How Not to Treat Your Customers

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Let’s face it, if you’re an unhappy customer, it’s a lot easier to take your business elsewhere these days. So one of your top priorities as a small business should be to make sure your customers don’t have a reason to shop around.

Between the Internet, social media and mobile devices, it’s never been easier to lose a customer if they have a bad experience, whether the reason is price, product quality or customer service.

Companies have been slow to respond to the growing sophistication of consumers, say Michael Hinshaw and Bruce Kasanoff, authors of “Smart Customers (Stupid Companies): Why Only Intelligent Companies Will Thrive, and How to Be One of Them.”

Hinshaw and Kasanoff offer a number of suggestions for retaining customers – and for how not to treat them. For starters, your customer experience should be unified and easy to navigate, not a confusing maze. Mobile and social media experiences should be easy, and customer complaints should be seen as an opportunity, not a problem. Remember, these days one happy customer can deliver hundreds of new customers.

Customers demand a personal experience nowadays and they have a lower tolerance for mistakes, so treat them that way.

Adapted from How Stupid Companies Treat Customers at Baseline Magazine.