If you have a business, then your customers are going to be one of the most important aspects of your business. Everything should be centered around your customers, their needs, and their happiness. Your products and services should be designed specifically for your customers. This also goes for your customer support, your marketing efforts, and everything else within your business. If you are running a business that is not centered around your customers, then that is a mistake in itself. You should have a clear target audience, to whom you tailor every effort. This is what will make your products and services sell, and your business thrive.
Customer service is really important for your business. Your agents need to have the best training, the right intentions, a good attitude, an excellent phone manner, and the ability to provide the right support at the right time for your customers. It isn’t just bad reviews that you will get if your customer service is not perfect, but it will put your whole business reputation at stake. Customers will be unhappy, they will leave bad reviews, they will talk about it on social media, they will tell their friends and family, and most importantly, they won’t come back and invest in your business. Word-of-mouth referrals, social media interest, and loyal, repeat customers are some of the most valuable things that you can acquire in your business. The standard of your customer service, in addition to the products and services that you provide, can make or break your business.
To help your business grow and thrive, here are some important customer service mistakes to avoid.
Not properly training your staff
Training your staff should be a vital element of your business. Without in-depth and adequate training, you are making a big mistake and your business will suffer. All new and existing staff should be trained to a high standard before they are allowed to be in contact with your customers so they don’t compromise the high standard that you are providing. This training should cover everything they need to know about how the business works, how to address customers, how to solve common problems, and more. Training should be provided regularly to existing staff, to ensure the high standards you set are upheld, knowledge is refreshed and provide staff the opportunity to bring scenarios to the group and learn from each other.
There will come a point where your new staff members will need to be connected with customers so they can learn real-life scenarios. When this is the case, you should ensure that they have 1:1 support from an experienced staff member, so that they can learn straight away what the best ways are to deal with customer queries and problems. Staff training and customer service standards should be taken seriously in your business and training should be given priority.
Not being proactive in your support
If your business just provides the bare minimum when it comes to supporting your customers, then you are making a big mistake. You are not giving your customers good service, and your competitors will quickly overtake you. Every industry out there is saturated with other products and service providers. Customers have a wealth of businesses to choose from, so you need to utilize your customer service support and use it to your advantage. Your products and services should be excellent, but you should also be going above and beyond in your support. You need to assess and anticipate the needs of your customers, address their complaints professionally and efficiently, and ensure that customers are satisfied before the communication ends.
Over-promising or not delivering on promises
As a business, you should never make promises that you cannot deliver on. This can be anything as small as telling customers they only need to wait a few minutes to get their query answered but being left on hold or passed around, to big things like not getting the product or service that you advertised. Make sure you only advertise what you can provide, and your customer support agents only use words, phrases, and language that is true. Make sure your staff learns to avoid misleading statements and signposts correctly.
Incorrectly guessing what your customers may want or need
While you should be anticipating your customer needs, making uneducated guesses about what they need, want, or how to answer a query is a huge mistake. When you don’t know what they want or need, it is important that you go back to the drawing board, and find out. Seek feedback from current customers, set up surveys and focus groups, speak to your ideal audience, ask questions on social media, and more. You should also speak to your staff, as they deal with your customers first hand and will have a lot of valuable insights that can improve your business.
This also goes as far as the customer service that you provide when you speak to your customers directly. You don’t want your customer support agents to guess the answer to a customer when they don’t know, or just tell them what they want to hear. This might seem innocent at first, but it is a huge mistake that should be avoided. It can cost you your customers and your reputation, especially if they contact your business again and get different answers. Make sure your staff knows how to properly handle customers when they don’t know the answers.
Relying on scripts for your customer service support
Just using scripts for customer service support is a big mistake. Scripts serve a purpose, and can be helpful in some scenarios, or for your staff to reference to keep consistency within the customer support that you provide. However, solely relying on scripts can make your business sound fake, robotic, and uninterested. This can put a customer off straight away. It will also mean that customers are getting the same answers and the same service, whereas they should be getting a service that is tailored to their needs. Make sure scripts are only there for reference if they are used at all, and that your staff know how you speak to customers on a personal level, ensuring they listen actively and customize the service to the customer they are speaking to.
Slow, unreliable support
It is not always possible to answer your customers instantly. However, it is a big mistake if you don’t have the right systems and workflows in place to answer your customers efficiently, and reliably. If your customers are investing their time and money in you, then they must know they can rely on you. Unfortunately, we live in a society where everything is available 24/7 with search engines and social media. This means that you should have both a website and social media accounts at the bare minimum, which will ensure your customers can find you and acquire basic help and support when needed. You should also clearly set out how they can contact you, and have multiple channels available, such as chat on social media, email, phone, and more.
Make sure you are contactable on the platforms and at the times you have mentioned. It should also be clear to customers the different routes they should take if they have specific needs, and you have different departments. A mistake many businesses make when it comes to their customer service support is doing things like not answering quickly, not being helpful, not taking initiative, not taking responsibility, and transferring customers too many times and messing them around.
Not having good communication channels or flows in place
While the standard of communication that you provide should be high on your priority list, it is just as important to consider the way that you communicate with your customers. You want to have a system and workflow in place that takes your customers through the correct journey to solving their problems. You can set up customer relationship management (CRM) software with the support of salesforce implementation services so that you can track and manage all of your customer data and sales.
Not giving or getting feedback
Not seeking feedback, from both your customers and your staff, is a huge mistake to make and will impact the growth of your business. You should speak to your staff regularly and even hold team meetings so everyone can learn from one another. Your staff are on the front lines, dealing with customers day in and day out. You should seek their feedback, so you can use it to implement into your business and improve your customer service. You should also provide your customers with incentives to provide you with feedback. Ask them what they think is going well with your customer support, what needs improving, what they would like to see, what they think is missing, and even comparisons to your competitors if possible. Collect all the feedback and use it to your advantage.
Customer service support is vital for any business that wants to grow. Learn these mistakes and avoid them at all costs.