Everyone knows the importance of good customer service.
Not only does it ensure the satisfaction and continued business of your current customers, it’s also a catalyst for future opportunities — that coveted “x-factor” that can influence a prospect to select your company over a competitor.
Be good at customer service. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well …
A lot of businesses think they got the whole customer service thing down but don’t realize the costly mistakes they’re making. For example, even if your CSRs are exceptional at their jobs, relying on an outdated, manual or inefficient order management process still makes it virtually impossible to give your customers an optimal experience.
There’s no such thing as perfect customer service. However, by righting any of these wrongs, you’ll be sure to put an extra twinkle in your customers’ eyes.
5 Customer Service Fails to Avoid
- Hoping for the best.
If your idea of proactive customer outreach is crossing your fingers, it might be time for a new plan. Customers appreciate when a company can anticipate their needs, and are more likely to reward that type of initiative with greater loyalty and long-term value. Unfortunately, when your CSRs are circling the office in an endless loop of order printing, data entering, and document tracking, they don’t have a lot of time for outbound calling, social media targeting or other proactive customer care strategies. Sigh. #CustomerServiceFail (–> Click to tweet!)
- Resisting modern technology.
The definition of good customer service is changing. Where a phone call used to be the most direct, resourceful way to resolve an issue, customers are now seeking out companies that are easy to do business with (i.e., those that offer a variety of mobile, self-service options to manage orders on their own time). At best, a company who fails to offer these technologies is viewed as rigid. At worst, the customer views them as replaceable. #CustomerServiceFail
- Ignoring the human element.
Yes, customers want to solve issues on their own terms and in their own time … to a point. Direct human-to-human interaction is still necessary in certain situations, and can be a defining moment for customer allegiance. According to Oracle’s recent Customer Experience Impact Report, 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. If CSRs lack the training — and time — to properly handle one of these interactions, there’s a good chance you’ll be hearing a lot more of those awful “it’s time to see other people” speeches in the near future. #CustomerServiceFail
- Not empowering your staff.
Loyalty shouldn’t be exclusive to your customers. CSRs who spend their days doing manual order processing tasks and dealing with disgruntled customers aren’t exactly shoo-ins for the long haul. Businesses that fail to create a collaborative and empowering environment are going to have a much harder time hanging on to employees, and consequently, retaining valued customers. Low-value manual tasks not only make it harder for CSRs to perform their job, they lack any real opportunities for personal and professional growth. #CustomerServiceFail
- Failing to measure progress.
Analytics is all the rage these days with everyone from professional sports teams to government agencies relying on the added value of metrics. Your customer service department should be no different. Want to know how many customer follow-ups were made? What about percentage of new customers were started on a loyalty program? With the help of an intelligent dashboard tool, you can know these KPIs and much, much more. Without one, you’re in the dark (and that’s a scary place to be). #CustomerServiceFail
Care to learn more about customer service, including what to avoid and how to solve common issues? We recommend our Customer Service Workbook — it’s a handy guide for professionals looking to give their customer service team a competitive edge.