In the current age of commerce, customer service has never been more essential.
After years of poor customer service, companies have finally gotten wise to the asset excellent customer service can be. It can retain customers, increase loyalty and even attract new consumers to your products, by word of mouth.
But equally, bad customer service can lead to customer loss. Therefore, it’s vital to be aware of common customer service problems and how to solve them. Here are our top five.
1. Slow Response
One of the most common complaints about customer service regards long resolution times.
There are many possible reasons, including inadequate training, a small workforce, little accountability and a lack of standards and processes.
To fix the issue, create a clear guideline for how to handle each type of complaint, using templated responses where appropriate to speed workflow.
Multiple channels of communication can also speed up response times, and a knowledge base will filter out customers with a common query.
2. Passed from Pillar to Post
We’ve all been on the phone with a customer support team as we can be transferred from one department to the next: even worse when you end up back where you started.
Such situations occur when there is inadequate guidance on how to deal with a situation.
On occasion, transferring a customer is a necessity. Explain to them the reason behind the transfer and complete a thorough handover: the customer doesn’t want to explain their story again.
3. “Do You Even Care?”
Rude or apathetic staff is the last thing a company wants: remember this is the face of your business.
In the case of a repeatedly rude staff member, such a person may not be best suited to a career in customer service.
Meanwhile, if it is a team-wide issue, invest in soft skills training, which covers areas such as conflict resolution, customer empathy, and concise communication.
Customers who feel they are being listened to are much likelier to be satisfied with their service. After all, that’s why they contacted the customer support team in the first place.
4. Staff are Uninformed
If staff routinely don’t know answers to fundamental problems, then the issue lies in their training.
Ensure there are clear resources available for them to give an informed response.
Unfortunately, some staff members may unwittingly provide false information, hiding behind a veneer of professionalism.
When customers realize that they have been fed something which is not true, it breeds mistrust.
Despite being there to provide answers, it is acceptable to admit ignorance.
Offer to transfer the customer to a senior team member, or put them on hold while a correct answer is found. Customers will appreciate the effort.
5. Talking to a Computer
There is a growing trend to do away with real-life customer support staff, opting instead for chatbots and knowledge bases.
These tools are excellent for reducing the stress of customer service staff, but they are no replacement.
Sometimes you need to talk to a regular person. Too much automation can put people off, creating an image of your business that is distant and disinterested.
Customers value the personal touch.
Founder of the Writing Doctor