Ways to Turn Off Customers

John Krautzel
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Treating your customers right is one of the best ways to build loyalty and remain competitive in your industry. All employees, from sales clerks to executives, should focus on providing excellent customer service. Unfortunately, some workers don't have the skills needed to compete in a service-oriented world. Here are several things employees do that may drive customers away from your business.

Failing to update people on customer service issues almost always causes problems. If an employee needs more time to research and correct an issue, the customer should know about this. A short email or telephone call to let the customer know what is happening helps build trust and retain business. This is one of the most basic customer service tips, but you'd be surprised how many workers forget this once they've been on the job for a while.

Lying to customers is a sure-fire way to drive them to one of your competitors. Whether your employee tells a little white lie or a flat-out whopper, it's going to reflect poorly on your company. Instruct workers to tell customers the truth at all times, even if the truth might result in losing a sale. Many customers will respect your company even more if they know they can rely on employees to be honest. Losing one sale is way better than developing a reputation for dishonesty in your industry.

A lack of product knowledge often sends customers running for the hills. Before allowing new employees to handle customer service duties, provide in-depth product training. Let the workers inspect the products carefully, so they can explain each product feature more easily to inquiring prospects. Have experienced employees act out different customer service scenarios, so new hires get comfortable explaining the benefits of each product. If you have enough money in your budget, hire someone to act as a secret shopper and ask in-depth questions about several items.

Sales clerks who don't know the difference between enthusiasm and aggressive behavior are a real liability when it comes to customer service. Customers generally won't buy something until they're good and ready, so being pushy may actually drive them out of your store and away from your business forever. If you want employees to provide good customer service, teach them to focus on benefits rather than features. Most customers don't care about every last detail of a particular product, but they'll pay attention if a clerk explains how the product will save them time or money.

Customers are the bread and butter of your business, so it's important to train employees to treat people the right way. Focusing on customer service will help you build brand loyalty and may even help you weather tough economic times or seasonal dips in sales. Just have your employees follow the basic customer service tips of greeting the customer with a smile, offering assistance when needed and answering questions honestly.


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Just the other day my husband had to call a Durable Equipment company to request new equipment. It took 10 minutes and many menu options to finally get to the right person. Then, once we did, she was just terrible. No personality, no.... nothing! She was obviously eating her lunch while taking calls because she kept chomping into the phone. I was SO upset that I told my husband to just hang up and we would try back again later or the next day. The end result is that we are looking for a new company!

  • Tony O.
    Tony O.

    Thank you for the reminding tips very helpful.

  • nosipho mkhize
    nosipho mkhize

    Thank you Mr John for an informative article, I have learned something and I am prepared to use the information. 10*

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