Hell hath no fury like a customer scorned. You’ll get angry emails, bad reviews online, cussed out on social media – the works. The key, of course, is not to scorn them. Launch a preemptive strike against common customer frustrations by making sure these problems are nowhere to be found in your business.
These days, businesses tend to be really good at getting things delivered to consumers on time. So you need to make sure you’re part of that crowd. If you deliver stuff late, then customers are going to be really quick to take their business elsewhere next time. This goes double when you deliver an item that’s damaged or defective. And if you deliver good that are late and damaged, well, you can kiss that customer goodbye forever. (Don’t actually give them a kiss goodbye – they’re probably too annoyed with you to accept one.) The key is to ensure that your shipping and fulfillment process is as good as any of your competitors.
Poor handling of your website can frustrate customers in a lot of ways. If your SEO isn’t on point, then people are hardly going to be able to find your website. If it’s difficult to navigate, then they’re going to feel less inclined towards actually bothering to find the page they need. And if it’s slow… well, you probably already know how frustrating a slow website is. If your website is angering your users, then they’re probably going to assume that everything about your business is going to anger them in some way. You should be looking into custom, customer-friendly design for small businesses to ensure that your website doesn’t leave your customers fuming.
When a customer has a problem that they need to contact you about, then they’re probably already a little bit on edge. One thing that businesses often try to do to increase productivity is use email templates for pretty much every customer query. But customers can always tell when they’re getting “templated”, and the cold, impersonal experience that it creates leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Here’s the thing with services: it’s difficult to increase productivity in this way without debasing the quality of the product. This would be an economist’s way of saying that you should simply give customers a custom and detailed response whenever possible.
Let’s say you’re not guilty of any of the other problems listed here. In fact, your delivery service is impeccable, your website is the speediest out there, and your emails are so personalized and helpful that it seems like hours went into crafting them. Users love your website. But there’s still a problem: you haven’t got enough stock. You run out of the hot items at a faster rate than your competitors, forcing your usual customers into their arms. Over time, if this happens often enough, people will just stop going to your website. It’s true that you can’t always control this – so make sure that users aren’t just stuck with an “out of stock” messages. Make sure customers have options.