Today’s top brands don’t just owe their success to their stellar products and services—flawless customer experience plays an (if not the most) important role as well. In this day and age, if your brand delivers poor customer service or ill complaint management tactics, your business may be well on its way to sinking.
The figures don’t lie: 73% of consumers say customer experience is a critical factor that affects their buying decisions. Generally, your customers will be willing to spend more for your brand if you continually meet or surpass their demands—a huge chunk of these points to deploying efficient customer service.
Globally, 54% of all buyers say that their expectations with customer service have increased. It includes having 24/7 support lines, real-time response times, and smart solutions to concerns. Excellent customer service can also increase brand loyalty and support your customer retention efforts.
Many brands are aware of how critical customer service is to their business. However, not all will realize that some of their current practices are doing more harm to their image than good. Are you one of them?
Check out the following shoddy customer service habits and learn how you can correct it.
It should go without saying that your customer service portals should be easily viewable on your main web pages, social media accounts, email marketing newsletters, and more. Don’t make it a chore for your customer to reach you, especially if they have pressing issues that they need to resolve right away. This added frustration will pile up on their current concern, and you may end up with an angry customer.
Make sure to have a dedicated contact page and list down your communication channels any chance you get. If you only have one point of contact, consider changing this. Omni-channel customer support is the new standard—think live chat, SMS, social media, email, and more.
A hallmark of lousy customer service is putting your users on hold for long periods. There could be some reasons behind this: there are not enough agents, some concerns are taking too long to resolve, etc. However, the bottom line is, your customers are growing impatient and unsatisfied by the minute.
In a ClickFox survey, it was revealed that ‘long wait times’ ranks second on a list of what frustrates customers the most. If this problem persists, you need to match the demand of people reaching out to ask for help or reroute them to other channels where they can be accommodated more quickly.
Each customer comes from a unique experience or background when using your product. The last thing they want is a condescending or nonchalant customer support officer handling an issue that matters a lot to them. Empathy is not innate in all agents, but the skill can be learned if one is willing.
Hear them out and make them feel that their concern is valid. Allow your customers to express their concerns and acknowledge their emotions as well. Lastly, don’t forget to use positive language when you converse with them and offer alternatives to their problem. There’s always a fix for every situation!
While it’s tempting to stick with your template once an influx of concerns and messages come in, you have to remember that you’re dealing with people—not robots. It’s quite easy to spot a canned response if you read one, especially if these replies go published on your social media support channels.
Personalization is a big deal in tailoring a satisfying customer experience for your users. Use their name, mention their issue, greet them in their time zone, and more. Add doses of creativity and uniqueness with each reply and make your customers feel that you read their complaints and understand where they’re coming from.
Imagine this: A customer who has been waiting patiently at the other end of the line for a company expert to handle their concern is met with an agent who is quite uncertain with how to proceed. Despite their initial patience and steady mood, they suddenly become frustrated when they realize that their problem will not be solved because the customer support officer doesn’t know how to help them.
Lack of knowledge in your products can be a major turn off for a lot of customers. There’s always a solution to every problem, so as much as possible, refrain from saying “I don’t know.” While honesty is important, there should always be alternatives presented in tough cases. For instance, you could give them a refund or discount, escalate the issue to higher management, or offer to call them back at a specific time. Don’t leave your customers hanging!
Fostering great customer relationships should be one of your top priorities. Fortunately, it’s easy to do this by keeping the tips above in mind. Stray away from common bad practices and make sure that you always put the feelings and needs of your customers first. It won’t be long before you see its rewards!
Should you feel the need to strengthen your customer support team further, it’s a good idea to attend workshops that can teach you the best practices of customer service. Guthrie-Jensen Consultants’ Exceptional Client Care seminar aims to equip every customer service agent with the proper tools to handle the trickiest situations in their line of work.