6 Common Customer Service Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs
In business, sometimes making the wrong decision is worse than making no decision at all. This is especially true when it comes to the customer service industry. With customers being the foundation of so many businesses, going against their needs can be a make or break decision. And, in the fast-paced technology age we live in, making the wrong call is costlier than ever before.
With this said, here are six common customer service mistakes to avoid at all costs so you can put your company in the best position to be successful…
1) Only having a surface-level understanding of your customers – Too many businesses think of their customers as dollar signs and nothing else. Take the time to get to know your customers, including what specifically they do and what their corporate culture is like. The more you know about them, the better equipped you’ll be to tailor your customer service to fit their unique needs.
2) Forcing customers to use a specific channel – Everyone is different and has their own communication preferences. To accommodate your wide customer base, it’s essential to offer as many customer service channels as you can reasonably handle. Limiting your communication channels is suicide because your competition likely provides omnichannel freedom and mobility.
3) Only having customer conversations when something is wrong – A customer shouldn’t always have to be the one to initiate a dialogue. Don’t be one of those businesses that waits around until something breaks to speak to their customers. This is called reactive service and it’s a way to lose business. Instead, take a more proactive customer service approach and keep building positive customer relationships. It’s great to be directly invested in making your customers more successful.
4) Leveraging a tiered customer service model – When a customer does contact you, they want to know the person they are speaking with is knowledgeable. Or, even if your employee doesn’t immediately know the answer to their issue, they know how to go about finding it. Routing a customer to a new, low level agent right away who can handle only the simplest of issues is not a good customer experience. Instead, deploy a collaborative customer service model so agents can work together in real-time to learn and solve problems faster.
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5) Failing to provide a consistent customer experience – If your service team is quick to pick up the phone but you can’t get your IT team to respond to emails, then you have a fragmented and inconsistent customer experience. Every single customer interaction should be timely and relatively consistent across channels with an attitude towards positively helping the customer. This builds trust with each customer and they know that when they contact you with an issue, regardless of the channel or department, you’ll be there to help them work through whatever problem they’re having.
6) You aren’t making data-driven service decisions – The “I’ve got a hunch” era of customer service is over. Now, leading teams leverage all different types of customer service data to make better decisions on how to properly allocate their time. Customer service software is an excellent data analysis solution for not only customers (i.e. measuring sentiment and distress levels) but also for internal team evaluation. You can see which agents work well with certain customers and place them in positions for both the customer and the agent to have a successful interaction. However, don't rely fully on data for all decisions. Instead, empower your team to utilize data in conjunction with their professional skill set to create an informed but human experience for customers.
To summarize, avoid inconsistent, isolated, and uninformed customer service conversations. Have your team work together to solve problems, leveraging data as needed to proactively take your correspondence to the next level. Keeping customers happy is the key to any successful business, and by avoiding these common customer service mistakes you’ll be in a better position to increase customer satisfaction across the board.