In today’s age of social media, where a single story can spread like wildfire across Facebook and Twitter, it’s absolutely imperative that businesses are able to prevent customer service disasters – or at least mitigate their impact early on.
Is your business in a position where it can be proactive, rather than reactive?
Avoid Disaster By Using These 4 Tips
If the year was 1987 and your business experienced a customer service disaster, your company might get a feature on the nightly news or a story in the following morning’s newspaper, but that was about the extent of the visibility. Fast forward to 2017 and things are a lot worse. Within minutes of a story breaking, social media explodes, 24-hour cable networks pick it up, bloggers latch on, and millions of people are exposed to the negativity.
In today’s climate, you can’t afford to deal with a customer service disaster. Here are a few tips to help you develop a proactive approach for the future:
1. Build Trust With Customers
From a big picture perspective, you should prioritize trust with customers and work on establishing strong, transparent relationships. When you do this, you create a safety net or a buffer. Customers are much more likely to be lenient with you when an issue does arise, if they’ve had positive experiences with you in the past. If they’ve had negative experiences, then you won’t get the benefit of the doubt.
2. Train Your Employees
Every single one of your employees, regardless of position or title, should be trained to deal with customers. While your customer service department will head up any major issues, it’s nice knowing your entire organization has been briefed on proper protocol.
Something interesting happens when you train employees on customer service. Instead of viewing it as someone else’s job, they begin to take ownership of the company and understand how their interactions affect customer perceptions of the brand. As a result, they’re far less likely to make a decision that harms the company and leads to a customer-facing issue.
3. Have the Right Systems in Place
From an IT perspective, modern businesses need to ensure they have the right systems in place to keep things up and running, regardless of what happens. In order to make this happen, you have to stay educated and use the right solutions.
It’s absolutely imperative that you have an intimate understanding of all IT systems your organization uses so that issues can be solved right away, rather than allowing them to fester. However, don’t put everything on a single person.
“Even the best IT guy cannot possibly know the vast majority of complex systems involved in your automation network, nor know and be able to resolve every issue quickly to prevent costly interruptions,” David Kaparis writes for Hyla Soft. You’ll need a good IT solution in place to offer additional support.
4. Secure Your Data
One of the biggest pain points in today’s marketplace involves data – and in particular, data breaches. Unless you like ticking off your customers, you need to do everything within your power to secure your data and avoid becoming a victim. This means creating a multi-tiered security environment that prevents malicious activity and strengthens your brand reputation.
Putting it All Together
Even the smartest and most strategic companies have minor disasters every now and then. The goal should be to strengthen your customer service and prevent major disasters. Pay attention to what’s happening and develop a plan that allows you to catch issues before they become problems.
It’ll require some extra energy and effort on your part, but the end result will be worth it.