Let’s be honest, nobody likes bad customer service. The receiving end of horrible service from a business is probably one of the most uncomfortable experiences someone can go through. One thing I have noticed with the surge of “Instagram Boutiques” and people starting a business without researching is their lack of customer service skills. It really saddens me because I am a small business owner, and I know how someone’s first experience with a store can effect their view of me.
I will state this post is from the perspective of small businesses and their owners. I hardly have experienced bad customer service experience because I tend to shop at stores that respect me. and sometimes I wish they would pull that bad customer service card on me. I would personally be banned from coming back because of the fit I would throw.
The Reasons Why Bad Customer Service Happens:
Lack of Communication
We live in a time where our phones are surgically attached to our hands, yet people tend to ignore emails, text, phone calls or comments on social media platforms. If you give your customers a means to communicate with you, then you must communicate back. There is no excuse for dropping the ball. For example, there are some businesses that bring in close to $5K or more, but they still don’t communicate effectively. At these companies, customers get excited for their $20 leggings, cheap jewelry or whatever other product they are purchasing only to be disappointed when they receive it or don’t receive it. If your company is making enough money to hire staff, do it. HIRE CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVES. Their sole job purpose is to provide service to the customer between your companies business hours. Brand’s social media pages are an indicator that they cut corners when it comes to customer service.
Lack of Business Skills
Not everyone is meant to run a business. The fact is, if you lack the fundamental understanding of the ins and outs of business, your business will fail. I am not saying you need a college degree. Some of the greatest business women and men did not graduate from college, but they surround themselves with people that know more than them. There is more to running a business than the profit you make. With a lot of businesses, I notice that they don’t even know what their profits are or that they need to reinvest in their business. Some of these boutiques are not even registered legally. You should be able to find out information on the store you are shopping with, but some have no outside resources/information.
Lack of Empathy
There are business owners who don’t care about their customers. All they see are dollar signs and an easy market. One business owner was blocking customers on social media who wrote how they felt about their service. She said it didn’t matter to her because she knew others still wanted her product regardless of the naysayers. If a small business owner does not value your opinion, why are you supporting them. As a customer, your opinion SHOULD matter. I ask them everything regardless of the possibility for negative feedback. For me to run a better business I need to know what is and isn’t working for my customers. It is important for the business owner to remember that customers have power. The customer keeps our lights on, pay our cell phone bills and keep a roof over our head, so we should respect them.
This post isn’t supposed to be hateful. Quite simply, I am tried of poorly run businesses who give other small business owners a bad name. If someone has a bad experience with a small business, they are less likely to shop with another small business. When people have a bad experience with a company, they tell at least one person. Now someone else knows about that bad experience– its a ripple effect. At the end of the day, the message is simple: we must work as a community to run better small businesses.
When I first launched my business I answered emails and calls at all hours. Now, I have strict business hours. However, emails are always answered, no matter what. I walk customers through making purchases over the phone, but this is not the extra mile for me, this is the customer service I’m used to. Nordstrom is hands down my FAVORITE store, and their customer service is amazing. That is the customer service I want to provide. Other small businesses should have a company that they learn off of. Norstrom is an extremely successful business, and they got there due, in part, to their amazing customer service.