Let’s face it, poor customer care support service can cost a business a fortune!
In fact, a recent report released by NewVoiceMedia shows that businesses in the United States lose over $75 billion every year due to poor customer relations!
And that’s just scratching the surface of this underlying issue….
Indeed, data from NewVoiceMedia also reveals that about 42 percent of American consumers will instantly walk out of a business if they feel the customer service is not up to par with their expectations.
Its no wonder so many companies have opted to outsource customer support.
Which begs the question; what has led to this increased scrutiny of customer service provision?
The Millennial Affair
Nowadays, the largest consumer base for most businesses is millennials.
Contrary to generations past where shopping habits were heavily influenced by print media, millennial purchases are steered by digital advertisements; primarily, social media.
Which means a customer can easily vent out their frustration on Social media platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram whenever they feel the customer service was not up to par.
Indeed, small businesses that do not have the financial power to invest in quality customer service training bear the brunt of these negative reviews.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why roughly 50 percent of all small businesses will fail by the 5th year.
That being said, a business can still turn things around by avoiding some of the most prevalent customer ‘fails’ riddling a majority of enterprises today.With this in mind, here are 4 common customer fails your enterprise should steer clear from
Over-Automating Your Customer Service
Ideally, most customers prefer their queries to be met with instant availability and personalized responses regardless of the time of day.Unfortunately, in a bid to meet this principle, most companies have been handling customer queries via automated responses through live chat.
Their excuse being, don’t chatbots respond to customer queries with an 85 percent accuracy rate?
Not knowing they are tarnishing their reputation…
In fact, one company learned this lesson the hard way.Earlier this year, Bank of America faced public protest after they were accused of using stock phrases to respond to customer queries.
Which brought to light the fact that chatbots are not meant to replace customer service agents, rather assist them in handling a large volume of queries.
To counter this, here are ways in which your enterprise can avoid overautomation.
- First things first, social media- When it comes to social media, the main platforms for communication are Twitter and Facebook. Instead of employing a bot response, agents should take at least one minute reviewing a tweet or message before responding. This way, they’ll understand the background of the tweet and not send a generic message.
- Mix it up- It’s also wise to use a balanced mixture of human customer service and chat bots. Additionally, your social media platforms should always be monitored by one of the agents. And in the event that no one is monitoring, the automated responses should be turned off.
- You can also invest in your customer service department learning how to write chat bot responses that have a more natural feel to them.
- Last but not least, before launching your chat bots to your customer service department, it’s advisable to run a series of tests on them to determine their interaction with a customer.
Employing Customer Service Agents with Limited Training.
For any frustrated customer, there’s nothing more annoying than communicating with a customer service agent who cannot provide a solution to your problem.
For example, if you happen to have booked a room with a certain hotel and paid extra for certain privileges, only to find that these privileges weren’t met, wouldn’t you be mad?
Now, imagine trying to communicate this frustration to a recently hired customer service agent who received limited training in customer relations.
Do you think that conversation would go great?
As a matter of fact, you might find yourself being rudely interrupted or even lectured by the customer service agent.
So how can we solve such a predicament?
One of the most plausible ways is to ensure that contracted customer service agents have proficient training prior to being hired.
Unfortunately, the training itself can be quite expensive, and you might have to dig deep into your pockets to facilitate personal training at your business premises.
Here are ways to handle limited customer service training:
- You can start by engaging your customer service team via mock chats with customers. This way, you can determine their strengths and weakness, and the steps necessary for development.
- Additionally, your enterprise should perform a regular exercise where agents are required to review their manuals to ensure that they are executing service delivery professionally.
Your Customer Service Agents Lack Empathy
Empathy is hands down the most vital aspect of the customer-service relationship. The bottom line is, every customer wants to feel as if the sales agent understands their frustrations.
Perhaps he or she had made a reservation for a conference meeting at your hotel scheduled for 11 pm; only to call in and discover that your staff was still in the process of preparing the hall.
And now the meeting is running late!
Now, a customer service agent who does not empathize with your client might take this call as just another generic complaint, and handle it indifferently.
Sadly, most clients can sniff a lack of empathy from miles away…
And they might just find themselves giving your hotel a scathing review! You see, empathy is beneficial in that it automatically calms a client down, and makes them understand that they are being valued despite the mishap.
Phrases such as ‘We sincerely apologize’ and ‘don’t worry sir/madam, I assure you that I am getting to the bottom of this and I’ll do all I can to ensure that you receive the service you’re entitled to.’
Courtesy costs nothing.Indeed, fostering a culture of empathy can do wonders for your business.
Here are some of the ways you can foster an attitude of empathy with your customer service agents:
- Indeed, empathy is not an easy trait to teach. However, you can provide extra training to your agents to handle complex situations which dwell on customer disasters by following certain empathy protocols as part of the script.
- Secondly, developing empathy maps for your agent as they engage with customers will provide a pathway to understanding the problems that customers face to seamless solution provision and providing a solution.
A Culture of Ignorance in the Customer-Service Department
As the sages say, ignorance is bliss.But when it comes to customer service, this is certainly not the case!
In fact, we highly recommend that your customer service agents be highly skilled with adaptive selling methods.
That is, when they’re handling a case in which a customer plans to cancel an order or service, the agent should strive to change their mind by convincing them that they are invaluable to the company.
Nevertheless, in the attempt to retain the customer, they should not just focus on just upselling.
Rather, solving the problem should be the target…
Keeping this in mind, here are some of the ways you can minimize customer ignorance within your enterprise:
- Agents should be trained to always acknowledge a customer’s request prior to any cancellations being made. Indeed, many customers always anticipate a fight whenever they call to cancel. Nevertheless, instead of antagonizing the fight, you should retain them by responding with kind words, ‘I’m sorry to hear you are unsatisfied with the request.’
- Moreover, agents should inquire politely regarding issues with the order and work towards providing solutions and alternatives to the problem.
How Outsourcing Comes into Play
Customer service outsourcing companies can be essential when it comes to averting some of the aforementioned mistakes such as over-reliance on customer automation, and a lack of customer service quality.
That’s because hiring an outsourcing agency provides benefits such as a professionally trained customer support team that is skilled at handling different customer requests.
Moreover, features such as empathy, timely responses, and upselling are other benefits that come with outsourcing.
In parting, customer-service is an ever-evolving spectrum. And to keep up to par with its shifting mechanism, we need to constantly study our client audience and ensure that we foster a desirable customer-service relationship.