What’s the Fastest Way to Lose a Customer?
I was recently quoted in an article on Industry Edge about How to Lose a Customer Forever. The article was targeted to hardware retailers, but the tips apply to retail businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Of course, you don’t really want to alienate customers, so consider this advice on what not to do!
There are lots of ways to lose a retail customer, a few of which are:
1) Be disrespectful.
Customers don’t know everything, and they aren’t always pleasant, especially when they’re frustrated and need help. That’s precisely when it’s most important to be patient and respectful, and to make things as easy as possible for customers. Listen to their needs to address the real problem (which might not be what they think it is.)
2) Say one thing and do another.
If your marketing message doesn’t match the reality of what customers experience in your store, you’ll lose trust and they’ll go elsewhere. For example, if you promote friendly, helpful service but don’t greet customers when them come in the store, you’ve got a problem. Do your policies line up with your messages?
3) Make assumptions.
Do you size someone up the minute they walk through the door, thinking, “They’re clueless,” or “He looks like he knows what he wants.” Do you assume language or wording indicates sophistication? Appearances, posture and body language can be deceiving. Be open, ask questions, and see how you can help.
These tips apply in person at the retail store as well as online (e-commerce, chat, etc.) and in social media engagement.