August 9, 2018 Thursday
No matter your industry, you probably know that the customer reigns supreme. Even if they aren’t always right, they need to be treated with respect and care. After all, it’s way more cost-effective to do what you can to make a current customer happy than to gain a replacement patron. Still, U.S. brands lose nearly $41 billion each and every year due to poor customer service. By listening to the most common types of negative feedback from customers, you can take steps to prevent these same issues at your organization. Here are just a few of the most common problems people have with customer service experiences.
- Long wait times
No one wants to be stuck in an endless queue. In fact, 75% of customers would rather have the option to receive a call back than to wait on the line for service. Unfortunately, when customer service centers are understaffed, customers may not have any other option but to simply wait their turn. Offering other ways to get help, like a live chat, a website FAQ section, or an alert system to update customers on their estimated wait time can be beneficial. If your organization has busy days or seasons, you may also want to consider investing in after hours telephone answering services. This can ensure those who are still on the line after business hours can still receive help without having to go through the whole process again.
- No response or limited availability
If your operating hours are the standard 9-5 and you don’t provide customers with alternate ways to contact you when you’re closed, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Not only does this alienate those in your area who also work during that same time frame, it places limits on the hours that customers across the country or around the world can contact you. And if they aren’t able to get in touch, they’re going to take their business elsewhere. When everyone’s gone home for the day, you can still assist your customers with a live chat option or by using after hours telephone answering services. While their problems may not be solved immediately, they can at least make contact and get the ball rolling.
- Lack of knowledge or patience
Not everyone is suited for customer service. It’s a demanding job that requires a positive attitude, a lot of consideration, and quite a bit of tolerance. Simply put, customer service agents need to be well-trained and well-equipped to deal with frustrating situations. You’ll probably find that some employees simply aren’t up to that task. Keep in mind that if a customer is convinced they’ve received poor service — even if they are partially to blame — you’ll be much more likely to lose them. Even if you produce a high-quality product or service, a customer will walk if they feel disrespected or unheard. But having a comprehensive training process and emphasizing a willingness to learn on the job can go a long way. Provide support for employees, help them learn from their mistakes, and hire those who are emotionally adept for this kind of work.
If your business is struggling to retain customers or you’ve received complaints like those outlined above, you probably need to rethink your customer service strategy. By providing better options for customers, like after hours telephone answering services and live chat, and training your employees properly, you can avoid situations like these.