January 8, 2011
Tips for profoundly irritating your customers. Here are the words that'll do it.
Great tips on how you can profoundly be irritating your customers written by Dr. Jeffrey Lant CEO of Worldprofits.
Please take a moment to read this great article.
This is an article a lifetime in the making. It's about the power of words... in this case the power of words to irritate your customers and make them see red. It's about carelessness, arrogance, vanity. It's about the needless loss of one customer after another, thoughtlessly thrown away, repulsed, antagonized. And all by you... you who worked so hard to get them in the first place!
Irritating words: "I will get back to you at my earliest convenience."
Want customers to call you to do business? Then undoubtedly you have an answering machine message for those times you are unavailable. (You do have such a message, don't you?). And if you do, there's a very real chance you are irritating your customers with it. Take a look at the message above.
The irritant is "at my earliest convenience". Customers, not surprisingly, want you focused on THEIR convenience, not yours. Thus, this message should read:
"I will get back to you today. Leave a detailed message and phone number with area code where I can reach you now. I'm anxious to assist you!"
See the difference?
The selfish marketer never does... and pays a very real price as a result, as he affronts and loses customers with every message. To avoid this sad situation, review all your marketing messages (and, yes, your answering machine message must be marketing copy, 100% focused on your customer.) Nothing should be focused on you; everything must be focused on the customer.
Irritating Words: "Something important came up."
Tens of thousands of would-be customers will have to call back businesses like yours again today... after being blown off yesterday. When they call back and ask why it was necessary, many will be insulted with these offending words. As a result many will, quite simply, decide to take their business elsewhere. Wouldn't you?
(calling back customer): "Why didn't you call me back yesterday?"
(offending business person): "Something came up."
Let's examine this irritating phrase carefully.
What the business person is saying is... "you are distinctly less important than what I decided to do. No doubt I should have called you back, but I didn't. Buy from me any way and support my selfish ways."
Of course, returning all customer calls before you leave would ensure that the offending words wouldn't have been said at all. Failing that, the key is NEVER making the customer irritated by suggesting that their business is less important than yours.
Irritating words: "I can't do that because..."
"I can't do that because my car ran out of gas."
"I can't do that because I have to run Pookie to the vet."
"I can't do that because I stubbed my toe."
These little factoids of total insignificance deeply irritate and rankle. And no wonder. Consider, the person in touch with your business wants a thing accomplished.
Your pithy excuse not only tells them that what they want has not been accomplished (bad enough)... but calls on them to commiserate with you about an incident both trivial and banal. Understandably, they are deeply irritated being forced to do so.
Irritating Words: "You know how it is. I got tied up."
Every day businesses like yours ask their customers to condone and forgive their inept and unsatisfactory behavior with these words.
Now think a moment. Why should a customer, any customer, give you their empathy and understanding for your ineptitude? Yet ask for it you do, each and every time you use these irritating words.
First and foremost, customers want to know, have the right to know, just when you will be accomplishing the task for which they have contacted you. Your communications, your messages, your total focus should be on 1) doing the task, and 2) informing the customer that the task has been accomplished. ALL other words are entirely beside the point. Failing to understand this and communicate accordingly, gives your customer a very good reason for eschewing you and your services in the future.
Irritating Word: "Whatever!" The most irritating single word in the language.
(Would-be customer): "I have called your company on three separate occasions about this matter."
Or how about...
(Would-be customer): "I have been on hold for nearly an hour waiting for customer assistance."
Never before in the long history of customer irritation has a single word, so short, generated such universal execration and raised blood pressures. It is a cosmic ultra-irritant delivered with total disdain, insolence and an infuriating shrug.
This single word is an unmistakable stink bomb thrown at your customers. Short though it is, it combines full portions of hauteur, arrogance, condescension, selfishness, and the full insult of the all-American raspberry.
Oh, and by the way, it costs you every time uttered, eliminating immediate sales and long-term, profitable relationships. Is this what you really want?
Every word you use either helps your business, or not. No word, no action is neutral.
Billions of words are uttered in business every day around the globe. Having read this article, you may well speculate on just how many of them are inappropriate, hasty, wasteful of the funds expended to attract customers and therefore destructive to your business and profits.
To avoid this sad result, be chary of your language. Do not allow yourself the luxury of language misuse with the expectation that your customers will "understand." They won't... and why should they? You are irritating them, profoundly irritating them, and, believe me, they will repay the favor and happily so.
About The Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Attend Dr. Lant's live webcast TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website of your choice! Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author's permission by Robert King .
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