Here are 3 Deadly Mistakes in Customer Service You Won’t Want to Make

Although I said they are “deadly mistakes”, upsetting a customer doesn’t cost you your life.

However, image the possibility. One single case doesn’t seem to harm your customer support service so much, but if you take it with ignorance, the impact will be on your business. And it will be a big bad one that pushes your business off the cliff of death. You’ll wish you could have a second chance to save the situation before it went bad.

A smart company will take customer service seriously. Of course we couldn’t be perfect as we’re all human – we all make mistakes. But with the right effort and some prevention, we can minimize the damage and know how you can dodge the deadly traps on the way to a satisfied customer service.

Take these 3 mistakes seriously for your eCommerce business! Maybe they will save you, someday.

1. You forget about customer service on social media


Social media is the new battlefield for any eCommerce business’s customer service. With the boom of social media nowadays, I bet your online store does have your appearance on social channels. And whether you love showing up there or not, social channels are still holding the crown of the best place people expressing their thoughts.

You want to find some chats about your brand and service? Want to know what people are looking for in your market? Meet them where they are. Go to social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on.  Find Facebook or LinkedIn group discussions, Twitter hashtags or join some Google+ communities of your niche, you’ll get an ocean of inspiring ideas about what your potential customers want and how to improve your service accordingly.

So, if you don’t want to make bad brand impression on social network, remember to give prompt response to any brand mentions you receive – whether it’s a question, a compliment or a complaint, be as responsive, human and friendly as you could.

Embrace social media and your eCommerce business will thrive! Or if you want to ignore the time-wasting social channels, it’s okay but then don’t expect customers to mind spending time with you there.

2. You build electric wire fence around your customer service


One of the most popular traps for small and startup businesses is that they focus too much on profits and money. That’s why they tend to put the company’s benefits first instead of customers’ needs.

My advice for you: if you want to sell more, forget about the sales. Focus on problem solving for customers and you’ll sell.

Because some business owners are too obsessed with sales and revenues, they often put on barriers between them and customers without noticing it (I hope you aren’t one). Frankly talking, what are the “don’t go any further” sign you’re hanging on your store?

It’s when you make customers jump through different obstacles if they want to receive refund. Seriously, they are not happy with the service/product, then why make them even unhappier? It’s when your customer service reps take ages to resolve a support query from customer thinking they can wait since they’re already here, or just because there are not enough members in your staff. Now is everything for any eCommerce business, remember that.

Likewise, it’s also when you making your customers run around to have your support. Kicking customers from one department to another will backfire at your business. The same will happen if you refuse customer’s request with an emotionless face and “Sorry, it’s our policy”.

Don’t try collecting thumbs down for your business just because of focusing too much on your own benefits.

3. You fail to keep your promise and “It’s not our fault”


Most eCommerce store has guarantee statements on their website – like promising a 24/7 dedicated support, free shipping, 24-hour delivery, hacker-free, money-back guarantee, etc. Well, maybe to some businesses they are just some sweet words to lure customers and encourage them to click on “Check out” button while in fact the store can’t deliver exactly what it has promised.

Bang! And that’s the story of how a sneaky store loses their customers.

What is even worse? It’s when you completely failed and then start to make excuse. Your customers don’t want to waste their time reading or listening about how your store got hacked due to a security hole from third party like host provider then their credit card information got stolen, or how the problem in your product can be fixed and they shouldn’t request a refund just for that small problem, blah blah blah.

Lame excuses are trash. Use honesty instead.

When there’s a problem, the right attitude is to apologize for not being able to keep your promise. Then proceed to fix the broken things as fast as you can. Inform your customers about the fixing process. If customers ask for a refund because they’re not satisfied with your product then just do it without begging for another chance (that looks like you’re very desperate for money – don’t shame your brand over some bucks).

If you do want to have the second chance with customers, try asking them to allow you to help improve their experience with your company next time. With a coupon or a special discount, maybe your customers will think about coming back to buy from you one more time.

However, this tactic should be applied with careful consideration – or else your brand’s image will stoop even lower for “intentionally covering you mistake by cheaply buy your customers”.

Don’t woo away your precious followers

Catching a customer is hard. Retaining customer is no easier. That’s why it’s a noble task to deliver such a wonderful customer experience, especially via a stellar customer service which can’t be copied by anyone else.

Keep in mind these 3 sins and keep your customer service team well-prepared for such scenarios. I hope this list helps you greatly in optimizing your customer service (wink).

What have you learnt from your own business? Why not share with us your thoughts here?

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April 2, 2015 - Customer Service Tips