Six signs that your employees may not be currently capable of creating a relationship with customers

There are six signs that your employees may not be currently capable of creating a relationship with customers to build loyalty. Note that everything listed here can be repaired and reversed with training and a shift in cultural thinking. They are warning signs, red flags, of a steep decline in the quality of your customer experiences. But if you observe these trends early enough, you have time to make the appropriate adjustments in your company and culture to reverse course and to create a customer community.

Let’s get started…

1. Customers and prospects leave and never come back.

This is obvious. If customers and prospects leave and never come back, that communicates to the company and employees that their experience wasn’t pleasant, and they don’t like your company. It takes a lot of nonsensical activity for a customer to leave and never want to come back. The action implies 110-percent dissatisfaction with the experience and a perception by the customer that they don’t see any room for redemption in the future. The relationship is more or less destroyed.

2. You have few influencers and champions.

This is also obvious. If your company doesn’t have many influencers and champions, either it is because:

  • Prospects and customers don’t like your product or the customer experience of your company and see areas for improvement,
  • Your product doesn’t solve customer problems as they understand them (the solution isn’t communicated well), or
  • People see no redeeming qualities about your company or product or customer experience. 

3. You have negative product and company reviews.

For every complaint you hear or read online in negative reviews, there are probably dozens of other complaints that go unsaid directly to your company. Instead, people may share these stories with others through word-of-mouth. You may have negative employee reviews, too, being shared in the rumor mill.

4. You hear negative comments about customers from your employees.

This is most telling and troubling. If your employees say negative things about your customers, then they don’t like them. It’s hard to have great customer relationships when your employees don’t like your customers as people.

5. Your product is missing the mark (features, quality, etc.).

Frequent quality challenges are a sign that leadership doesn’t care about the product and customers, so over time, the teams give up caring as well. The underlying reason for not caring about a product is that the company and executives don’t care about your customers.

6. Prospect and customer expectations are miscommunicated or not met.

If you aren’t listening to your customers, then you won’t hear their needs. Listening is a skill you need to learn, not only to better understand your customers, but to feel more empathetic to them. Only then will you be able to create compassionate solutions to their problems. You need to be curious, be present, have no expectations, and acknowledge that relationships are built on conversations. You also need to observe actions as well as listen to words. And acknowledge that great listening happens when you are feeling empathy and compassion.

Most of all, your employees need to respect your customers. That’s the first step when bridging the gap between the two. Otherwise, customers know when employees are objectifying them, generalizing, and trivializing their problems, or feeling contempt or sympathy. It’s this objectification that reduces their connection and destroys trust. Without trust, it’s hard for your customers to love your company and products, and feel any type of loyalty to your company or brand.

If you notice any of these activities happening, you may want to intervene and find ways for your employees to better understand the customer’s perspective and express more empathy and compassion for them. Without that, you can’t create a customer community. But you can help your employees to be more empathetic and compassionate to your customers  through situational exercises so your employees can better understand the customer’s true experience. If you have questions about that, feel free to contact me for help.

I hope this was helpful! Thanks, and have a great day!