You want to know what the trouble with love is? Not always having enough to give. But wait, let me back up…
Customer service is a tough job. I would know… I worked in customer service for seven years before becoming a full-time marketer. It took me a long time to realize just how important a job I had; how much my actions dictated the experience customers would remember.
One of the things I remember the most about it is how easy it is to get riled up. You are passionate about the company you work for, and you don’t always want to abide by the “Customer is always right” rule. But, in order to keep customers coming back to your business, that’s exactly what you have to do.
Every company is different, which means so is every customer service department. Despite the troubles they face day-to-day, it’s important for your reps to understand why they need to love your customers – and exactly how to do that. So in honor of Valentine’s Day, we (Direct Capital) have created a list of top customer service problems and how to overcome them. This way, the next time we ask what the trouble with love is, your customer service team can say, “Absolutely nothing!”
Top Customer Service Problems and How to Overcome Them
- Poor internal communication: When you are marketing something to your customer base, do you communicate it to your entire company? If not, you are doing your team a disservice. Here’s why: They will get customers calling in asking about that latest promotion or offer you hit them with, or asking why it didn’t apply to them. If your customer service team can’t give proper answers, it’s going to be difficult to mitigate the situation. Next time, just send out a company memo letting everyone know what’s coming so they can be prepared.
- Not addressing concerns early: In many cases, one customer’s concerns are mirrored by many others. This means your reps have to answer the same questions day in and day out and often the actionable items needed to fix those problems are put to the wayside. While your team’s first job is to curb all customer worries, their second is to ensure the cause of their concern is addressed. Make sure they are escalating problems to the appropriate departments as soon as possible so the next time that customer calls in, they are ready with a solution.
- Bad attitudes: Everyone has a bad day once in a while, but if you have a member of your customer service team who always seems to be a bad mood it might be time to let them go. Allbusiness.com writes, “Customers and clients will not tolerate rudeness, incorrect information, or apathy on the part of your staff.” One negative experience with one bad rep will create a lasting impression, so definitely stay ahead of it and pay attention to your employees.
- Being too strict: We understand wanting to stick to your guns and, sometimes, there really is nothing you can do. But, in the interest of salvaging your customer relationships, the team has to be ready to give a little. Let them know where it’s okay to “bend the rules.” Maybe they can lower the price of something for inconvenience or make a tweak to the return policy to satisfy their need. Take these issues on a case by case basis, but let your reps know it’s okay to have wiggle room now and again.
- Poor attention to detail: It’s important to monitor the external documents your customer service team is sending out. If they are consistently misspelling things or have bad data (ex: Referring to a customer by the wrong name over and over again), that customer will not be pleased. It’s such a small thing, but truly knowing your customers is something they will remember and appreciate. Make sure your team is paying attention to those details.
- Not answering the phones: Ever call a company with a question or concern and get the runaround on the answering machine? No one wants to press 1 for this or 6 for that. In most cases, your customers will want to speak directly to a representative to get their concerns addressed. Take a good look at how your phone system is working for you and ask yourself if the current process is in the best interest of the customer. Or at the very least, make sure there is always customer service representative ready to answer all calls.
- Forgetting the basics: The simple act of saying “Please” and “Thank you” is easy to forget when you have phones ringing or a line 10-customers deep. But they are key elements of being in customer service. Train your reps to always remember their manners because – trust me – customers will appreciate it and will enjoy coming back to your business.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I want to remind you to show your customer service team some love. They deserve it – and so do your customers! The happier your team is, and the better equipped they are, the happier your customers will be.