Customer service can be tricky, especially if you’re running a small business or a niche one, e.g. in healthcare industry. However, you can’t avoid customer support problems. If you do, your business (and hard work!) will go up in flames around you. Here are 3 customer service mistakes that will turn into disasters if left unaddressed. Don’t worry; we tell you how to fix them!
Only Having One Support Channel
If your customers only have one way to reach you, that’s an immediate problem. 71% of consumers want the ability to solve most customer service issues on their own, and 65% of customers feel good about a company when they can solve an issue without having to make a call, says Hubspot.
However, that doesn’t mean you can skip on phone calls. The #1 reason people dislike calling companies: not being able to speak to a real person right away, NewVoiceMedia reports. This is an important distinction! Your customers might not be choosing self-service options like robochat out of genuine preference; they might be worried about wasting time and receiving mediocre service.
This means you need to develop an omnichannel support system. Make sure your customers receive excellent and consistent support on the phone, online, and in person.
69% of U.S. online adults shop more with retailers that offer consistent customer service both online and offline, says Forrester.
If your team is small or has limited resources, having well-developed support channels might not be an option. In that case, you can outsource and automate. (More on that later.)
This is another area where a lot of companies drop the ball. Getting negative feedback is never pleasant, but it is incredibly valuable for your business. Reframe your way of thinking into a new perspective; complaints are crucial information your business needs to thrive. Your customers are going out of their way to let you know what you could improve; listen to them!
The key to handlings complaints is a quick reply time. The average wait time on social media is nine hours, according to Shep Hyken.
However, Salesforce reports “42 percent of customers expect a response within 60 minutes, and 32 percent expect a response in just 30 minutes.” This is a huge difference between customer experience and reality.
Work to make your company stand out online with fast response times. The good news is that most people will be happy with a quick response. You don’t need to solve the problem immediately; just reach out, acknowledge them, and let them know you’re working on it. Then you can move the conversation to private messages, to avoid clogging up your feed with one client’s troubles.
Fast responses let your entire audience online see that you are attentive and ready to help solve their problems.
Now, sometimes you’re just not going to be able to reason with people. If someone is being unreasonable and won’t let you fix their issue, you’ll have to step back at some point.
The good news is if someone continues to spam your page with outlandish complaints, you can make your case. Post a reply explaining that you tried to reach out, outline your process to fix issues, and let the customer know that they can respond at any time to fix their issue. This is more for the benefit of other customers; let them know you’ll deal with unreasonable responses promptly, and they’ll appreciate it. Most people will be able to tell who is a problem in that situation.
Missed Calls, Missed Customers
If you’re missing calls, you’re missing customers, simple as that.
It can be difficult to be chained to your phone all day, especially on a small business team. Even if some people prefer automated chat, they still prefer a phone call when dealing with something serious: “As the complexity of the issue increases, such as with payment disputes or complaints, customers are more likely to seek out a face-to-face interaction (23%) or a real person on the phone (40%).”
Your customers need to be able to reach you on the phone. Your business reputation relies on it.
Start by identifying your peak hours. Find out exactly when you’re getting the most calls, and see if it’s possible for you to be able to more attentively answer during that time. However, many professionals are interrupted 6-10 times per day, taking about 20 minutes to get back on task each time. This results in huge amounts of wasted time, even if you’re putting time aside.
The good news is that there’s another solution; outsource your call answering with a virtual receptionist service. Virtual receptionists at Nexa Receptionists are trained in specific industries, attentively focused on your customers, and can schedule appointments and integrate with your CRM software in addition to answering calls.
Hiring specialists save you time and resources while showing your clients that you prioritize their needs.
75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent, according to Harris Interactive. If you don’t have a plan for answering the phone, you’ll have a customer service disaster on your hands.
Avoid Customer Service Disasters
Customer experience issues are inevitable. However, you don’t have to let them turn into full-blown customer service disasters. Be proactive! Develop omnichannel support, handle complaints correctly, and answer your calls, and your customers will notice.
After all, 7 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service, says Amercian Express. Enjoy the benefits of providing good service!