By: First Union
4 Things that Grind Consumers' Gears
As a small business owner, it's in your best interest to ensure that your customers are satisfied, that they're happy with the level of service they receive, and that, generally speaking, they have a positive perception of your company. Otherwise, you're probably not going to be seeing that customer again—and businesses really can't survive without clients. Of course, there will be times when things happen, mishaps occur and often these can be beyond your control; however, there are certain things that companies do whether intentional or not, that grind consumers' gears. Below are four of the biggest offenders…
1. Not Understanding Your Target Market
It can get rather annoying when, as a consumer, you're regularly receiving marketing materials that don't relate to you at all. For example, if someone who is not a parent starts getting baby-related coupons—this is just a waste of the company's time and consumers'. Know who your target audience is. Tailor your marketing strategies to this audience, not to those who are irrelevant to your products/services.
2. Having an Outdated and/or Annoying Website
Your website is one of the first places people will go in terms of trying to find out more about you. If that site is outdated, or contains too little information, or has those annoying popups and promotions all over the screen, this could turn potential customers off. Keep it clean and simple. Make sure the user experience is finetuned, and have the most important information about your small business front and center.
3. Not Having the Answers
A consumer will probably come to you with questions regarding your products and/or industry. If you are unable to answer those questions, you will likely start to note their increasing frustration. Make sure you're well versed in all things related to what you do. Provide answers promptly and try and refrain from passing that customer off to someone else.
4. Being Rude
Most customers who cite bad experiences, often do so because someone who worked for a company was rude to them. No one is going to patronize a business if the employees have negative attitudes and even belittle consumers. Customer service is everything—especially in this day and age of the almighty review. Be polite, always be professional and if an issue does arise, address it tactfully and courteously.