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Lead Your Team Strategy

5 Ways to Lose Your Customers ... For Good

5 Ways to Lose Your Customers ... For Good
Ignoring or arguing with your customers will surely drive them away. / Credit: Shutterstock

Keeping your customers happy is the key to earning their trust and their business. Some companies do this well, and go above and beyond to make sure their customers are satisfied. Others seem to view customer service as an afterthought.

"It's always befuddling to watch businesses that say they focus on customer service turn around and act like their customers don't matter," said Aishwarya Hariharan, product marketer at customer support software company Freshdesk. "They claim that no one matters more [than their customers], but their approach just doesn't seem to reflect it."

Hariharan listed five customer-service approaches that are sure to alienate your current and prospective customers, and ruin your business. Unless you want to drive business away, don't make these mistakes: [They Did What? 5 Customer Service Disasters]

  • Pretend a problem didn't happen. No matter what happens, keep calm and carry on. Act like it's just a horrible misunderstanding. If you bury your head in the sand far enough, everything will just go away.
  • Blame someone else. The secretary did it. The mailman did it. An NSA agent set this up. Throw out allegations left and right, and conduct conversations in a shrill tone or in all capital letters.
  • Get confrontational. Argue with your customers when they have a problem. Use every four-letter word you can think of, and diminish their integrity and dignity.
  • Ignore what the customer wants. Don't listen when your customers give you feedback. If they like a feature or product, announce without any forewarning that you're doing an overhaul and trashing it. If they don't like something, convince them that they do by shoving it in their face with every email, blog post and social media status.
  • Take your time processing refunds. If you realize that you have no choice but to surrender the customer's money, take your time with the paperwork, and make them wait for their cash.

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Nicole Fallon

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. Nicole served as the site's managing editor until January 2018, and briefly ran Business.com's copy and production team. Follow her on Twitter.