The importance of good customer service can never be over-emphasized. It helps a business to retain loyal customers, and it’s a great determinant in the overall business growth and sustainability.
Businesses shouldn’t focus solely on their ability to offer quality products and services; they should also invest time and energy in ensuring that customers are satisfied. This can only be achieved through a carefully implemented Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This helps to build advanced business relationships with customers, assist in customer retention and ultimately drive sales growth.
However, it is evident that most companies do not get customer relations right, as reported by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). As a result, they’re constantly struggling between retaining old customers and attracting new ones. And the end result is lack of confidence, unstable customer base, and inconsistent ROI.
If your business falls within this category, you’re probably making some grievous customer service mistakes that could cause a monumental damage to your business if not grossly checked. Here are few of those mistakes, and how you can correct them.
- Over-promising and under-delivering
Customer satisfaction is the result of providing services which meet customers’ expectations. In a bid to impress customers or meet their expectations, businesses often make certain assurances even when they know that they lack the capacity to deliver on those promises. This will bring about a loss of reputation and lack of confidence.
To avoid falling into this abyss, always check to see if you have adequate resources to deliver on a job, and ensure that the service you’re providing matches the promises you’re making. It is good to under-promise and over-deliver. Nobody blames you for beating their expectations, you know.
- Not investing in the right tools
There’s no gainsaying that investing in the right customer service tools is a prerequisite for customer satisfaction. For an effective customer service to take place, you must invest in tools such as email, live chat, toll free calls, mobile applications and social media network. Due to advancements in technology, these tools ensure that customers don’t need to make physical contact with businesses to get their problems solved.
For example, customers often use mobile applications to lodge their complaints and get instant feedback. They can also send their queries through social media channels and get satisfactory response therefrom. However, customers will become frustrated if you refuse to use tools that can facilitate quick and effective solutions to their problems.
- Using incompetent personnel
One of the easiest ways to send a customer away is using incompetent staff for customer support. When customers call for support, they expect prompt solution to their problems. They also want value for their money; and they feel using the customer support is one way to achieve that. However, they’d be greatly disappointed if they can’t get solutions to their problems, knowing fully well that most customers would’ve attempted solving their issues on their own before calling for support.
To ensure that customers are happy with your services, hire competent staff, organize refresher training courses, and motivate them to learn from top brands that have impeccable customer support. Also, competent customer support personnel must be active listeners, composed, positive, and must possess great communication skills.
- Being insensitive to customers’ needs
Customers love it when service agents take care of their needs with great enthusiasm. This strategy alone helps to retain many customers. Showing empathy for a customer’s plight, giving a positive assurance and going out of your way to help are other ways to win a customer’s heart.
On the flip side, customers hate it when their concerns are not adequately addressed. They might just walk away and pitch tent with your competitors whom they feel value them more. Generally things to avoid are: responding late to customers’ needs, not taking feedback from customers, failure to implement useful suggestions and not showing appreciation to customers.
- Taking criticism badly
Criticism is good for every business. It keeps businesses on their toes, ensuring that they always provide great value and improved services. For any business to be successful, it must be ready to take criticisms; both constructive and destructive.
Most times when customers complain about something, it is because they want you to scale up and provide better services. It shows that there is communication flow between business and client. It also helps you to figure out likely reasons for customers to leave and why some aggrieved customers left unannounced. So the next time you get a knock from your critics, receive it with gratitude, and thank them for showing you how to rectify your faults.