When you're preoccupied with a workload coming from all directions, customer service needs commonly fall to the wayside. You might be aware of the issues, but taking action can slip through if you're overwhelmed by tasks.
Ignoring the issues won't make them go away; taking steps to address them and fix them is the first step to growing your business.
Here are five thoughts you need to stop ignoring when it comes to your customer service.
Customer Service Is a Low Priority
Most business owners and managers focus solely on bringing in new business and increasing revenue, putting customer service needs to the side. It’s easy to forget without proper customer service procedures in place, you'll lose your customers and that affects your bottom line.
Did you know three out of four clients turn to a different brand due to an unsatisfactory customer service experience? If that number didn't scare you, did you also know companies lose $2,378 per second due to inadequate client support procedures?
On top of all that, a recent survey found 82% of customers stated they switched companies after a lousy consumer care experience.
Poor client care could be severely hurting your business. It is time to stop ignoring the poor customer service your business delivers. To grow your business, you must first assess the quality of your company's client services.
If you don't have the infrastructure to support customer service needs, consider hiring an answering service. They can help you with an influx of calls, schedule appointments and mirror your brand's culture while interacting with your customers. This way, you can continue focusing on growing the business and other crucial tasks without spreading yourself too thin.
Multiple Complaints About the Same Agent
One loyal customer can bring you dozens more, but just one bad review can scare away many more prospects. Your biggest assets are your loyal customers. Every complaint will hurt your business — you must take them seriously and try your best to resolve them, especially if the complaint is repetitive.
It is human nature to spread bad experiences more than satisfactory ones. A report from Harvard Business Review shows 65% of clients would speak to at least several people about their poor experience with a company, which most businesses can't afford.
As a manager or business owner, the thought of replacing an employee on top of your busy day-to-day activities seems daunting, but sometimes it's necessary.
If you continue to receive complaints about a customer service agent, don't ignore it. It could be hurting your business — both in revenue and reputation. Keeping a team member who is hurting your brand will also show your customers you don't listen to their needs.
If you believe you can salvage the relationship with your employee, go ahead. Maybe the team member needs more training, or perhaps they aren't a good fit. If the latter is the case, you will need to let them go.
Not Learning From Negative Experiences
Inevitably, you won't make everyone happy, but there are many times when business owners get negative feedback and ignore it. Excuses like "they were unreasonable" or "that customer had no idea what they were talking about" are commonly thrown around.
Instead of brushing these experiences under the rug, take it as an opportunity to learn from the situation. Yes, there will be some people who have a chip on their shoulder and some pretty unreasonable complaints, but it doesn't mean that you should ignore them. If you dive deep into the problem without passing judgment, you can still pull valuable lessons out of it.
Find out exactly what went wrong from both parties and why the customer is dissatisfied — perhaps you’ll be able to avoid or resolve this issue if it comes up again in the future.
Conflict resolution procedures are often overlooked, but it's crucial your team gets proper training in this area. This way, your employees will know how to deal with uncomfortable situations and conflicts that potentially hurt your reputation (and team morale).
Don't Think Response or Wait Times Matter ?
For smaller businesses, it can be difficult to answer every call and resolve things quickly. Typically, small businesses only have a single receptionist to handle phone calls and email correspondence. But it is of utmost importance to address your clients' needs in the shortest time possible.
Today is the age of the consumer, and with a good reason. Their needs are what drive your business in the first place and just one unsatisfactory client care experience can chase them away.
In this fast-spinning world, customers expect short wait times and quick responses. The length of response times directly affects the likelihood of a customer buying from you again. There is a 55% chance that the prospective customer won't buy from you again if your answer takes longer than a week and a 45% chance they won't come back if you don't respond in a matter of days.
Catching up with the "here and now" demand can be challenging even for larger companies, let alone smaller brands. That's why it's essential to make your process as efficient as possible.
Consider investing in training your current employees or hiring more staff if necessary. Does your team need better programs to use? Can parts of their processes be automated? Can they be trained to handle multiple inquiries at a time? Always think of the ways to improve first call resolution more agile and successful.
Telling Customers You'll Get Back to Them
Sometimes it's easier to take a note and get back to customers when things are busy at the office, but doing so is not in your best interest.
Try to get in your clients' shoes — wouldn't you be frustrated if you had to continuously call a company back or wait days for them to respond? According to HubSpot, 33% of customers feel most frustrated when they have to repeat their problem to more than one person.
The average customer experience is usually poor since few companies realize the value of proper customer care. Once a customer leaves the chat or hangs up, the likelihood of their getting an answer to their problem and being satisfied with their experience is low.
If your reps are dealing with an intricate issue on a call and they need more help handling it, give the customer an expected response time. If you promise a client they will hear back from you in a specific amount of time, you must live up to those expectations. Otherwise, you will lose your customer’s trust — and potentially lose their business as well.
Need Help With Your Customer Service Needs?
Many client service issues stem from not having the right staff, infrastructure or procedures in place.
Instead of neglecting your customer service department and hurting your business, consider A Better Answer - outsourcing. Hiring an answering service means you don't have to worry about not fulfilling your consumers' needs, as they will be able to handle incoming calls, schedule appointments and manage your brand's relationship with your customers.
To make a knowledgeable decision that is best for your company's current situation, consider every factor before outsourcing customer service help.
Always remember that a happy customer equals a successful business.