Customer service can be the thing that makes or breaks your business.
We’ve already talked about its importance, along with some simple ways that good customer service can increase your sales.
But what about bad customer service? And more specifically, what customer service mistakes will upset your customer and turn them away?
It’s crucial that you avoid these mistakes so that you can provide great customer service and keep your customers happy, as well as win over more potential customers.
Here are 7 customer mistakes that upset your customers…
1. Being Rigid Instead of Flexible
Your customers are more than just numbers – and you should treat them that way. Every situation is unique.
Policies are necessary, but there are times when rules need to be bent, and exceptions need to be made. Nobody wants to hear, “Sorry, that’s just our policy,” over and over again from a customer service rep.
In these types of situations, you should assess things with an open mind. “Is this something we can be flexible with to save a customer relationship?” If so, consider bending the rules.
If not, explain why it’s not possible, and offer an alternative solution.
2. Breaking Your Promises
Your promises are the foundation of a trusting relationship with your customers. If you say you’re going to call them back, deliver something by X day, refund their purchase, etc., you should follow through on your word, with no exceptions.
Breaking even one promise can ruin that trust beyond repair.
So, follow through on your word, and don’t make promises you can’t keep.
3. Lack of Empathy
At the end of the day, your customers will always remember how you made them feel during the conversation. And so, you should keep your customers’ feelings on the forefront of your mind when interacting with them.
The key is to show empathy – which is often lacking when it comes to customer service.
So, how do you show more empathy on customer service calls?
· Work to understand the customer’s problem
· Be sympathetic to the issues they are facing
· Mentally put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how you’d feel in their situation
· Actively listen
4. Being Difficult
Research on customer effort by the Corporate Executive Board shows that customers who have to put in a high effort with a company are 96% more likely to be disloyal.
If your customers have to jump through hoops with your customer support team (i.e. long wait times, misleading return policies, etc.), they are much more likely to be disloyal and might leave you for a competitor.
Aim to make it as easy as possible for customers to deal with your customer service team. Look for bottlenecks and issues that cause the process to be slower and more difficult, and brainstorm solutions to fine-tune it.
5. Refusing to Apologize and/or Insincere Apologies
First off, your customer service reps should never be afraid to say “Sorry.” It’s okay to admit a mistake and try to find an alternative solution
This again shows empathy and proves that you’re not just a faceless corporation.
However, the apology should be sincere as well – followed by a thoughtful attempt to try to solve the problem or see how else the customer can be helped.
6. Lack of Employee Training
There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than when customer service reps don’t know how to handle a situation.
This is usually due to 1) lack of employee training or 2) hiring the wrong employees.
If it’s #2, you need to focus on asking better questions and filtering candidates during the interview process.
If it’s #1, you obviously need to improve your training methods. Customer service reps should be well attuned to the various problems customers may face and how to handle each one, trained to be empathetic and find solutions, and more.
7. Not Being There When They Need You
When you’re not there for your customers when they need you the most, they’ll feel abandoned. But unless you have a 24/7 answering service, you can’t always be there.
The only solution is really to have someone on the phone at all times. If that’s not possible with your staff, consider adding in a virtual answering service that’s available 24/7.
Don’t let bad customer service turn your customers away. Avoid these mistakes and continue to deliver the great customer service that your customers expect!
What other customer mistakes have upset your customers in the past, and how have you avoided those mistakes going forward? Let us know in the comments below!