Customers will interact with your company because they need the products or services that your company offers on the market. The need could be personal or work-related. Sometimes customers that interact with you may not know the exact product or services that will satisfy their needs. They rely on the staff to advise them on the right products and services that meet their needs. In case you do not have the right solutions to their needs, they may expect the staff to advise them on alternative suppliers. Do not forget customers are always under time pressure to find the best solution that satisfies their needs. They, therefore, expect the company staff to promptly offer them a solution that meets their needs and not to create an environment that annoys them hence increasing their pressure. The key issues that annoy customers when they interact with the staff include the following among others;
Some staff have a negative attitude towards customers. They can be rude, careless, and irresponsible when dealing with customers. They do not bother to say hello and assist customers whenever they meet them face-to-face or online. They do not link the continued existence of the company to happy customers. A customer expects to be warmly welcomed and served by all staff of an organization irrespective of the departments they belong to. Customers get annoyed when they interact with staff that do not care about the business they bring to the company. They get a slap in the face and many do not return to the company. They gladly take their business to your competitors.
Some customers may visit the company when they are not putting on corporate wear but just appear in jeans, t-shirts, and non-corporate sandals. The staff may by conduct make the customers belittled or feel unimportant. I remember a few years ago I visited one of my service providers, introduced myself to the receptionist, and requested to see Mr. so and so who happened to be the managing director (MD). The receptionist asked me whether I knew the MD and also wondered why I wanted to see the MD when other staff could serve me. I felt in my mind the receptionists did not find me worthwhile to see the MD. The staff should avoid giving an impression to the customers that they are worthless for senior staff in the company to attend to them. Someone you are not attaching much value could be bringing a multimillion-dollar deal or contract to your managing director. Staff should always remember some high-value customers prefer to remain simple in their life.
Not fully empowered employee
In some organizations the employees are not empowered to make decisions, they just contribute to the number of employees in the company. During their interaction with customers, they cannot make any decisions or advice customers because they are not empowered. Some staff will openly tell customers that they cannot attend to them because they do not have authority and someone with authority is currently unavailable. The authority to make decisions should be properly delegated to staff to ensure the customers are not inconvenienced in any way. All staff should know what to tell the customers when they interact with them. For example, a customer may tell the gateman of his or her needs from the company. The gateman should be in a position to direct the customers where to go instead of blocking them.
Quite often customers visit your company for business but are made to wait for an unreasonable period without any explanation. The situation becomes more annoying when they are not given a newspaper or magazine and drink during the waiting period. No one even bothers to check on them. This tends to happen in companies that receive many visitors and have not installed a queue management system. Customers should not stay waiting more than 15 minutes. It is very unacceptable for customers to waste their time waiting to do business with your company.
Asking too many questions
There is also a tendency of harassing customers by asking them many unnecessary questions. The staff want to know the customer’s name, gender, age, passport number, national identity number, place of residence, marital status and so. Are these questions all necessary for the type of business you are in? It is even more annoying when customers have handed in their national identity cards that have some of the answers to the questions they are being asked. To make it even more annoying customers will be given a form and photos of them will be taken before they are allowed in. In case it is a legal requirement, the staff do not bother to explain to the customers why they are being asked so many questions. Questions if any should be kept at a minimum.
No solutions provided
Sometimes customers spend their valuable time explaining their needs to the company staff that cannot offer any solutions. Some staff tend to enjoy listening to customers’ needs and later tell the customers to see the right people in the company. For example, a customer may visit a hospital searching for a medical solution to a given challenge. Do not waste his or her time at the front office if the solution is not offered at the front office. The customers should be welcomed and sent to doctors that are competent to handle their particular cases. Customers hate to be asked the same questions by different people in the same organization.
Unable to attend to you
Customers get frustrated when they interact with the company only to get a message saying we are unable to attend to you. The customers expect the company products and services to be available 24/7 and temporary interruptions in the supply chain should be promptly communicated to customers with a suggestion of how they can still be served.
Lack of apology
Many omissions take place when staff are interacting with the customers. For example, the customers are made to wait for a long time, the wrong products or services are sometimes offered, and improper language could have been used among other things. Whatever challenges staff are facing; the customer expects good service from them. Customers expect a sincere apology for anything that went wrong during their interaction with staff. A lack of apology for things that went wrong during the interaction will make customers divert their business to the competition. Customers are under no obligation to continue doing business with the same suppliers when they are annoyed with your customer care services. They are at liberty to change to other suppliers that meet their needs. It is however important to note that loyal customers will walk the extra mile in supporting those companies that give them value and excellent customer care services. Therefore, do not offer poor customer care service that annoys your customers, and if by mistake you have done so please learn to promptly and sincerely apologize for it.
Customers are important guests to your company and you should therefore offer them excellent customer care services free from anything that causes them any annoyance. Promptly apologize for any omissions that take during the process of attracting, serving, and retaining your customers.