You know customer service is important, but what does that really mean? According to a compilation of customer service statistics created by HelpScout.net, a typical business hears from about 4% of its dissatisfied customers. That means 96% of people aren’t saying anything at all, and 91% of those people will never be back. Even worse, even when they don’t say anything to you, they’re still likely to tell the rest of the world about their bad experience. In fact, negative reviews reach twice as many people as positive reviews do.
Obviously, customer service isn’t exactly easy. There’s a bit of science and a lot of dedication involved in doing it correctly. Even the most well-intentioned leaders can make pretty remarkable customer service mistakes that aren’t always as obvious as one might think. You may even be making some of these yourself.
Curious? Take a look at the five biggest customer service mistakes you might be making:
1. Continuing to Use Outdated Processes
If a new employee started tomorrow and needed to know about the nuances that make up each of your customers’ characteristics, how would he or she go about finding this information?
In an ideal world, you would direct this new employee to your customer relationship management (CRM) system, which includes notes, order histories, and easily accessible lists of successes and opportunities relative to each customer. You’re doing your business a disservice if you’re keeping imperative information on sticky notes or in the heads of your SMEs.
2. Being a Difficult Vendor
Generally speaking, companies aren’t difficult to work with on purpose, but that’s not to say it doesn’t happen. The more effort your customers have to exert when they do business with you, the more likely they are to turn to one of your more customer-friendly competitors.
Not sure what “difficult” really means in the eyes of your customers? After a person does business with you, check in by way of a customer satisfaction survey so you can get fresh, honest feedback about frustrations you may not even realize you’re causing.
3. Letting Your Reputation Run Rampant
People put a lot of stock in ratings and reviews these days. While the average consumer certainly understands that negative experiences happen every now and then, what’s important is how a company handles adversity.
If you’re letting online reviews go rogue because you don’t think you should have to respond to negative statements, think again! People are paying attention, and the more empathetic you are publicly, the more respect you’re likely to gain from potential customers who are following along.
Beyond this, if you’ve resolved a poor customer experience, don’t let it linger in the wind. Follow up with folks who recently had an issue to be sure you’ve fully taken care of their needs.
4. Forcing Your Frontline Staffers to Jump Through Hoops
Your frontline customer service team should be empowered to help your customers, not make them jump through hoops and over hurdles. The more you trust your customer service reps, the more capable they are of stopping disturbances before they’re escalated. Each extra layer you add to a customer’s interaction adds more frustration and greater potential for a negative review when it’s all said and done.
5. Being Unavailable
Your reps may hate the phone or despise being inundated by email, but in this on-the-go world, there is no one-size-fits-all customer service solution. In order to meet the needs of your customers, you have to meet them in the middle, using whatever method works best for them. Customers expect to have access to email, chat, phone, tweets, and anything else that clicks, beeps, or notifies.
Customer service mistakes are easier to make than you may think, but with a bit of forethought and a forward-thinking attitude, you can conquer even the most challenging situations. Test the temperature of your clients, learn what you’re doing well, and find out where your opportunities lie, by creating a well-crafted customer feedback survey. Reach out to our team of survey pros today to learn how we can enhance your customers’ experiences!