In a busy market place, companies can’t afford to be content with a suboptimal customer-facing service. Indeed, there is sufficient competition around for your customers to switch companies if they are not satisfied. Marketers tend to focus their attention on happy customers and develop campaigns to boost loyalty and advocacy.
However, if you’re only thinking about positive feedback, you’re only looking at one half of the picture. Indeed, while happy customers come back and promote your brand, unhappy customers choose not only to shop else, but they can also discourage potential buyers. As a result, it’s not sustainable to ignore harmful decisions and behaviors that can affect your customer experience.
As surprising as it might sound, most businesses can be blind to the issues that frustrate their audience the most. Indeed, unless you put yourself in their shoes, it’s tricky to know what your customers experience. Unfortunately, a negative experience or a frustrating situation can cast a shower over the positive elements of your business. Therefore, we’ve listed below the 7 most frustrating things companies do that drive their audience away.
#1. You don’t adapt to their needs
Every customer has a different relationship with money. Some customers like to withdraw a specific amount for the week as a way of keeping track of their budget. Because they prefer to pay cash, they tend to struggle with commerces that for a reason or another can’t take cash payment. They are more likely to consider a cash-friendly alternative elsewhere.
Other customers live with a smartphone in their hands, and they tend to shop with the device at all times. If your business can’t take ApplePay payment, you might find those digital-savvy shoppers leaving the store without committing to any purchase.
Finally, you should also ensure that your store is equipped to accept most credit and debit cards because there is nothing more frustrating for a customer than having a payment rejected because your card machine can’t handle American Express or typical debit cards. In short, adapting to your customers’ payment preferences – or the most common preferences in your location – is no brainer. Nobody wants to go out of their way to be allowed to shop from your brand. If you can’t provide your customer with a versatile solution to their payment preferences, you’re ultimately losing customers.
#2. You don’t care about your premises
It’s your business, and you’re responsible for the premises. You need to be aware that if a customer slips on a wet patch on the floor, it’s your fault and any attorney would make sure to prove your responsibility. Indeed, an expert such as Gray and White Law represents personal injury cases and can ensure that the customer receives compensation for the accident. It is therefore essential that you maintain your site. The most common accidents tend to occur in busy areas, such as a shopping mall, during cleaning hours. The absence of a warning sign – slippery floor – is the most frequent cause for injuries. Customers who fall or trip in a shop – by no fault of their own – can become resentful as a result and avoid the business in the future.
#3. You don’t promote accessibility
Almost 1 in 5 people have a disability – as a result of a health issue or from birth – in the U.S. For the overwhelming majority of them, the impairment is so severe that it affects their interactions with their environment. As a business owner, failing to offer an accessibility route on your digital platform or your premises, keeps a potential 20% of your audience away. Someone like Molly Burke, a blind Youtube who is very vocal about her condition, has evoked the many ways in which modern businesses remain non-accessible.
For instance, some stores turn her assistance dog away, which means she can’t visit the store safely. Online businesses don’t provide sufficient voice-over description and facilities, which makes it difficult to buy online. Aside from Molly’s accessibility struggles, wheelchair users, people with hearing difficulties, and other individuals can feel rejected by non-accessible businesses.
#4. You don’t cross-reference with other channels
Your customers can be active on many platforms simultaneously. However, whether they’re using the live chat service on your site, contacting your team on social media or meeting your consultant at a networking event, customers are always talking to the same brand. But if your business struggles to combine the knowledge from cross channel communication, every conversation can feel like a new one on your side. For customers, this can be a frustrating and lonely experience.
#5. Your staff is rude
Everyone can have a bad. You might have encountered a rude waiter or member of staff once in your life. As a customer, rude staff can be a deal breaker. However, more often than not, businesses may not get to hear about the issue. Typically, when a customer feels mishandled in a shop or a restaurant, they don’t complain to the manager. Instead, they talk about it to their friends and relatives, encouraging more people to avoid your brand. Witnessing an uncivil interaction with another customer can have similar consequences.
#6. You don’t value their privacy
More and more businesses, online and offline, seem to require more personal information about their customers. If you buy makeup from Sephora, the girl behind the counter is likely to ask for your email address, for instance. Interflora wants to know about your relatives birthdays when you order a bunch of flowers to be delivered. Customers value their privacy. They don’t want to receive your newsletters or to be part of your database unless they’ve explicitly agreed to it.
#7. You don’t support their values
Last but not least, modern shoppers are concerned about their environmental impact. Not only are they more likely to choose organic and local products, but they also want to make sure that their items are as sustainable as possible. Businesses that continue to use plastic bags or that fail to develop ethical processes are perceived negatively.
Your customers have expectations of your brand. They want a business that not only understands their needs, but also respects their values, their health, and their interests.