How hard does someone have to work to become your customer or client? Are you guilty of any of these things that drive folks elsewhere?
An automated voice mail system or auto attendant that doesn’t give callers an opportunity to reach an operator or leave a message.
- A telephone tree messaging system that is so long or complex that people get lost in a “voice mail jail.”
- Ads and promotions or loud grating music callers must listen to before calls are answered without the option to wait in silence.
- Long messages repeated in another language without the alternative for English only at the outset of the call.
- Long delays in returning calls. Even a few hours can prompt eager customers to go elsewhere.
- Telephone operators whose answers are limited to scripted replies.
- Requiring CAPTCHA in order to send an email or access portions of your site, especially if answering incorrectly requires users to reenter all their order or registration information instead of offering a “refresh button” that affects only the CAPTCHA entry.
- Cluttered web pages that load so slowly they keep folks waiting. (Google engineers find people expect pages to load quickly. The average time a web page takes to load is 3.5 seconds, but today web sites need to load in just a second or two for mobile devices. )
- Complex or confusing directions that make it cumbersome to pay. If your site arouses a user’s interest, you need to make it extremely easy for them to buy from you or to get further information. You do this by offering call-to-action buttons or links along with your content.
- User passwords and PINS getting rejected – sometimes this comes about becomes sites change the requirements for passwords, such as requiring both upper and lower case. If you make a change like this, provide visible notice that a user’s password will need to be changed.
- Putting people on group email lists they request without their permission.
- So many promotional emails to “friends” and contacts that they’re requesting to be taken off your list.
- Not answering email right away or at least within the same day.
Unless what you offer is mandatory and you are the sole source or you have decided to limit your customers to only the most ardently dedicated (like restaurants that don’t have a sign), you risk losing business unless you Make It EASY!
Adapted from our column in Costco.
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