Customer service has always been an integral component of any business. By adhering to the customer’s wants, needs, expectations, and requirements, businesses can gain the loyalty of customers in order to stay above the competition. According to a study by Khoros, good customer service has about 86% probability to turn a visitor into a loyal customer.
Understanding the importance of customers and with recent advancements in the field of technology, numerous businesses have started to enforce measures to enhance their customer service.
And, no matter how advanced or focused your customer service strategy might be, there is always a window for mishaps.
In this article, let us have a glimpse at the importance of customer service, some common customer service mistakes, and ways to rectify them.
Importance of Customer Service
The duties and obligations of a business do not end once the visitor is converted into a customer. A business needs to provide proper support and service to its customers to gain their goodwill in the longer run.
In addition to the above, good customer service can bring unprecedented advantages to your business by strengthening your relationship with the customers while winning their loyalty.
Businesses that provide good customer service enhance your customer satisfaction and reflect a positive spell on your brand identity. This results in an increase in the customer recurrence rate, and even propels them to market and advertise your brand via word of mouth. This further reduces the strain and efforts on your business in the areas of lead generation, customer acquisition, marketing, and sales.
8 Common Customer Service Mistakes
Every company or business out there aims at providing a seamless customer experience. However, some common customer service mistakes that can hinder the user experience may occur. Some common service mistakes are:
Not Making Use of Data
Conventional methods of customer service mostly rely on personal interactions to support the customer and adhere to their queries. In these traditional cases, not much documentation and recording of data is done.
However, this misses out on one of the crucial factors that can enhance customer service and experience greatly. The information that customers provide, however small, can prove to be a valuable tool when leveraged properly. And in more advanced cases, they can be stored in a repository or database for future reference.
With this data, customer service personnel can take a personalized approach, complete diagnosis even before the problem occurs, and provide support irrespective of the support agent.
Not Providing Immediate Proactive Support
According to a study by Forrester Research, customer service that is proactive and rushes to the aid of customers in need is generally preferred by 72% of people. As a business, it is necessary to make your customers feel like you would take quick action to address their problems.
However, some businesses fail in providing proactive customer service due to a lack of support personnel or the customer and agent being in varying time zones. In addition to this gap, customers also expect quality support and predictable assurance that their concerns will be solved.
To bridge this gap, employing multiple service staff working round the clock in shifts and varying time zones is ideal. Also, constant communication is necessary, and proper follow-ups and speedy clarifications are necessary.
Not Considering Feedback
Not collecting and acting on customer feedback is a major customer service mistake that businesses need to keep an eye on.
Feedback is a necessary relay that provides valuable insights into the areas of strongholds and weaknesses of your business that you can work on correcting. Being open to feedback and actively addressing concerns and issues enhances your customer’s satisfaction.
Feedback can be collected over the medium of support or separately through emails, messages, prompts, and even reviews.
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Lack of Proper Training
Support agents are an important piece of customer service strategy as they provide a place to turn to when in need. If these agents are unable to provide the expected support, then your customer service is surely lacking adequate training and experience.
Customer service and support agents training may be a costly, complicated process but it sure is a necessary one. It is a continuous, systematic process that equips the agent with the necessary skills and nuance to handle customer queries of any sort. It helps identify their areas of strengths and weaknesses, adapt them to the changing trends, and keep them in line with the industry standards. 45% of the companies actively provide support training and have seen quantifiable results.
Lack of Understanding and Not Listening To Your Customers
Customers and their satisfaction is the utmost culmination point of any strategy. Thereby, following a customer-centric approach that keeps them at the focal point can lead to more satisfied customers.
When providing customer service, human agents must make sure they listen to every detail the customer provides to understand their pain points, demographics, needs, wants, and expectations, and also grab the pulse of the customer.
Not listening actively is also another primary customer service mistake. As a service agent, you should be completely attentive to the customer, make notes, and abstain from making the customer repeat.
Once you have dug down into the issue and understood the customer’s concerns, it is easier to address those and provide a solution.
Not Providing Omni Channel and Multi-Channel Support
When in need of support, customers might reach out to you in different modes and mediums depending on their choice. Failing to recognize multiple channels of contact from customers is one of the biggest customer service mistakes.
As a business, it is a must to provide support via multiple channels. However, certain businesses fail due to a lack of resources (such as budget and personnel). These channels could be anything ranging from email and social media to chatbots.
Additionally, not providing an omnichannel strategy, where all channels can be synchronized and the user can converse with the business over any preferred channel, is also another customer service mistake. In addition to being available on all channels, an omnichannel strategy ensures the customer experience is seamless.
Not Keeping Up Your Promises
Overpromising and under-delivering is an ideal example of bad customer service that can make customers shy away. It leaves the business looking unprofessional because of its inability to deliver what they’ve committed.
However, it can turn out to be an exceptional experience for them if it is the other way around.
As a customer service, it is better to let the customers know of any shortcomings and keep them informed in case of any unavailability, as customers do keep an eye on every detail you provide. It is also wise to set realistic standards and manage customer expectations.
Absence of Empathy and Compassion
A good service agent must showcase certain positive and nurturing human traits such as empathy, compassion, kindness, integrity, optimism, and tolerance. In customer service, these qualities are necessary to connect with the customer on a personal level and handle their queries.
Another way to empathize with the customer is to think from the viewpoint of their experience. It is important to extend a helping hand and let them know you understand their woes and comprehend them. But most customer service agents might not always be able to empathize with the user as the agent could be burnt out with too many queries and tickets, and working in a fast-paced environment.
What is the Solution?
Though customer service via human agents has a plethora of advantages, it also has its shortcomings. Sometimes, these mistakes could prove to be too costly which might even damage the reputation of your brand and have an adverse effect on customers.
One of the recent trends in the field of customer service is to leverage artificially intelligent tools and chatbots. And with the exodus of customers to online businesses, it is increasingly imperative to make the fullest use of these AI chatbots.
AI chatbots have been proven to enhance customer service by diminishing customer service mistakes:
- Providing quick replies, easy accessibility, and availability for the customer all around the clock.
- Keeping track of customer data, which helps in providing personalized resolutions and product recommendations, and enhances the overall customer experience.
- Automating certain mundane, repetitive tasks leads to better service agent productivity with faster resolutions. This also enables manual personnel to engage in resolving more complex queries and creative areas that need their attention.
- Simplifying the process flow, engaging the customer with quick and fast responses, and providing resolution to simple and repetitive queries.
- By enhancing productivity and reducing the workload of the service agent, AI chatbots can simplify processes and reduce service costs for your business. Businesses can get more tasks done with lesser agents, and therefore lower costs.
- By providing omnichannel and multichannel support. This enhances the engagement of customers and makes it easy to reach the service agents. Also, AI chatbots provide ways for service agents to connect with customers over multiple channels and keep track of data in a unified interface.
- Providing materials for self-service, answering FAQs, and storing a repository of previous interactions, ultimately enhances the quality of service resolutions, without dissatisfaction.
- By conveying a personality that can build a friendly rapport and connect with customers on a personal level.
Elevate Your Customer Service with the Help of Chatbots
We all make mistakes, and “to err is human”. Customer service or any other business process that involves manual intervention will always contain risks and hazards associated with it.
To overcome this, AI chatbots can prove to be an efficient tool, by providing a plethora of advantages to the entire process of customer service from the perspective of the customer, service agent, and even the business.
However, businesses can not just rely on automation or tools to get tasks done. There needs to be a certain level of manual intervention that adds to the automated process. Striking this balance between chatbots and humans greatly enhances the customer experience.