One thing that any small business can do to set themselves apart from competitors is providing good customer service. But if the opposite happens and customers are unhappy, it’s no small matter.

Businesses can quickly get bad online reviews; negative comments posted on social media sites and worse, lost revenue.

Here are some typical customer complaints that can be improved with the right training, policies or systems for your small business.

Bad Phone Service

Often, the first point of contact between a customer and a business is via telephone.

This is also one of the most common ways that a small business can lose a potential customer if the call is not handled well. Customers frequently complain about bad phone service.

As the following article looks at, here are the top 4 customer complaints about call center phone systems:

  1. Getting disconnected

What fun it is to be put on hold for minutes at a time, wait patiently, and then get hung disconnected. It’s unlikely a customer will call back and risk getting hung up on twice in a row.

  1. Getting a representative who doesn’t know anything

How wonderful to finally get through to a real live person, only to discover that they don’t know enough about the business’s policies or products to be of any assistance whatsoever.

  1. Being on the receiving end of a “script”

It’s fine to have call center reps that are trained to be polite, but listening to reps that are obviously reading from a script is annoying and a big time waster according to customers.

  1. Listening to dead air

If there’s anything worse than bad hold music, it’s dead air. Customers can’t tell if they’ve been disconnected or if they’re still on hold.

If you’re the least bit interested in giving good phone service, invest in a small business call center service that guarantees your customers won’t have to go through any of the above annoyances.

Bad Real Life Service

The second biggest general complaint from customers is bad real life service.

This can run the gamut among a number of things, including:

Being Ignored

Every customer should be greeted when they enter your business premises. It’s common courtesy, and it’s a proven way to cut down on shoplifting.

Being Watched

Worse than being ignored is being watched. If your sales staff is on commission, they might be guilty of hovering around browsing customers so the instant someone starts to make a purchase, the salesperson can claim it. Instruct your staff to stay nearby in case someone has a question, but not to watch customers like a hawk.

Being Cheated

You may not see it as cheating if you change prices up and down occasionally, but a customer who buys something one day for $12.99 and sees it the next day for $10.99 is not going to be pleased. They’ll feel cheated, especially if the item isn’t even on sale-it’s just a reduction in price. Stay consistent with your pricing, and advertise sales broadly so customers feel informed.

Pay close attention to how your customers respond to your employees and your phone system and you’ll be able to avoid most of the causes of customer unhappiness.

At the end of the day, having long-term happy customers should always be your goal.

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.