A number of businesses these days talk about offering unparalleled customer service. But let’s be honest, how many of them have actually achieved it? The number might as well be counted on fingers. Now, the question remains – why is that so?
No business wants to fall short on delivery of what they have promised to their customers. The poor customer service, therefore, is often the result of the policies and decisions made by the company which affect the service negatively.
So, what are these causes that keep businesses from delivering the best service? Read on:
1. Focusing Too Much on the Metrics
Metrics matter, no doubt about that. But when these metrics become the prime concern of a business, they steal the thunder from the actual service. From service levels to average handle times and calls per hour start to matter more than the quality and customer satisfaction.
Sure, in case of call centers, time is money. And hitting the target metrics every time can generate a sense of security (albeit false) for the businesses. But encouraging agents make hitting the target metrics a priority will take their eyes off the big apple – customer service.
Let us think about it. To shorten the handling time, an agent would skimp on the niceties or forego first call resolution. And that would irritate the customer. On the contrary, if you focus on customer satisfaction and NPS scores rather than on target metrics you might make it big in customer experience. Better still, strike a balance between the two. That is what matters, in the long run.
2. A Cost-centric Approach
No matter what most companies think, one should not see customer service as a “cost center.” It is true that the operation does not add revenues and increases the expenses. But the benefit it offers to the business is worth a fortune.
According to Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos,“we’ve found that on average, our customers telephone us at least once at some point, and if we handle the call well, we have an opportunity to create an emotional impact and a lasting memory … Our philosophy has been that most of the money we might ordinarily have spent on advertising should be invested in customer service, so that our customers will do the marketing for us through word of mouth.”
You do not have to break the bank to cater to your customers. With virtual queuing and other latest tools you can bring down the cost of a customer service call center and still steal the show.
3. Not Utilizing Your Greatest Assets
Let’s face it, despite being the front-line of customer service, some businesses still do not think of their customer service agents as an important asset. But doing so may end with a high employee turnover rate, higher costs and not living up to customer expectations.
A business should re-engage their customer service team and empower them to take some decisions on their own. This will make see their place in the bigger picture, increase first call resolution, prompt customer service and ultimately, increased level of customer satisfaction.
4. Ancient Channel Strategy
Did you know that 88% of companies have already adopted multi-channel to meet the ever-increasing consumer demand? Apparently, some businesses did not get the memo.
When the corporate marketing department of an organization uses multi-channel communication to reach out to their audience, they should also expect the audience to reach out to them using the same channels. It’s a two-way street, you see.
A company should know whether their customers are more prone to use chat, social media, email, a mobile application or phone to reach out to them. And when they do, businesses should be able to respond and meet their expectations.
Agreed, it is not always possible to offer the same level of customer service across all channels. But a business should be able to escalate conversations across channels through Omni-channel strategy.
In the end, it all boils down to customer and the way a business chooses to interact with them. When the businesses rectify their errors, the customers won’t have a reason to complain about lousy customer service anymore.