Have so many customers, you’re hoping to drive some of them away so you can catch a break? Successful business owners are continuously looking for ways to move their business forward — but often, a few seemingly small things slip through the cracks and start driving customers away instead. Often, the things that drive customers away seem small to businesses — but big to customers. Here are five things that drive customers away that you’ll want to avoid to keep your business growing.
Treat staff poorly.
Business owners often interact with staff more often than the customers — but the attitude you have towards your staff is often the same attitude that gets passed down to the customer. Care for your staff, and your customers will be cared for too. When employees feel like they are just there to make a quick buck and not part of a team, they’re disengaged — and disinterested staff is a big turn off to customers. Finding employees that keep customers coming back is not just about hiring the right people — it’s about treating them right once they’re there too.
Use minimal staff training, if any at all.
Night next to “rude staff” in customers’ most common list of complaints is staff that may be friendly, but can’t answer their questions. Be sure all new staff are properly trained on things like which aisle products are located in, where to go to make a return and the selling points of your products. When you carry a new product, train existing staff on just what that is, so when a customer asks what’s the difference between product A and product B, they have an answer ready.
Treat customers like numbers, not people.
One of the best ways to make sure your customers never come back is to treat them like numbers. If the only goal is to make money, your customers will pick up on that and move their money to a business that is also there to help people. Small businesses often continue to thrive despite their size because they are small enough to learn their customers names and make them feel welcome, not advertised at. Learning customers names may be impossible for larger businesses, but treating them like people is not.
Waste their time.
Don’t you hate it when someone wastes your time? That’s pretty much a universal pet peeve. Waste your customer’s time, and they’ll go to a business that doesn’t always have long lines or long service turnaround times. Wasted time is more than just long lines though — making them dig through pages and pages on your website before finding contact information is another perfect example of something incredibly simple that can make a big negative impact if it’s not done right.
Sticking to the bare minimum.
Most businesses have at least half a dozen competitors waiting to pick up the slack — do just the bare minimum, and they’ll quickly pick up that slack and your customers along with it. Instead, think of simple ways to go above and beyond the general description of your business. A photo print shop could add delivery service, for example, create a rewards program that discounts products for frequent customers, or add another related service, like colour correction. If you deliver more than you promised to your customer, they’re much more likely to return.
Customer experience is vital to a business’ success — and it’s just as often about what you don’t do as well as what you do.