Customer Experience as a Freelancer

There’s a lot to be said for maintaining strong relationships with your customers and promoting a positive brand image. Unfortunately, all of that hard work can be destroyed with just a few mistakes. How do you know if you’re making them?

Avoid These 5 Mistakes

It’s foolish to assume that all customers are the same. Market research and customer segmentation are extremely important. But with that being said, the vast majority of customers in all industries are turned off by the following issues. By avoiding them altogether, you can save your brand’s image and give customers exactly what they’re looking for.

1. Unresponsive Customer Service

Is there anything that makes you angrier than when you call a company to resolve an issue and you have to wait on the phone line for 10 or 15 minutes before being served? Sadly, this has become the norm in many industries. But it doesn’t stop there. Emails go unanswered, return requests aren’t processed, and promises aren’t kept.

Unresponsive customer service leaves customers frustrated, angry, and even volatile. When compounded many times over, the result can be a watered down brand image with lots of negative word of mouth. Focus on improving your approach to customer service if you want to avoid these negative byproducts.

2. Lack of Payment Options

One very simple thing that frustrates certain customers is a lack of payment options. Everyone has their own preferences in regards to how they pay – with options ranging from cash to Bitcoin – and it’s a good idea to adopt flexible payment processing in order to keep customers satisfied.

3. Unclean Facilities and Grounds

People expect your business to be clean and safe. If they encounter some aspect that’s unclean or unsafe, they’re likely to push back and associate your business with less-than-satisfactory things.

For brick and mortar businesses, it’s important to think about parking lots, sidewalks, and landscaping. While the average customer won’t take much notice if these elements are clean, a lack of cleanliness is likely to leave a negative impression. The same goes for bathrooms. They should be carefully monitored and cleaned on a daily basis.

4. Failure to Honor Coupons

When you offer a coupon, deal, or sale, honor it. When a customer takes you up on a money-back guarantee, don’t fight it. If a return policy is in place, follow the rules.

There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than being told by a brand that they stand for one thing, while they do the exact opposite. While you may lose a few dollars by honoring a promise, it’s the right thing to do. Even if you’re technically right and the customer is wrong, it’s not worth bickering over small details. Accept it and learn to quickly move on.

5. Trying to Sell too Frequently

Do you like receiving calls from telemarketers and spam emails for companies? What about junk mail in your mailbox? The answer is no. So why then would your customers like receiving sales information from your company on a regular basis? Hint: They don’t.

“Clients are people not fish. Don’t ‘lure’ or ‘hook’ them – engage them, listen to them and serve them,” Forbes contributor Mike Hyatt says. “This is much more than a semantical argument – it’s a philosophical shift in thinking, and a practical shift in acting.”

Focus on the Things That Matter

Interestingly, the things that you think matter aren’t always the things that actually matter to your customers. It’s important that you spend time researching common pain points and actually focusing on the factors that have an impact on your target market’s perception of your brand.

Best known as an Entrepreneur and Connector. John was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine as well as a blogging expert by Forbes. He is the Founder and CEO of Due.

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