Keeping customers happy is a vital component of business. Good customer service is a balancing act that merges the needs of the client with the needs of the company. Managing a disgruntled customer can take up extensive financial and human resources and can have a significant impact on the reputation of a business.
In a recent online survey conducted by ClickFox 1,500 people were asked what customer service issues frustrate them the most and how these issues impact their loyalty to and perception of a business. The following issues were the top three things that upset customers:
1) Speaking with multiple agents and starting over every time.
2) Dealing with rude or inexperienced representatives or service technicians.
3) Being kept on hold for long periods of time or unable to use self-service options successfully.*
Mistakes are human and every business will experience mistakes of one sort or another that impact a customer. How a company chooses to manage these mistakes is what sets the exceptional businesses apart from their competition.
If we look carefully at the top three issues reported above we see that all of these issues are the outcome of poor communications and related communication systems. Similarly, nearly every complaint we receive at the BBB is related to a break down in communications between the business and its customer or within the business itself.
So what is the solution to keeping customers happy? Ultimately it boils down to taking the time to invest in your customer service operations - improving and streamlining interpersonal and technological communication systems. This means looking at long term versus short-term solutions.
The BBB suggests the following tips to keeping customers happy:
• Invest in customer service and interpersonal communication skills training for yourself and all of your employees.
• Empower your frontline staff to take action to resolve a situation themselves without having to pass a customer repeatedly up the chain of command for resolution.
• Carefully review the technology you have in place to manage customer communications to ensure it is effectively meeting the needs of your clients, not just improving your short-term bottom line.
• Clearly and calmly formulate your frustrations and needs so that customer service representatives can better understand your issues.
• Be reasonable with your expectations and respectful in all your communications with a business.
• Provide positive feedback to a company or customer service representative when you are impressed with their communications and communication systems. Likewise, when you are unsatisfied provide helpful feedback.
Every interaction between a business and consumer should be seen as an opportunity to build on and improve a relationship. Yes, there may be some costs associated with improving your customer service, but dedication to customer service means increasing public trust in your business. And TRUST is vital to long-term business success.
*Some material in this article has been referenced from: