When you own a business, fostering excellent customer service can be a challenge. Pleasing everyone who uses your products or services can be nearly impossible, even for those companies that rank high in this area.
However, no matter the size or nature of your company, there is always room for improvement and education, and learning from these common customer service issues may help you understand how to handle them if they arise.
If you have customer service policies in place and follow them to the letter, this could create problems for consumers who expect to be placed above those rules, especially if their experience with your company was less than stellar. For example, if you own a custom clothing company and a shirt you sold falls apart a week after the return date has expired but you refuse to offer a refund or exchange, this could seriously harm your business’ reputation.
While circumstances can vary, making your company’s policies flexible can improve customer relations and your reputation. When consumers are unhappy with a policy, they are likely to take to social media and complain to as many people as possible, which could damage your bottom line.
2. Inconsistent Communication
When your customers have a problem or a question about an order they placed, they will likely appreciate a timely email, text, or a phone call in response. However, even when you can provide this, how you respond can be as important as when. One common error is responding in a defensive tone if a customer is unhappy about a product or service they received instead of being met with empathy or concern. Consistent communication involves listening to your customers and doing your best to understand why they are unhappy.
Poor communication can also involve too many people attempting to handle one issue. For instance, if a customer calls four times about a problem and speaks to four different employees, none of whom have spoken to each other about the problem, then it is unlikely to get resolved. Eventually, the customer may simply become frustrated enough to walk away from your company for good.
3. Too Few Resolution Channels
When it comes to resolving customer service problems, it can be helpful to ask yourself how many different communication channels you offer customers. Live chat options, a phone number with extended business hours and the benefits of a Facebook business page can all help your customers reach out at almost any time of day. Having limited communication options may result in negative reviews or a loss of business that may eventually have a serious effect on your bottom line.
4. Poor Customer Service Agent Training
When your customer service employees receive limited or inconsistent training, this may lead to issues that include their use of inappropriate language, defensive tones that lead to arguments with a customer, and a lack of knowledge that results in little to no customer satisfaction. Finding experienced individuals can be difficult; however, when you outsource customer service to a professional agency or service, this may help resolve training issues.
5. Broken Promises
If a customer is unhappy about their experience with your company, you may try to mollify him or her by making certain promises, such as offering free merchandise or a full refund plus a deep discount on a future item. It is important to remember, however, that unless you own your business outright, you may not be able to keep these promises, which can cause further anger and mistrust on behalf of the customer. If you do offer a gift, refund, or free merchandise, ensure that you can deliver first.
Quality customer service can be difficult to build and maintain. However, when you understand the common issues that might plague it, the path to pleasing your customers can be a bit simpler to navigate.