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4 Common Mistakes That Make Customers Mad

11th May 2017
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Since no person or system is perfect, mistakes are an unavoidable aspect of doing business. No matter how long you’ve been in operation, and regardless of whether you’re running an ecommerce store or a physical location, you’ll always find ways you could have done something better.

Many of these opportunities to do better are pointed out by customers, and unfortunately, it usually happens when they’re upset. That’s why it’s important to do whatever you can to avoid some of the following common mistakes that are easily preventable.

Mistake #1: Not keeping your store fully staffed

Major department store retail chains like Target, Walmart, and others usually use last year’s sales reports to determine how they are going to staff their stores for each day. Sometimes this works, but sometimes it doesn’t – especially when there’s a sporting event, a big convention, or some other type of event happening in town.

This method of projection can lead to stores being severely understaffed. If this is your only method of projecting your labor needs, it’s probably a good idea to incorporate some other methods of projection, like keeping on top of your town’s local events and making sure you staff according to the weather. If you’re expecting a week full of sunshine, and there was a heavy snowstorm last year, you’ll probably want to schedule some extra people, just in case. You can always send people home early if you need to.

How this mistake affects your customers:

When your customers have to wait in long lines, they get frustrated. If it happens multiple times or becomes the norm, they’ll get more than frustrated – they’ll get mad.

On the other hand, when you have extra helping hands in your store to assist customers with their needs, they’ll be delighted and feel completely taken care of. The same goes for online stores. In fact, a Forrester survey found that when it comes to email support, 41 percent of customers expect a response within six hours, but only 36 percent of businesses that participated in the study actually met that expectation.

When you have customer service representatives standing by to help through live chat, email, or phone, your customers will be happier.

Mistake #2: Cutting corners to save money

One of the first things some business owners do when trying to find ways to increase their profits is look for ways to save money. This can be a noble approach if done correctly, but often it’s done at the expense of the customer.

For example, restaurants have been known to cut all kinds of corners to save money and that includes Olive Garden, who no longer salts their pasta as it cooks – just to make their pots last longer. The Patagonian Toothfish has been renamed to “Chilean Sea Bass” to make it sound exotic, and many restaurants have stopped serving nuts and fruit on their salads to save money.

How this mistake affects your customers:

Simply put, when you cut corners, you cheat your customers out of service and product quality. Instead of moving backwards and taking away value from your customers, consider that providing value to your customers is worth the extra cost. Being in business shouldn’t just be about making and saving money – it’s about providing value to your customers.

Mistake #3: Keeping track of inventory

One of the biggest challenges every business faces is keeping track of inventory. Depending on how big of an operation you run, creating a system to track inventory can be quite a complex task. It’s tempting to put it off and if you’re just starting your business, it may seem unimportant, but nothing is more important.

How this mistake affects your customers:

When you don’t keep track of your inventory, especially if you have multiple sales channels that aren’t connected to your inventory, it becomes easy to oversell your products. When you oversell your products, you either have to provide customers with refunds or prolong the time it takes for them to get their item. Neither of these options make for happy customers.

Instead of winging it, get a good inventory management system like Sellbrite so you can sync your inventory to all your sales channels, prevent overselling, and keep your customers happy.

Mistake #4: Treating all of your customers equally

At first glance, it might sound like a good thing to treat all of your customers equally, but consider that the customer who spends $10,000 per year with your company shouldn’t be lumped in with the customers who spend $10 or $100 per year.

How this mistake affects your customers

Brilliantly explained by, when you lump everyone together, some very unfair things can happen. For example, if you’re providing your new and inactive customers with amazing deals and promotions, and not rewarding your high paying customers, that’s not going to make them feel good and it’s not going to help you earn their loyalty.

These mistakes are easy to avoid when you shift your mindset to a value-first way of thinking. When you run your business from this perspective, everyone wins, and your customers know you care.

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