Common Storefront Mistakes – How They Apply to Your Online Business

online businessWe’ve all experienced it. That annoyance when you step into a store needing some assistance only to see all the associates gabbing away with each other, completely ignoring you. Or how about when customer service was so totally lacking you thought your head was going to explode out of frustration and anger?

Unfortunately, there are many storefront mistakes, and they happen far too often.

But don’t think that online businesses get a free pass. These mistakes easily apply to online businesses too.

Mistake #1: Making a bad first impression

In person, you only get one chance to make a first impression. When a customer walks into a store and is completely ignored, there’s no coming back from that.

Same thing goes for online businesses. When visitors first get to your website, what they see makes a big difference. Your design should be clean and organized. It should load quickly, or visitors will quickly leave. It should be easy to navigate, and visitors should be able to find what they are looking for.

Mistake #2: Not helping customers

Don’t you hate it when you really need assistance but it seems like all the sales associates are busy doing nothing? Not helping your customers is poor customer service and just looks bad on a business.

Not helping customers online is also bad customer service. You want to make yourself available and approachable. Treat your readers like you would your friends; make their experience on your site pleasurable. Having a killer product or service is not going to be enough – you have to show people that you value their time and money.

Mistake #3: Not thanking customers

This is another poor customer service mistake. The simple act of saying thank you can go a long way. It has the power of making customers feel appreciated and encourages them to want to return and shop again.

Similarly, it’s important to thank people online. There are many ways to show your online readers that you appreciate them. Redirect each blog comment to a “thanks for commenting” page. Offer freebies. If you run an e-commerce website, make sure each purchase is redirected to a page that thinks the customer for their order. You don’t have to have spend a lot of money. Sometimes the simple act of just saying thanks is enough.

Mistake #4: Knowing less than your customers

When you walk into a store, you want to know that the associates are capable of helping you in your purchase, and answer any questions that you may have about a product.

Well online customers want to know the same thing. How can an online business prove that they are knowledgeable? Through content. Write posts that show off your industry or product knowledge: how to posts, top tops, latest news, etc.

Bonus: Showing your knowledge and leadership will get readers to rely on you for information and come to trust you. And trust is the foundation to a good relationship that turns readers into your loyal buyers.

Mistake #5: Being hard to find

Where is everybody? You don’t want to have to track down those associates when you walk into a store. For physical stores, it’s important for assistance to be easy to find at all times.

It is no different online. While you can’t always be physically there, you can make it easy for people to find you. Provide as much contact info as you need and make it easy to spot. You may also want to have a contact me form or button shown prominently on your site.


There are many repeated customer service errors when it comes to offline stores. But these same mistakes can easily be applied to online businesses. Luckily, these mistakes are super easy to avoid. Just make sure your website and content are working for you.

Now to you: What is your biggest customer service mistake pet peeve? It can be offline or online, or both!


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