It’s easy to think that every business owner understands that “Honesty is the best policy.” Unfortunately at times business owners, large and small, may be tempted to be less than completely honest with their customers, often to save face. It never works! Even if it appears that you will get away with it, it’s not a good foundation on which to build trust and loyalty with your customers.
If you offer a service and you know that it’s beyond your ability to meet the deadline the customer is giving you, do not go down the path of “it will work out.” You will be setting up yourself for failure and a bad reputation.
Earlier today I typed in “dishonesty in customer service” in Google and there were 495,000 results. While many of the stories were about large companies, there were stories involving incidents with smaller type businesses as well.
If you sell products, avoid making claims of what the product can do in an effort to garner sales. Openly tell your customers what they need to know and give them the facts. It’s much better to understate claims and allow the product to surpass or exceed your customer’s expectations rather than to make exaggerated claims that are unfounded and unsupported.
Once you have raised someone’s expectations, if you or your products fail to live up to those expectations, you’ve essentially lost your customer as well as any measure of credibility you may have had in their eyes.
Always keep in mind that studies indicate that a satisfied customer will tell one friend, but a dissatisfied one tells nine friends. In fact, Pete Blackshaw expands this further in his book, “Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000.” Social media makes it possible to share your dissatisfaction with a lot more than 3,000 with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Even if your customers are not active on social media, reaching large numbers of people is not hard to do when you consider that your friends all have friends with whom they share things and each of those have friends with whom they’ll gladly share bad experiences. This may be in an attempt to protect their friends from any type of dishonesty that was experienced.
Once your customer suspects or confirms that you are dishonest, the trust is broken and you will lose him or her in a heartbeat. Any short-term gain will be lost and rebuilding trust and loyalty is a long, uphill battle that every business owner, large or small, wants to avoid. Honesty in customer service is the best way and it builds trust and loyalty.
Yvonne A Jones is passionate about Superior Customer Service and she combines this passion with Social Media Marketing and Reputation Management services for businesses and solo-professionals. Learn more at http://localmarketingonlineportstlucie.com