Scared woman running away while looking back

How to Scare Away Customers so They Never Come Back –  6 Startling Examples! 

October marks the full onset of Fall, darker days, and spooky elements everywhere you look. Whether it’s watching horror movies, carving jack-o-lanterns, dressing up in ghoulish costumes, or taking the kids trick-or-treating, most of us can’t resist this dance with the dark side. In this spirit (pun intended), we put together some suggestions on how to scare away your customers, so they run and never come back!

What Scares Away Customers? A Frightful First Impression!

If your goal is to frighten off your customers, consider the old idiom “First impressions are the most lasting”. Here are some ways for people in your business to make the worst first impression:

  • Disheveled Appearance – Employees with an unkempt appearance let customers know they don’t care. What better way to turn them away?
  • Rude or Indifferent Tone – The tone of voice and demeanor says it all. If it’s rude, menacing, or indifferent, people will run in the opposite direction!
  • Cluttered Environment – A cluttered and disorganized environment is a bad sign. It’s the same as saying “Stay Away” to your customers!
  • Unwelcoming Vibe – Do your best to make customers feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. This can be achieved just as much by what you don’t do, as by what you do. Either way, customers won’t be back! 

What Scares Customers Even More? A Dreadful Reputation!

Anyone with common sense wouldn’t go anywhere near a house with a reputation for being haunted. They’ve heard or read the stories about what goes on, so they don’t need to experience it for themselves.

Similarly, if your business has a reputation for poor service (in the form of bad online reviews or formal complaints) potential customers will stay away. If you’re wondering how to create and maintain a bad reputation…read on, if you dare!

How to Send Customers Running

Below are just a few grim examples of how to ward off your customers for all eternity.  

  1. Implement Sinister Sales Tactics – Do you want your customers to run for their life? Use high-pressure, unethical sales tactics!
  1. Use Cryptic Communication – Make sure your company reps either lack knowledge or provide wrong or misleading information about your product or service, and you’ll never hear from your customers again.
  1. Keep Customers in the Dark – Keep customers in the dark by failing to communicate or update them after an order or purchase. Consequence? They’ll ghost on you!
  1. Leave Them in the Lurch – Make them wait forever. Don’t keep your promises. Flake out on agreements. Fail to resolve complaints. And you might as well say “RIP” to your business!
  1. Hold Customers Hostage – Do you want to send your company to the grave? Hold customers to purchases or contracts, even if they aren’t satisfied – no exceptions! 
  1. Manage Like a Monster – Last but not least: Letting employee morale sink to the lowest depths is crucial if your goal is a miserable customer experience. You can achieve this by terrorizing a bare-bones staff that is overworked and under-compensated!

Following these startling examples should go far in helping you create your customers’ worst nightmare – the ultimate ‘nail in the coffin’ for your business if the intention is to make them disappear. Forever. 

Happy Halloween! 

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Customer Service Institute of America