Don’t Damage Your Customer Relationships

small biz and customers Make these mistakes, and your customers will flock right on over to your competition.

You spend untold hours writing compelling website content, crafting interesting blogs, designing the perfect business sign, executing marketing strategies and tweeting the latest industry news to attract customers, but are you damaging your existing relationships and reputation by making these unprofessional missteps? Make these mistakes, and your customers will flock right on over to your competition.?

Putting a Bad Face Forward?

Whether you run a brick and mortar store or an online business, appearances are important. A dilapidated storefront ? whether online or on the street ? sends customers running. If the front windows are filthy or the only blog posts are from five years ago, you are sending the wrong message to your customers. This lack of upkeep does nothing to build trust or confidence in your business, and it makes a terrible impression.?

Losing Your Cool?

No matter how awesome your products are or how great your customer service team is, there will always be a customer who tests your limits. Losing your cool in response is the fastest way to damage customer relationships. If the complaint is valid, calmly come back with a proposed solution. If it is not, calmly end the relationship.?

It’s especially tempting to go tit-for-tat with online reviews, but again, responding calmly is the way to go. Other customers can tell the difference between hyperbolic raving and true complaints, and your happy customers will most likely defend you through their own reviews.?

Being Unreliable?

Your customers are right to expect a certain level of reliability and predictability when it comes to the quality of your products or services. Inconsistency is a sure way to make your clients disappear and see your sales numbers drop.?

Mean What You Say?

Carefully screen your marketing messages to make sure they accurately match what you sell or do. Don’t make promises you cannot keep, and avoid using hype. At best, it can drive customers away once they discover the truth. At worst, it can lead to charges of false advertising or fraud.?

Communicate Issues?

In business and in life, unavoidable problems sometimes spring up. Instead of trying to cover up issues, communicate with your clients when there will be a drop in the quality of your products or services or when a disruption will cause a missed deadline.?

Expressing Controversial Opinions?

When networking in person, taking clients out to dinner, chatting in your store or using Facebook or Twitter, one of the worst mistakes you can make is to express controversial opinions. Exercise caution and keep your stridently partisan political views in your personal realm.?