Customers are the lifeblood of your company. Without people who buy your products, you’ll quickly lose solvency. An unhappy client is the equivalent of a wallet full of money you’re throwing in the trash. That’s why it’s so important to avoid driving customers away. Their happiness with your company directly impacts your bottom line. So, it’s time to ask a simple question. Are you alienating customers with these four annoying practices?

Crimes Against Social Media


Image via Flickr user cambodia4kidsorg

You’ll spend a lot of time enticing people to follow you on various social media sites. For example, over a billion people have used Facebook in a single day. You can target a significant percentage of the world’s population simply by providing a quality Facebook feed. The same is true of other popular sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

What you may not realize is that each site has a distinct style. Businesses that treat them all the same run the risk of alienating the very people they want to become loyal customers. That’s why it’s imperative to avoid critical social media mistakes.

The worst of these is hashtag abuse. It occurs when businesses try to introduce themselves into the trending topics of the day. One of the most horrific examples happened with American Apparel. They inexplicably posted an image of the space shuttle exploding as part of a July 4th celebration. Suffice it to say that a lot of people stopped doing business with American Apparel after this.

Irritating Websites

In the early days of the internet, pop-up advertisements were a blight on humanity. Oddly, their popularity declined over the years as more effective forms of marketing emerged, only to rise again in the era of smart devices like the Apple iPad Pro, which, with its large screen and intuitive iOS9 interface, makes it possible for your customers to spend hours working on their tablets. While doing so, they expect the pages on your website to load immediately.

There’s no quicker way to drive traffic away than to use pop-ups, yet that’s exactly what many sites do. Since smart device advertising focuses on videos, a lot of short-sighted companies make a huge mistake in this regard. They load auto-play video pop-ups each time they display a page for the first time. This behavior often causes bandwidth-capped users to shut down the offending websites and visit their competitors who aren’t in the pop-up business. Using pop-ups may earn you a few bucks in the short term, but you’ll lose a lot more revenue overall as your customers flock to your corporate adversaries.

The Phone Menu Maze

In the digital era, people prefer to avoid calling customer service as much as possible. Sometimes, they have to speak to a person to resolve their issue, though. When that transpires, the last thing your clients want is to spend several minutes of their life fighting your phone system.

Think about the situation from their perspective. Everyone has some familiarity with the aggravation of trying to get a human. Automated systems ask countless questions, ostensibly to direct people to the proper customer response team. In reality, they add a tremendous amount of aggravation to what should be a simple process. That’s why there’s a website called whose entire purpose is to help people skip through all the infuriating menus and get a live person sooner. If you must use an automated phone system, make it as simple and quick as possible for your customers to speak to a real person.

Unresponsive Customer Service

Given the struggles people face in reaching the customer service department, they expect high-quality responses. You must insure that all your CSRs receive the proper training so they can deliver satisfactory customer service almost every time. You should employ your finest CSRs in social media as well as on the phone, since that gives clients several opportunities to reach out to you.

Companies that fail to provide quality customer service develop nasty reputations in the business world. Some sites even host Worst Company competitions. The “winners” are always the corporations with a reputation for combative customer service. While your business may not be on that scale, the premise still holds. You must set a high standard for customer service to build consumer confidence in your brand.

Nobody likes to think they’re actively driving customers away. It does happen, though. Take a hard look at your business to decide whether you’re guilty of any of the mistakes above. If so, address them immediately so you can avoid hefty financial losses.