When you first build your business, you vow to treat your customers like gold. But before you know it, you get busy servicing customers and growing. Then you start feeling the pressure. And in this pressure, you start behaving in a way that you would never recognize. It’s a slippery slope that starts with one small thing that doesn’t really matter and then grows into a bad habit that leads to poor customer service.

Check your behavior and and make sure that you’re not doing any of these customer killing behaviors.

  1. Make them buy. The days of the pushy sales person have long been gone. And if you’re still measuring sales performance on quantity (revenue) instead of quality (profit), then you are bound to get reluctant customers who cost money to integrate into your system and are often lost before they become truly profitable.
  2. Set higher expectations than you can deliver. Studies show that expectations drive satisfaction results. So if you set your customers? expectations higher than you are able to deliver, they will be MORE dissatisfied than if their expectations were closer to the true experience.
  3. Tell them what they want to hear. This is another expectation issue. Customers want to know what to expect; when will their product be delivered, when will the service guy show up, etc. People are PLANNING their busy lives around your answer, and when you just tell them what they want to hear and deliver something altogether different, this absolutely sends people through the roof.
  4. Ignore them after the sale. Bringing on new customers is important, but loyal customers who refer do so because of their experience AFTER the sale. There’s an old joke about a prospect that was sold on the pitch that hell would be nothing but a party but when he showed up, saw the fire and brimstone and asked What happened to the party? The response was ?Yesterday you were the prospect, but today you’re the customer.
  5. Acting like a giant corporation when you’re a personal small business. Loyal customers feel like they have a relationship with the company. When customers have the feeling that they can reach out and talk to the CEO whenever they want to (even though they rarely do it) it gives them a sense of closeness and loyalty.
  6. Putting your policy about their service. Rude and condescending tones can creep out in your communication especially if you’re stressed. Your customers probably aren?t as smart as you about the product or service that you sell THAT S WHY THEY BUY FROM YOU!? It’s that little bit of perspective that often gets lost especially with industrial or technology products.
  7. Nothing but Voicemail. It’s getting more difficult to find people at their desk. And today’s communication tools have increased expectations that when a customer calls, they expect a call back or a response ASAP. Voicemail will NOT cut it anymore.
  8. Not understanding what’s important in their application. There’s nothing more frustrating to customers than feeling like they are talking into a black hole when they explain how they use your product and service in their application.

What are some of your Do’s and Don’t for powerful customer building relationships?