This post, which was prompted by good chum Dave Kurlan’s experiences on a recent trip to Turkey, illustrates just how easy it is to lose your customers if you really want to – in fact, it is much easier to lose them than it was to win them in the first place!
Here are ten suggestions to help you …Â
Pass the customer around – whatever you do,Â make it virtually impossible for themÂ to get what they want whenÂ they call you. Make them work by asking them to repeat themselves then toÂ add that bit extra, get someone who doesn’t know how to transfer a call toÂ accidentally cut the customer off!
If customers want support,Â insist they use an 0800 number that costs them an exorbitant amount of money per minute. That way, you will be actually making money whilst you are passing them around – the more inefficient you are, the more money you will make.
Rely on technology – forget the people and buy the best technology, then put it in front of your customer serviceÂ operation. Best to make it really difficult for the customer so that theyÂ get confused and when they don’t make a choice, route them to a reallyÂ poor quality answering machine.
Forget about training – just do what so manyÂ companies do today and put staff on the telephone without an iota ofÂ training. Better still, make sure they can’t be easily understood and areÂ good at arguing with customers. My cell phone provider 3 really excel on this point:Â They have moved all their call centers to India,Â why? To save money of course. So I have to communicate withÂ someone in customer support who speaks little English, and I speak absolutely no Hindi – end result,Â dreadful service, and the most incompetent and unprofessionalÂ company I have ever dealt with in my life!
Don’t reward loyalty – forget about all thoseÂ loyal customers who have been with you for years. Instead go out of yourÂ way to attract new customers with better deals and tell your existing onesÂ they can’t have the same special offer despite how long they have beenÂ with your company and how much they have spent.
Ignore the millions of people with speech orÂ hearing difficulties – if you operate predominantly in the consumer sectorÂ then ignore all those who may not be able to communicate effectively with you – after all, who wants another x million potential customers!
Ignore customer feedback – why don’t youÂ develop your services and ignore what your customers want. Don’t ask them – they won’t know, so why waste your time?
Forget about third parties who work with yourÂ company – all those companies who work for you and communicate to yourÂ existing and prospective customers. Don’t invest time in working with themÂ - after all, if they can’t help a customer then who cares, or if they giveÂ wrong advice and you get sued for misinformation so what?
Forget about service – just sell, sell andÂ sell. Don’t waste time on nasty topics such as service – customers don’tÂ care about this so why bother? Just give them a keen price and rottenÂ service and they’ll come back in droves.
Forget cultural differences – make everyone doÂ things your way even if they can’t speak your language or have differentÂ ways of saying things.
It’s that easy, so don’t go having any more sleepless nights wondering how you are going to cope with all those surplus customers, just lose a few.