Top 5 Ways to Destroy a Customer Relationship

As a customer, you already know service matters, but as a company, you could easily forget. Here’s why you shouldn’t: Whether you sell clothes in a shopping mall or machinery to car repairmen, building strong customer relationships is key to business growth, across industries and across company styles. Nobody wants to buy from a company that treats them poorly—and that’s as true for B2B brands as it is at the corner grocery store. So with that in mind, here’s a look at the top five things you shouldn’t do when you want to build customer goodwill. When you understand the biggest ways to destroy your relationships with clients, you are better equipped to know how to build them.

Lie.

When you want to alienate your customers, start by misrepresenting what you offer. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to destroy credibility and your sense of a good name than this. Tell them you’ll have their parts in by Sunday (when you know they’ll be in a week later). Tell them you provide great customer service (and then don’t return their calls). When you destroy trust with your audience, you do more than destroy relationships—you destroy your potential for making sales.

Don’t Respond.

Let your customers know you don’t care about their business by ignoring their questions and complaints. When someone posts a concern on a forum or on your website, pretend it isn’t there. When a client reaches out on social media, do nothing. Let your audience think you’re too self-involved to notice their concerns. Show them you won’t do anything in response. Then, over time, they’ll do what every client who feels ignored does: They’ll leave.

Be Slow.

Second only to never responding is responding painfully slowly. A client asks a question and you respond two months later. A prospect asks for a quote and you put off providing actual figures. This definitely damages your relationships. In fact, the slower you can be, the more you turn clients away.

Offer Faulty Products.

Even the most forgiving customers can’t forgive products that don’t work. Ask yourself if the products you offer—whether those products are services, technology, parts, or something else—are worth the hype you want to give them. Will they deliver what customers need? Will they offer a significant payoff? If not, you’re cooking up a recipe for customer dissatisfaction.

Don’t Know Who You Are.

Nobody wants to be in a relationship with someone who’s a different person every day—and nobody wants to do business with a company with a personality disorder, either. Say you’re a commercial cleaning company, catering to large-scale facilities. If your initial marketing materials don’t match your website, and your website doesn’t match your voice on social media, and your voice on social media is nothing like your customer service reps on the phone, you’re in trouble. Customers can’t connect with a company without a solid brand. So if you want to keep your customers, know who you are and be consistent about sharing that voice; if you want to annoy your followers and turn them away, rebuild your image every week and keep changing.

While the above strategies are intended to be slightly tongue-in-cheek, the fact is that many brands make these mistakes every day, whether they realize it or not. Are you one of the companies harming your own good name through these kinds of mistakes? If so, stop destroying your credibility with clients! Take steps to take back your business today—eliminate these behaviors from your practice.

Shanna Mallon is a writer for Straight North, a Web development company with headquarters in Chicago, providing SEO, Web development, and other online marketing services to B2B clients.

Leave a comment