There is a great deal of advice available on customer service, but few are willing to tell the truth. Customers have secret wishes that they never talk about.
Here are the top ten ways to meet those secret needs, while leaving an unforgettable impression on your customers.
1. Pick a Bad Product
Customers love wasting their money on bad products. Pick a product that has problems: difficult to assemble, doesn’t start, breaks after a few uses. That way, you guarantee the customer will start out happily disappointed.
2. Offer No Help
Most products require some sort of instructions in order to use them, so make sure you hide these well. You don’t want to make your instructions easy to find on your website either. And how-to video tutorials are a definite no-no.
3. Have An Attitude
You make a customer’s day when you can give them some attitude. Embrace the motto, “You are an interruption to my work that is so much more important,” and it will be broadcast into every interaction you have with a customer.
4. Leave Them Out of the Loop
Product on backorder? Not available in their size? Shipping delayed? Whatever the situation, don’t let the customer know.
5. Confuse Them
Make sure none of your departments knows anything about any of the others – not where to send someone for an answer, the phone number to transfer someone to, where to locate information on products or orders. You don’t want customers to think anyone knows what they are doing.
6. Ignore Them
When customers take the time to contact you, they don’t want to be acknowledged, they want to be ignored. Don’t look at them when they enter your store. Don’t return phone calls or emails. And don’t answer those feedback forms from your website.
7. Hang Up
When you do answer the phone, make sure you hang up on callers accidentally as much as possible. Design your automated phone answering system to automatically hang up on callers after being on hold for 10 minutes. Customers love to call you back several times, only to be ignored and hung up on.
8. Hold Them
Make sure every caller is on hold for at least 10 minutes before you answer the phone. And if you have to transfer them somewhere, make sure they wait on hold again before speaking to someone. Customers LOVE to wait on hold, especially without background music, so they can spend the time wondering if anyone is really there.
9. Don’t Take Their Money
Make it as difficult as possible for someone to place an order with you. Don’t provide toll-free numbers to call. Don’t make your Order Button on your website easy to find. Make sure your online shopping cart requires the customer to go through as many steps as possible before placing their order. And, if you can, lose that order once they have placed it with you. That will be sure to delight your new customer.
10. Offend Them
When all else fails, you can offend your customers. Customers love to be belittled and yelled at. They like it when you make them feel stupid and inferior. They even like to be called names. You will make an impression when you remember to offend every customer you see.
Although I am being quite tongue-in-cheek here, many companies are actually running their businesses as if these were really the right way to handle customers. And, as they continue to do so, they leave open many opportunities for those who know how to take care of customers the right way.
In this economy, people are more willing to take their business elsewhere after a bad experience, and are still willing to pay more for better customer service. Make your business stand out and provide the best service you can (and make sure your business isn’t guilty of any of the items listed here).