How to avoid the typical customer service problems
The diseased and decaying body of the vampire, Kapital, has many parasites crawling over it, feeding on scraps of peeling and rotting flesh, looking only for what they can get for themselves. But there is only one pure bloodline: the consumer. Even in this day and age, when consumers are no longer the passive little sheep we want them to be, the citizen/consumer is an armed and informed beast,
When the vampire, Kapital, lies unsleeping in his dark, webby tomb, in the earth of his native land, of what does he dream? Of the life, the blood, of capitalism, which is not currency money in cash dollars, or funds, it is the succulent client, not the gnat that feeds on the body, but the body itself. There are many, many parasites, feeding on the putrid meat but only one lifeblood. What is the lifeblood of Capitalism, the sleeping creature that needs plasma to survive, is it innovative products, R&D, the middle class and their aspirations for a better life?
We all know that keeping an existing customer is five times more profitable than capturing a new one, and we also know customers are fickle, as well as being the lifeblood of capitalism. Customer service problems require a more empathetic outlook than simply trying to Stockholm them into line.
Despite the fact that customer service is sometimes an afterthought for many companies, one of the first areas of their business they look to if it’s time to make cuts, it is better not to overlook this most precious bond. Good customer service can mean the difference between a satisfied client and an unhappy one, and has a tangible effect on your company’s image. Resolving customer service problems quickly and without fuss is part of the soft power business arsenal, and, in the age of social media, when nightmare stories can go viral at any time it’s best not to get caught out in the rain. If people are going to be sharing opinions about your company online, don’t you want be sure that conversation is not going to damage your brand? Nevertheless, however much of your time you dedicate to the topic (and we’re here to convince you that it’s more important, and less difficult than you think), you’re going to run into recurring problems, some of which are outlined below.
1. Believing that customer service is a non-essential aspect of your business.
Let’s be clear: your customer service should not be focused on dodging bullets but on excellence. A customer will go to your competitor if he or she feels that they are not being attended correctly and sympathetically. One unhappy customer with a smartphone can wreak havoc on your company, and making public apologies on social media is fraught with hazards.
There are numerous studies that show prove that in the world of consumer goods and services customer service is an essential attribute of any company. One study carried out by Accenture affirms that as many as 66% of consumers will abandon their supplier if they do not receive good customer attention. Other surveys such as one published recently by Forbes claims that up to 86% of service users would be willing to pay more for services if the customer attention were better. Or yet another by Achieve Global, which maintains that almost 40% of clients will speak badly of a brand if their user experience is unsatisfactory, and up to 93% would stop using a service if the issues were repeated.
Still not convinced? Read on for more typical customer attention mishaps.
2. It’s impossible to get in touch
You can’t find a contact phone number or an email address, not even a Skype. The contact details are hidden deep within the corporate website. What do they have to hide? Doesn’t inspire much confidence, right? That’s what your customer is thinking so get your contact details front and center. Don’t hide.
3. There isn’t an established customer service protocol
Does the first attender have a clearly defined set of criteria on how to proceed? Is he or she qualified to resolve this kind of problem? Do they have the authority to take action? Do they have a 24-hour direct line to the decision makers? You never thought about it? That’s a lot of unanswered interrogatives. Time to roll up your sleeves and get to work building an effective customer attention service.
4. Your customer service crew does not have sufficient training
One thing is having someone robotically attend the phone and another is that this attention is of any use. If you don’t want to have a worker dedicated solely to being a punching bag for your clients, put a weapon in their hands, the most powerful weapon of all: knowledge.
5. The people in charge of customer service don’t have the necessary tools to do their job
More specifically, the right technology. Take your pick from the wide array of communication channels available – email, SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, a simple phone call – and those still to come. An automated ticketing system, such as Integria IMS, that can handle a wide range of customer problems automatically, simply by following a series of programmed protocols.
6. Slow service
Whether it’s due to a lack of staff or because they lack the power to take decisions or the right tools to put plans into action, the end result is a frustrated client at the end of the line, waiting for a reply, wasting their time.
7. Bad lines of communication between the customer service department and the individuals tasked with solving the incident.
Is the problem too complex to be solved by the client on their own? If you don’t have the right tools to put customer service in contact with technical personnel clearly and directly it sounds like you have another thing to look into. Get it sorted!
8. The client doesn’t feel well attended
Unmotivated employees, unsatisfied clients, fever, headache…do you recognize these symptoms? If this is the first impression your client has of your workers it won’t reflect well on your company. How are you going to spread the love to your customers if your people are discontented? Look after your workers and you’ll also be looking after your clients.
9. There is no custom protocol for certain clients
Of course all your customers are important, but, that said, some clients need treatment more tailored to their specific requirements. Do you want them to continue to trust you? Put their satisfaction first.
10. Post-sales tracking? Don’t know/don’t care
That’s the spirit! Don’t let it worry you that post-sales service is one of the most important added values a product or service can include. That it can teach your company valuable lessons about the life cycle of your product/service, about your customers and about the kind of goods or services, and attention, you want to offer in the future.
This is a Top Ten of customer attention issues, not the Top Ten. It is in no way definitive and new problems will always come up. The best way to affront them is to be forward facing and proactive; don’t leave such an important area to chance or the whims of the person who is attending the telephone on that day. Better by far to have an automated customer service attention software and helpdesk able to process thousands of incidents a second, track and trace those incidents, plus also the customers who phoned them in, and the person or persons responsible for solving them. What are you waiting for?