You’ve worked hard to build a growing, thriving business, complete with top-notch products or services and a fully-trained team. But all that hard work is for nothing if you’re scaring people away with your customer service. In fact, good customer service could increase the money you bring in each day. Studies show 66 percent of consumers will spend more if a company gives excellent service, while 60 percent have walked away from a purchase due to bad customer service.
Unfortunately, many businesses are unaware their customer service is hurting the company until it’s too late. Here are a few common customer service mistakes to watch for in your own business.
No matter how much effort you’ve invested in providing great service, if customers can’t reach you, you’ll never be able to make a positive impression. Invest in a good web hosting provider that offers reliable 24/7 uptime and fast page load times. If you provide customer support via telephone, make sure your support desk is reachable during the hours you promise support. If customers can’t reach someone after hours, make sure they can easily put in a ticket or request an immediate callback once your support team is again available.
Some companies seem to put a series of obstacles between customers and the support they need. This could be through a complicated phone tree that refuses to allow a customer to press zero for an operator, having an away message during posted business hours, or any other form of inaccessibility. Look at your customer support offerings from a customer’s perspective and make sure you’re making it as easy as possible to get help.
To save money, businesses often choose to outsource their customer support. Unfortunately, this can mean they use representatives who rely heavily on scripts, meaning they eventually encounter questions they can’t answer. While customer service scripts can improve a business’s productivity, they're also a large source of frustration for customers, which means you may be losing money rather than saving it. If you choose scripted service, make sure customers have the option to escalate to a more experienced representative who can provide the help they need.
Today’s customers don’t like to wait. They can order transportation, product deliveries, and services on demand. That quick turnaround translates to quicker customer complaints, as well. If a consumer contacts a business with an issue, a speedy response is essential to winning long-term loyalty. Whether a customer contacts you directly or posts feedback on social media, make sure your team is equipped to respond as quickly as possible.
Arguing with Customers
The customer may not always be right, but arguing is a sure-fire way to alienate them. While it’s important to stand by your policies, there are times when you can gain far more by apologizing to a difficult customer and offering to make up for their perceived slight. There are proven tactics that can help calm someone who is irate, but in the end, it’s important to keep in mind that an unhappy customer is likely to share the experience online, causing permanent damage to your reputation.
Experts have directly linked morale to customer service, and for good reason. When your workers are unhappy, they’re less likely to go the extra mile to ensure customers are satisfied. Take an active role in improving employee morale and you’ll likely see a rise in customer satisfaction levels, too. You’ll also find if you gain the reputation for being a great place to work, you attract top-notch representatives who bring their experience to your service desk.
Successful customer service representatives hone their listening skills. An empathetic employee can calm an irate customer and even turn a bad situation around. When a customer senses complete indifference to the frustrations being expressed, those frustrations only escalate. Train employees on active listening skills and practice conversations until they issue the appropriate empathetic response to each type of complaint.
Customer service is a talent, but it’s also a skill that can be honed over time. A small investment in training can pay off if you win loyal customers with your excellent customer service. Soon you’ll find you’ve created an environment where both employee morale and revenue remain strong.