10 mistakes that annoy your customers, before you talk to them

Customer satisfaction is the key to the long-term success of any business.

Far too many companies annoy and frustrate their customers before they even speak to them! They do this by making it difficult and/or expensive for their customers to get in touch with them.

annoy your customers on the phoneMany huge companies can appear to be faceless monsters, consuming your money as fast as you make it. Being out of touch with your customers is a sure fire way to annoy them. Offering various rewards for their service, like this EM 2021 quoten, can help customers feel they are getting more for their money. However, the best way to help customers feel valued is to talk and listen to them.

Here are the top ten common ways you can annoy your customers, before you talk to them:

1. The right contact information

People prefer to speak to someone if they have a query or, even more so, if they want to make a complaint. Yet it’s amazing that some companies don’t even provide a contact number on their website – instead they expect their customers to email or fill during a form. This doesn’t say much about their dedication to customer service. So make sure you have a phone number clearly available on your website and make that phone is manned.

2. Using 0800 or 0845 numbers

Assuming you do provide a phone number, is it the right one for your customers? Do they call you often from their mobiles or landlines? If so using 0800 or 0845 numbers can deter mobile callers from making the call as these numbers can be expensive and will put customers off.

3. Using 0844 or 0871 numbers

Even worse, do you take advantage of using 0844 or 0871 numbers? Any company using these numbers for sales or services, or anything, should be avoided. They make a profit on every call they receive – even a sales call. If they really value you as a customer they should pay the phone bill, not you!

4. Confusing routes to speak to someone

Once your customer has made the decision, how easy does one make it for them to speak to someone? Do you use options such as “press 1”, “press 2” etc. to route calls to various departments? If so, did you know that this will cause some customers to leave the call? It is interesting to notice that First Direct, which always scores highly on customer service surveys, doesn’t use this method. Instead it has a variety of numbers to deal with your query so you speak to a real person.

5. Enter your 16-digit customer number

Equally frustrating are those companies that install systems that prompt users, before they talk to anyone, to enter their long account code/customer number etc. and then, having eventually got through to someone, the first thing you are asked is “can I have your account number?”.

6. You are now in position 48…

Do you even know many purchasers abandon their calls due to long answer times? Many businesses don’t even measure it. As a general rule, people start to get irritated after only 10 seconds, or four rings. That could result in losing a customer forever.

7. Your call is important to us

Companies spend a lot of money playing comforting messages – stressing how important their call is to you. If it were that important why not hire more people to make sure there are enough operators to answer the calls? Customers are not fooled! Hearing “your call is important to us” every 30 seconds for 20 minutes only shows that it is not.

8. Don’t cheap out

Some companies have resorted to moving support centres overseas. However this trend is changing and they are moving back to the United Kingdom. Customers have voted with their business; the companies that have focused on “how do we make servicing our customers cheaper rather than better” are losing out.

9. Call answering service vs voicemail

Smaller businesses face a similar choice; do I use an answering service or let a call go to voicemail? It really depends. Does the answering service just take a message, or can it answer some queries? If they’re just passing on a call back message how does that help?

10. Being prepared for high call volume

Finally does one have an idea to enable your customers get in-tuned if you can’t get to your office or shop thanks to bad weather or transport problems? There are many inexpensive solutions which can avoid lost orders and frustrated customers.

In conclusion, it should be easy for customers to reach you at zero or little cost to them and without waiting forever to talk to someone. A great test is to pretend to be your own customer and call your own business – was it a good experience for you? If not, that is what your customers have to deal with everyday and the last things you want to do is annoy them.

Put some thought into how you can improve the customer call experience. If you annoy them, your customers next call could be to your competitors.