Customer Service is the chief determining factor for any business to be successful. According to research, a majority of customers leave because of perceived indifference and lousy customer service. Although it may seem that the customers have left for no fault of ours or they may have found a cheaper product, in reality, it may not be so. The fact may be, they have not received proper customer service, or their satisfaction levels were not as expected. The four major customer service mistakes that are committed by the business firms and often overlooked are cited below with the remedies.
Using traditional methods for serving customers
Research has unveiled that about one-third of the small businesses use customer relationship management (CRM). This implies that about two-thirds of the business firms are still dependent on notebooks, sticky notes or pieces of paper. No matter how passionate you are about serving customers and addressing their concerns, without a proper tool, you will miss taking the right action at the right time. This would jeopardize customer relationships and affect the customer’s expectations letting you fail to keep the promises made to the customers.
The CRMs used should address the challenges of the business and the industry. There is a host of online and SaaS-based CRMs available to help you streamline your customer service processes. This would not only reduce churn rate but help in taking the customer experiences delivered by your business to the next level keeping you ahead of the competition.
Trying to win an argument or being rigid
It is often said that you may win an argument with a customer but lose him forever. Concurrently, it cost six times to gain a new customer than to retain or maintain an old one. If it is more specifically about small business, it is true that the customer is always right. You should walk the extra mile and satisfy the customer keeping the service levels up to their expectations. In today’s digital world, if you fail to do so, you not only lose a customer but also earn a bad name with negative customer reviews on the web.
In many instances, it is often observed that customer service agents do not grant the customers an extra favor and instead say “Sorry, that is our policy”. This kind of rigidity followed by business firms make them lose customers as well.
Train the customer service personnel about how to deal with argumentative customers. The best way to deal with such customers is to selectively agree with them and serve them the way they want and walk the extra mile if needed. The customer service representatives should be empowered enough to deal with customers so that they can guarantee them the ultimate satisfaction.
Too much reliance on automation
A well-mannered cheerful face interacting with customers do not just help in optimizing customer satisfaction but provides a human touch which customers remember and make repeat visits for. The ongoing trend is to use automation minimizing the human touch points. Instead, you can use automation judiciously to optimize customer relations and service and increase direct contact points with customers.
It is important not to automate all the customer touch points just because it could be done. Optimize every opportunity of personalizing with customers and use different communication channels like online chats, emails, phone, social media, and others to communicate with customers. The best practice is to give them the choice of communicating through various channels as well as keeping the option of communicating with service personnel but not to force them.
Not analyzing data and training staff
While sales and marketing data is analyzed to increase conversion rates, customer service data should also be analyzed to measure customer satisfaction levels, churn rate, etc. This information would help in understanding the shortcoming of the customer service representatives and where they are going wrong. As it is often said that courtesy costs nothing but buys everything, customers expect an apology in the case of inconvenience caused with no excuses. They hope the customer service staff to own the problem and fix it and to make sure it doesn’t get repeated.
The CRM data and the CSAT scores should be measured and analyzed. Accordingly, training need analysis of the customer service staff has to be conducted, and training should be delivered on the identified improvement areas. This should ensure that the key performance indicators (KPIs) are delivered by the customer service and the front end staff.