I consider myself a tough customer; I won’t frequent places with bad service, no matter how amazing they are. And apparently I’m not alone. Last year, Echo Research found customers spend a whopping 9 percent more with companies that provide good service.
Now that’s an incentive. To make sure you are benefiting from a boost in sales, heed these common mistakes.
1. Not listening
How many times has a customer approached you in the middle of your peak time to complain or offer a comment? Do you remember exactly what they said? If not, next time try to stop everything and listen, recommends Renee Evenson, author of six books on customer service including Customer Service Management Training 101.
“One of the biggest customer complaints is that employees don’t listen; communication is the cornerstone of customer service and customers deserve your undivided attention,” she says.
2. Not greeting them warmly
A cheerful ‘hello’ can brighten a person’s day and help turn them into a paying customer.
“Make them feel welcome and happy to be there; people often feel ignored when they go into a place of business—remember to greet them with a smile and make eye contact,” Evenson says.
3. Not training your employees
Employee training is essential to good customer service. According to Evenson, there are two types of training: technical and interpersonal.
“Don’t assume that an employee knows what it means to give good service; explain what it means to you—this is incredibly important because your employees are the face of your business,” she says.
4. Not rewarding customers
I love loyalty programs. I will go to my corner deli every day for two weeks just to get a free salad. It makes me feel connected to the business.
“Reward people for being good customers—by engaging them in-person and on social media channels—they will be more likely to come back to your business and tell their friends to do the same,” says Michael Abraham, co-founder of Creative Capital Group in Santa Monica, California.
5. Not ensuring customer satisfaction
How do you do this? Try making recommendations of useful products or services, then ask customers if they agree with your solutions, offers Evenson.
She says, “Make sure to do the last step of engaging your customer in the conversation, don’t just talk at them; then show appreciation before they leave your business.”