customer acquisition and retention.