Getting customer service right is a critical part of any business. Without customers, what are you in business for? And if you don’t get customer service right, 91% of customers will leave a brand after just one bad experience.
This is why it’s so important to ensure the team and technology can keep customers happy. It’s all about getting the right people and giving the right message.
The crux of the matter is that customer service doesn’t always take priority. When this happens, the same mistakes get made over and over again. Let’s look at what those customer service mistakes are and how to avoid them.
1. Not Knowing The Customer
It’s impossible to provide support to your customers properly if you don’t know them. Who are they? What do they want in life? Why have they connected with your brand? Your customer service team should have insights into your general customer profile. They need to know ages, genders, income brackets—all the standard points.
In addition to this, they should have more personalized information if possible. An overview of purchase history with the company and user behavior is ideal. This will help your customer service team to get into the specific pain points of the customer. This knowledge ensures they can help them more effectively.
2. Not Understanding The Business
This is another major tripping up point. Too often, customer service is outsourced to a third party. This could be a call center or even a marketing agency running your email campaigns and social media profiles. These people are never going to be able to understand your business effectively because they aren’t part of it. It’s crucial to have a dedicated team that is part of your business and understands how it operates.
3. Poor Training
Training customer service providers is huge. They need to understand your customers, business, and complaints policies. If this team doesn’t have the right training to successfully bring these points together, they’ll fall short. They will struggle to connect with your customers and offer the correct level of empathy.
4. Not Having The Right Tools
We live in a world of technology dependence. Your customer service team needs the right tech to provide proper support. It’s important to invest in decent hardware that meets their needs. You’ll need computers that run well and connect to your servers easily. High-quality headsets for clear conversations with customers. And other tools of the trade. Good software with great shortcuts to improve their efficiency is also important.
You could consider deploying a chatbot to help with simpler queries. This allows your customer service team to focus on more complex queries.
5. No Access To Real-Time Information
There’s nothing worse for a customer than when they get in touch to query something and the support provider doesn’t have access to the necessary information. This team needs to see stock levels, have sight of any orders placed, and know about any delays or service disruptions.
Clearly communicating this information to the customer service team is essential. It allows them to assist customers efficiently. Up to 84% of customers get highly frustrated when they ask for information and the assistant they’re dealing with isn’t able to give it to them.
6. Not Having Omni-Channel Support
Customers far prefer to have the option of asking for assistance on the platform that they prefer. This could be a phone call, email, chat, text, social media, etc. What’s more, customers are actually expecting this level of flexibility. They’re also expecting that they can get hold of you on chat and then via email, for example. And the person assisting them will have access to all the conversations they had previously.
A business should never have only one way for customers to get hold of them. Additionally, a business should never have a disconnect between the various methods of communication with the public.
7. Limiting Customer Service Windows
Just because a business has specific operating hours doesn’t mean that people will only want to contact you in that time period. We live in an era of instant communication and the ability to shop online at all hours of the day and night.
If they have a query outside of office hours, these customers will still want to be able to send a message or email. Or have access to the basic functions of a chatbot. Providing as many options as possible for communicating outside of operating hours is important. As is ensuring queries get dealt with first thing in the morning.
8. Not Sticking To A Consistent Tone And Voice
Consistency in messaging and the way a message gets conveyed is often only linked to marketing and sales. However, continuing that consistency through to customer service will improve the trust that customers have in your business. Every touchpoint that a customer has with a business should sound the same and feel the same.
9. A Lack Of Ownership Of Issues
When something goes wrong with a product or service, the customer is looking for the business to take ownership of the problem. A simple apology and acknowledgement of something not being right can go a long way towards making the customer happy again.
Too often, customer service teams are instructed not to apologize or take ownership of an issue on the business’s behalf. Most customers are simply looking for an apology and the assurance of a solution, if there isn’t one already available.
10. Simply Not Listening To Your Customers
Listening is probably the most important skill that a customer service provider can have. Your team must be able to listen to the customer and respond accordingly. A script is great for helping to navigate potential problems. But simply responding with what’s written and not connecting to what the person is saying will never win over unhappy customers. A response must relate to the words the customer says or types and not be a generic or copy/paste reaction.
Conclusion: Customer Service Is A Learned Skill
As these mistakes show, customer service is something that everyone can learn, whether they are the employee or the employer.
Knowing what pitfalls to avoid is essential in providing the best possible service and ensuring that your business fosters a long-lasting relationship with as many customers as possible.