Customer service is not rocket science: your business needs to provide a helpful service to customers who have previously purchased a company’s goods or services.
If it's so simple, why do so many companies get it wrong?
Here are the top three common customer service problems as reported by consumers. If any of these sound familiar, don’t panic! We’ve also got some solutions you can try within your organization that will improve the customer experience.
1. Customers Can’t Get a Live Human Being on the Phone
The Consumer Reports National Research Center asked over 1,000 American consumers what their top customer service problems were.
Can you guess the top answer? Not being able to get a live human being on the phone. A whopping 75% of respondents said this is "highly annoying".
There is a range of reasons why a business might implement automated answering services. Often, these have to do with being able to handle peak demand periods for customer calls (along with efficiency savings gained from having standardized responses to common issues).
The reasoning goes that customers would prefer to ‘speak’ to a machine than to have to wait or to have their call go unanswered.
This doesn't hold up. The fact is, people want to talk to people, not machines.
Having to call with a burning customer service issue that needs resolution is already an inconvenience, particularly when it is the company that is in error.
But having a machine answer at the other end, only to run through a pre-canned list that may not even be relevant to the customer problem, can tip an often relatively neutral situation over into an annoying and highly irritating experience for anyone, even the most loyal customers.
In this way, automated messages have the potential to take a situation that is already potentially harmful to your company – in the guise of an unresolved customer service issue or complaint – and make it much worse.
The Solution: Consider outsourcing as a solution for customer satisfaction
You don't have to sacrifice convenience for excellent customer service experiences!
By using an answering service like Nexa, you can ensure your customers always reach a live customer service agent.
After all, as a problem becomes more complex, customers are twice as likely to seek out a real person over the phone, rather than use a website or self-service tool like web chat, according to American Express.
Avoid automation and ensure your customers can solve their problems at any time with live voice answering.
The Nexa Difference: Nexa provides the human touch your customers need.
This allows your team to focus on what they do best – delivering on your business!
2. Customers Receive Rude or Condescending Customer Service
Another huge issue in The Consumer Reports Survey was receiving rude or condescending customer service when raising an issue.
The fact that almost everyone can relate an experience of this type of customer service (if it can be called that) unfortunately speaks to how common it is out there in the world of business.
Everyone has their bad days, customer service staff and customers included. No one is perfect.
However, as a customer service professional, there is no excuse for behaving with anything less than absolute professionalism, every time.
All is well and good of course if you are a business owner or a manager who is dealing directly with customers. But how do you ensure that your support team is doing the same thing?
The Solution: Hire your customer service team for attitude, not for experience.
You need people who have a natural empathy for others and enjoy getting to the bottom of customer problems. Above all, they need a positive, can-do outlook on life! This positivity is vital to the success of your customer care strategy.
It might be like looking for a needle in a haystack, true. But worth the effort.
Find them. Hire them. Then find more of them.
And whether you have new team members or not, another great strategy for improving your team’s customer service skills is always to be upskilling your team by way of investing in ongoing training and development.
Wondering where to start?
The truth is, customer service in most places needs a boost. If the standards have not been reviewed for a while, this is especially true. So there’s a tremendous opportunity for improvement right there.
If you’ve measured your customer service efforts at all (and most indications, suggest that you should), go back and have a look at the numbers to see where you can make some inroads.
Better yet, try conducting a customer survey to see if you can get a handle on the exact pain points requiring attention.
The Nexa Difference: We provide excellent customer service on every call.
Nexa has 4.75 stars on Consumer Affairs for a reason; "The responsiveness of the wonderful and dedicated staff at Nexa has been a game-changer. You can hear the smiles in their voices. They have the readiness to serve and work hard to communicate clearly and learn from each interaction.” (Read the case study here)
3. Customers Are Transferred to A Person Who Can’t Help Them
Customers hate being transferred to the wrong customer service representative.
This is the ultimate death knell for your customer service reputation.
When customers can go elsewhere – say, by searching the web, or by asking a different, more helpful sales representative – and find the right answer to their question, you’d better believe you will hear about it.
This will usually happen on social media, and you may or may not have the good fortune to be tagged into the conversation so that you can adequately respond (if you can still adequately respond at this point).
The Solution: Make sure everyone who answers phones knows their stuff (or can transfer the customer to someone who does!)
You can greatly assist in this regard by maximizing every chance for knowledge transfer within your team. Documentation is the key here, either in the form of an online knowledgebase or in a handbook that is easily accessible by your team.
Own up when your team gets hung up on a question. Honesty and transparency are key!
The Nexa Difference: Nexa receptionists are trained to your standards, in your procedures.
We take messages, route calls, handle emergency dispatch, and can even schedule appointments directly in your CRM.
Solving customer service problems doesn't have to be difficult
Customer service problems are inevitable, no matter how good your business is. The good news is that you can greatly improve your response times with an answering service like Nexa. We work as an extension of your business and make sure your customers always reach a friendly live voice, 24/7.
We want to help your business thrive! Contact us today and find out how Nexa can solve your customer service problems.