Top Seven Customer Service Issues
People expect good service by everyone from car dealerships to computer companies. Customer Service has made and broken countless businesses since commerce was invented. Simply review the national or regional news, and you will see stories from the sublime to the ridiculous such as Wells Fargo and Office Depot. If you think it does not matter, then I’m willing to bet on what side of history your business will be. For those of you who care about your business, here are seven customer service issues that you must be attentive to in your business.
1 – Not Being Courteous
Countless studies have shown that people transmit subliminal signals that can affect other’s emotional state. In other words, if you’re in a bad mood, you’re going to make those around you sour. An unpleasant interaction will equal an unpleasant experience. This can be fixed with basic manners. Such as, smile more often, say hello, you are welcome, please, and thank you. This goes for your employees as well.
2 – Keeping Poor Records
There are many times where customer service issues tend to hinge on ethical concerns. Records management is essential when ensuring customer service. Issues such as overbilling clients, ignoring sales taxes, suggesting items were shipped when not, etc. are all a large part of the customer service equation. If you want to ensure your records are correct, you must look at every customer touch point and walk it through before the customer does.
3 – Wait Times
Time is money. All inquiries most have some form of response within in an hour. You must never underestimate how deeply people value their time; there are always people willing to pay for this. If you show consideration for this, often, it will be repaid in turn. For example, I return all calls in 90 minutes and emails in 2 hours. Why have an automated telephone system when you can pay people to be mindful of your great asset?
4 – Arguing with Customers
Ever hear the saying, “the customer is always right,” and wonder if it was true? Well, it depends, how much do you like making money? This applies to service based industries, but with customer increasingly becoming more reliant to reviewer based ratings in making their purchasing decisions, our brand images are increasingly reliant on those reviews. So, keep in mind, sometimes it’s better to bend policy than to argue. Moreover, if the client is persistently argumentative, you can divorce them.
5 – Poor Training of Agents and Staff
It is a mistake too commonly seen with small businesses; incompetence, rudeness, incorrect information, and apathy. It’s imperative that you give your employees the necessary tools to be able to accomplish their job in the least costly manner. With proper training, you can decrease costs and increase revenues.
6 – Giving Customers the Runaround
We have all been there; after waiting for an hour with customer service, we find ourselves being given another number to call. Beyond being dishonest, it is extremely short sighted and poor business to do. We are all paid to solve a problem, if we are unable to solve the problem, then our source of revenue will go elsewhere. If you find yourself unable to solve a problem, be honest, and either offer to research it or a method of contact to someone who can.
7 – Not Listening
How can you fix a problem if you do not understand what the problem is? Listening is a key component to service. It is the only way to make sure you are solving the problem and that you satisfy the needs of your customers. By listening you can better understand the flaws of your organization and sometimes even the solutions. Above all else, when genuinely done, it shows you respect your customers.