You invest in your marketing to promote your brand and acquire customers, yet all of that can be undone by a bad customer service experience.
According to a survey by Dimensional Research, 87% of respondents said their customer experience changed future buying behavior. If their experience was good, 54% said they would purchase more products from that company and 67% said they would recommend the product or company to others.
If the experience was bad, 58% said they stopped buying from the company, 52% switched to a different company, 52% told others not to buy the product or service, and 48% said it was unlikely they’d buy from that company in the future.
That’s the huge impact customer service has on your business. If you’re losing customers or receiving negative feedback often, it’s time to find out what’s missing in your customer service. You may be lacking in one of these four areas.
Customer Service Training
Good customer service starts with well-trained employees. Customer service training should cover three areas:
1. Company and product knowledge
Company representatives must have in-depth knowledge about the company and products to field any question a customer may pose. Customers quickly notice an unknowledgeable agent who is fumbling with vague or incorrect responses. This will quickly annoy a customer and can cause them to lose trust in your brand. Trust and loyalty takes a long time to build. One bad customer service experience can kill it in an instant.
2. How to engage with the customer
Teach your customer service agents how to engage with customers. This is especially important on the phone and during live chats. Customers respond best when you engage with them on a human rather than robotic level. Drop the formal scripted responses and encourage agents to be warm and friendly and, most importantly, express empathy towards the customer.
3. Dealing with difficult customers
How you deal with an irate customer will either push them away or draw them back. It’s important that customer service agents be trained on how to diffuse an angry customer. It’s easy for an agent to feel flustered when attacked by a difficult customer. If they handle the interaction in the wrong way, you’re likely to lose that customer.
Agents must keep in mind that the customer is frustrated by the problem they are experiencing and that their anger is not a personal attack. Therefore, the best way to diffuse an irate customer is to sympathize with their situation, remain calm and resolve their problem as quickly as possible.
Omnichannel Customer Service Software
If you’re still using outdated software that doesn’t provide integrated and seamless functionality, this could be what’s driving down your customer service efficiency.
Today’s CRM systems are AI-driven omnichannel platforms. They’re integrated with other business systems and other customer channels such as email, phone, live chat, messaging apps, and social media. They offer 360-degree views of the customer’s profile, sales history, and outstanding customer service tickets. Each time an agent opens a customer’s profile, all the information they need is right at their fingertips.
With so many CRM systems out there, choosing the right one can be daunting. Here’s a list of 13 of the best customer service software for small and medium-sized enterprises with the capacity to scale as your business grows.
Fast Response Times
The world has sped up and so have customers’ expectations. How long you take to answer a call or respond to an email counts. The faster, the better. According to Call Center Helper, the average wait times for different channels are as follows:
- Phone – answer calls within 20 seconds.
- Email – reply to queries within 4 hours.
- Live Chat – respond within 20 seconds.
- Social Media – respond to queries within 60 minutes.
Once you are engaged with a customer, resolve their problem immediately. Avoid transferring customers to another agent or department. Most customers want a problem resolved at the first point of contact.
Feedback From Customers
Acquiring customers is one of your goals. Retaining them should be another. As the statistics show, many customers do not return after a bad customer experience. If you understand why customers leave, you can do something about it. But, how will you know how your customers feel about your brand if you don’t ask them?
Feedback is an important part of the customer’s experience with your company. After every interaction, whether it was a sales transaction or customer service interaction, ask the customer to rate your service or answer a few brief questions. Use the feedback to identify weaknesses in your product or customer service and take steps to improve it.
Customers share more bad experiences of companies than good experiences. Poor customer service can damage your brand even if you have an awesome product. Elevate your customer experience with a smooth purchasing process, multiple ways to connect with you, and stellar customer service. With that in place, you should see happy customers return time after time.