We get it; running a business is no walk in the park, especially an online business. Web-based companies do have it a little harder because they do not have that face-to-face aspect that many customers like about actual storefronts. Without human interaction, everything is conveyed through the Internet or by phone, so the operations must be carried out with even more sensitivity to customer’s needs. Many companies execute their online business operations flawlessly, but unfortunately there are still some that just haven’t quite caught on. Check out the list below for the top four mistakes made by online companies!
1. Making Customers Feel Trapped
If there’s one thing customers hate, it’s feeling like they’re locked into a contract that they didn’t agree to. Obviously, no customer would willingly allow themselves to be swindled into a long-term membership, but most people don’t realize what they’re actually signing up for. If they decide they want to get out of an online membership, they usually panic when they can’t find any information on how to cancel.
The best way to avoid causing this panic is to make it clear that customers can leave at any time if they choose to do so. Many companies, like Instant Checkmate for example, have created an entire webpage dedicated to canceling a membership. By doing this, it makes their customers feel at ease knowing that they’re not locked into any kind of contract.
2. False Advertising
False advertising is a major no no when it comes to e-commerce, yet many sites continue to fabricate their ads in an effort to bring in more business. That may work at first, but as soon as people catch on, you can guarantee that they’ll a) be pretty angry, and b) head straight to the web to put the business on blast on consumer review sites. Aside from the whole “honesty is the best policy” thing, we must not forget that deceptive advertising is also illegal, and companies who implement this shady tactic are likely to get sued or possibly even shut down.
3. Too Much Promotion
So, this brings us to our next point. A lot of companies think they’re in the clear if their ads are legit, but then they end up doing way too much promotion. When promotions reach the point of overkill, they are more likely to look like spam in the eyes of the consumer. Think about it; you can probably recall certain online ads that you see ALL. THE. TIME. So, when you see them, instead of thinking, “Oh cool, what’s this?” you end up saying “Ughhhh! Another one?!” A word of wisdom: promotions are important, but don’t overdo it unless you want to be thought of as “that annoying company with all the ads.”
4. Unqualified Member Care Reps
When it comes to running a business, especially online, customers are what make the world go round. Without them, they’d have nothing, right? So, why would anyone hire unqualified member care personnel to take care of the very people that keep their business running? Seems pretty simple, but in reality, there are tons of online companies that don’t adequately train their member care teams. Then, customers call with questions, comments, or concerns, only to be met with someone who is unfriendly and doesn’t know much about the actual company they’re working for.
Can YOU think of any other mistakes that online companies make? Let us know in the comments!
Ericka Hogue is a blogger from Austin, TX. She specializes in writing about customer service, marketing, and business development.