Managing customers is tough because they typically expect the world and they expect it for bargain basement prices.  If you interact with customers you will inevitably come across a time when the relationship becomes difficult.  In order to ensure your company doesn’t go bankrupt serving customers, avoid making these common mistakes.

NEVER Admit Regret or Fault

  • We Were Wrong – Admitting fault is a cardinal sin in customer service.  Customers call for the primary reason of getting something for nothing.  Many companies try to create cultures where the “customer is always right.”  Don’t make this mistake.  If your customer service reps make the mistake of admitting they were wrong, you can be sure that your company’s profitability will suffer.
  • I’m Sorry – Admitting regret (even a little) puts your company at a disadvantage when dealing with the customer and limits your ability to extract yourself from the confrontation.  And while it sounds innocuous enough, when a customer senses weakness you can expect them to ask for product rebates, service term extensions, discounts… the list never ends.

AVOID Guarantees of Any Kind

  • We Guarantee Your SatisfactionImpossible, so why bother saying it?  Customers who want to fleece your company for all they can will use this statement as a never-ending series of excuses to keep changing what they want.  You delivered the pink iPod?  They want the blue one.  If your company is so poorly run to make a guarantee like this it deserves to pay the shipping… twice!
  • Money-Back Guarantee – We live in a free-market economy with more information than ever available to consumers.  Before they make a choice they can read reviews, shop for prices, compare competitive products, etc.  So once the transaction is complete, you’ve more than earned every cent you receive.  Plain and simple, it is a rookie error to offer money back to unsatisfied customers.

The pivot point when serving customers is to ensure your company does NOT give ground to consumers who will otherwise destroy your bottom line.  Create the appearance of a loophole in your customer service policies ONLY at your own risk.  

Happy April Fool’s Day! Did I trick you?

Things You Should NEVER Tell Your Customers
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  • Ernie Fontes

    OK… I had to check and you confirmed my suspicions! And, you’re so right about not letting customers walk all over you. Sometimes I think they only buy our products for the pure pleasure of the post harassment of, and putting the squeeze on our support organization for all they can get! Your website and it’s candid advice is truly refreshing.

  • Ernie Fontes

    Oh yeah… April Fools! 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment. Glad you noticed the post was made in jest. For actual advice, you can pretty much reverse what I’d written.

      Transparency, honesty, and integrity rule when customer service is in play (i.e. always).