Thursday, March 25, 2010

How to Lose Customers in 3 Easy Steps

If you haven't checked out LinkedIn, I highly suggest signing up for this savvy business social networking site. A fellow member wrote a post today about bad manners in business. He's also a copywriter and we shared similar nightmare stories about how businesses treat freelancers and contractor. The gist of his post: what happened to GOOD manners and common courtesy in the business world?

If these companies treat contractors that poorly, what does that say about how they treat their customers and clients?

Don't fall into that bad customer service bracket. Word-of-mouth travels fast and when I have a bad experience with a company - as both a contractor and customer/client - I let everyone know! I want to save others the hassle of being treated poorly.

Avoid these biggest mistakes when dealing with your clients, customers and vendors. Do not turn into a tactless, rude business professional!

1. Never follow-up with anyone - In this tenuous economic climate, this is the #1 way to lose your existing clients and customers. This rule also applies to your colleagues. If you want to make a lasting impression (a bad impression), don't ever call anyone back and let your emails pile up for days.

2. Talk and never listen - If you are always talking, how can you ever listen to your customers' and clients' feedback and what they want? This also applies to your employees. This is the worst possible thing you could do - to always talk and NEVER listen. How can you improve your services and products if you never listen to what your customers and markets really want?

3. Be rude and condescending - This sounds like a no-brainer but this is a sure fire way to anger customers and clients, and lose them permanently. Even if customers are upset and angry, handle their issues with courtesy, respect and tact. If you take on a condescending, rude attitude with them, you can kiss them good-bye.

Manners go a long way these days: "Whoever one is, and wherever one is, one is always in the wrong if one is rude." Think before you speak and act - remember that you want to leave a lasting GOOD impression.

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Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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