Top 10 Ways to Lose a Customer

by Jill Hart

You spend a lot of time and money drawing people to your Web site. Don't drive them away before you make the sale.

After days of searching online, I found a website that I thought sold the item I needed. Excited, I scoured the website for the price of the product and the payment. Unfortunately, I never found the information. After ten minutes of searching, I gave up.

No matter how many visitors you are able to attract to your website, there are still ways to lose them before making a sale. Below are the top 10 ways to lose a paying customer.

1. Navigation - One of the easiest ways to turn off a website visitor is create a complicated website. If a customer struggles to find their a product, they will more than likely get frustrated and leave the website before they buy.

When I first designed my website I had no idea about design. Looking back, I'm not sure I accomplished pretty and I did not create an easy website to navigate. Much like the one I mentioned earlier, my website was frustrating to visitors.

2. Busyness - The wrong type of website can turn off visitors and repel sales. Create a website designed for your target audience. For example, if you're selling aromatherapy products, you'll want a relaxing environment. However, if you're a life coach you want to pump people up. Your website should be full of life and activity.

3. Sizing - Many websites make the mistake of sizing their design to fit their screen. Unfortunately, the standard resolution that most monitors are sized to (800 x 600) does not always match. When this happens, visitors must scroll not only up and down the page, but left and right as well. To eliminate this frustration, set you width to no more than 800 pixels.



4. Point of Contact - When visitors to your website have a question they want to be able to easily find your contact information. Many websites display their email address, phone number, or a link to their contact information either in their menu or at the top/bottom of their website, which makes it easy to find.

5. Hidden Pricing - Customers want to have all of the necessary information before they make a purchase. Make sure your prices are available up front. When customers have to dig for pricing information, there's a good chance that they will get frustrated, give up and leave your website.

6. Customer Service - You can set your business apart from all the rest by offering fast, friendly and helpful service to your customers. Try to respond to emails and phone calls within twenty-fours hours. Smile while you type or talk on the phone because your customers will hear the lilt in your voice and respond.

7. Follow-up - If your customer asks a question about a product or service, follow up within 48 hours to see if they have further questions. Many times this follow-up can lead to a sale. Neglecting follow-up can lose you customers.

8. Spam - If you offer a newsletter or other type of mailing list, be careful with what you send to your subscribers. Avoid mailings that look like spam. Choose a template that works for you and that will be recognizable to your readers.

9. Professional Conduct - In the business world it's important that you're professional, especially when dealing with difficult clients. It's imperative to be kind, courteous and take care of business. Refrain from any type of name calling or blame placing. Stand up for your business in a professional manner and treat your customers with respect at all times. Remember the old adage - the customer is always right.

10. Payment Options/Security - Customers want to know that they can trust you with their financial information. Choose a payment provider that offers a secure way to transit orders and credit card information. If possible, offer more than one payment option to give your customers the ability to choose how they will pay.

Creating a website that is customer-friendly isn't as simple as one might think. There are many aspects to consider and the designer must choose carefully or risk losing sales. Avoid these ten no-no's and make your website into a successful business venture.

Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, CWAHM.com. Jill is a contributing author in The Business Mom Guide Book: More Life, Less Overwhelm for Mom Entrepreneurs and I'll Be Home For Christmas and co-author of the upcoming book, Home Based Blessings. Hart and her husband, Allen of CWAHD.com (Christian Work at Home Dads) reside in Nebraska with their two children.

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