The smartest companies, the ones who succeed understand the importance of customer service. They understand what drives customer loyalty and greater profitability. Some companies do a better job than others because they know the mistakes that are commonly made. Most of the mistakes are a result of recurring bad habits and bad choices. These mistakes can be avoided if you understand them. Here are the seven common mistakes that companies make when it comes to customer service.
1. Forgetingt that the customer is a human being with feelings
Customer service is all about pandering to customer’s needs. You need happy customers to keep your business going and to attract new customers. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Treat them as you would like to be treated and you will find that the experience goes both ways. Happy customers make for a happier work environment and a happier. It’s an overall happier experience. It is important to realize that sometimes it’s the little things that bring joy. You may serve quality but is it served with a smile, in a clean environment with air-conditioning and anything else that makes the customer’s experience a more positive one? If you want to avoid the mistake of not treating customers as humans with needs start with building an organizational culture that understands good customer service.
2. Failing to understand the importance of measuring service effectiveness
It is often hard to sell the benefits of customer service if you do not have a measure of the return on the investment that can come with having a plan in place. Companies that are focused on customer experience should have some credible data supporting that what they are doing is worth the trouble, however, you can only have credible data if you actually focus on the customer experience. That’s where it gets tricky but successful companies get themselves into situations that they can profit from. It’s a catch 22 situation.
3. Using outdated systems for customer service
You would think that by now, companies understand technology and have caught up with communications channels but a lot of them aren’t using it to do more than send annoying text messages and emails. Some companies are still struggling with CRM systems. If you still don’t know what CRM is then you are a decade behind the times and if you are that far behind how in the world will you know what tools you need to have the effects that you want to get from your interactions with customers. There is virtually little information you can learn if you aren’t connected to the right channels. If you don’t know how, find someone who can help you navigate your way through. Technology can be murky.
4. Not understanding the importance of solving issues in real time
Customer service is about instant gratification. Customers want to know that you are taking their problems important enough to give them top priority. If you can solve a customer’s problem on the spot before the frustration sets in then you have a pretty good handle on customer service. For that to happen you need a team that is not only well trained but is empowered to make decisions at a moment’s notice. You should start by figuring out your most common customer service issues and implement ways for your staff to solve them and give your staff the permission to escalate those they can’t to someone who can deal with them.
5. Having a hard negotiation process
Customers do not want to have to negotiate with you over things they feel they shiuldn’t be negotiating on. You don’t have to take the approach of the customer is always right but you do need to be accessible and be seen to be making an effort.
6. Being reactive
You should not take customer dissatisfaction personally. Sometimes it’s really not your fault. Find ways to keep your customers happy without being reactive. Instead, focus on putting systems in place so you can anticipate problems before they happen.
7. Failing to Follow Up After Customer Service Issues are Resolved
Following up on customers is important because it gives you the opportunity to show your customers that you are proactive. It also allows you to measure your own customer relations plan. Customers remember that and will appreciate the fact that you cared enough to want to know if their issues have been, It also shows you the holes that need to be plugged in your company.