10 Don’ts of Customer Service
Customer service is what differentiates the gold-standard companies from the rest. Consumers hold businesses to the highest expectations for customer service. Excellent customer service experiences translate to a loyal customer base. However, poor or neutral experiences harm your business’s reputation and give your competitors an advantage.
Taking the time to design a strategic marketing campaign can bring the customers to you, but the follow-through ensures that your shoppers convert and return for additional purchases by providing an exemplary experience. There are a few customer service tactics that, at best, don’t serve your brand and can actively harm it at worst. Keep reading for the top 10 behaviors to avoid if you want to deliver excellent customer service.
1. Failing to Deliver on Promises
Trust is the foundation of any enduring relationship, and it is particularly true for customer relationships. One of the fastest ways to erode trust and alienate customers is by failing to deliver on promises. Not only does it inhibit your business growth, but poor follow-through can materially damage your business reputation.
2. Not Listening or Reaching Out to Customers
It is crucial that you listen to your customers to respond to their questions or concerns, identify problems, and develop a solution that benefits both you and your customers. Don’t simply wait for the customer to give you feedback but be proactive about reaching out to make sure they had a great experience and solicit feedback on how you can improve. Many customers won’t come to you first about a bad experience but will instead communicate their dissatisfaction in the form of a bad review, further damaging your reputation and credibility.
3. Having a Disconnect Between Customer Service, Sales, and Marketing
Your team must have a united front. If everyone is not on the same page, your customers will receive mixed messages, resulting in lost sales. For instance, let’s say you purchase a radio ad that tells your potential customers that they can receive a discount if they book with a special promo code. If they forget the code, misunderstand it, or can’t get it to work on your site, you want to be sure your customer service reps have the information to help them resolve the issue so that they can take advantage of the promotion.
4. Inadequately Training Your Team
Inadequate training can frustrate existing customers and turn away potential new customers. Ensure your customer service team is fully aware of all guidebooks, training, and product offerings to respond to your customers properly. When your customer service team follows protocol, it creates a consistent, high-quality experience for your customers.
5. Not Being Timely
A concerned response delivered too late is just as bad as no response at all. A timely response makes your customers feel valued and reassures them that you are concerned about their satisfaction. Getting back to customers that report issues shows your company is not only credible but values its loyal customers.
6. Arguing with Your Customers
Disputes will inevitably happen. Unfortunately, some customers can also make unreasonable demands. It is of the utmost importance that your customer service team is trained to respond with tact and courtesy. Even if your customer service representatives can’t give the customer an acceptable solution, they should always maintain a polite, respectful tone.
7. Being Insincere or Over-Scripted
Aside from courtesy, authenticity is crucial when dealing with customers. Avoid being overly scripted in responses so that your customer can appreciate that they are dealing with a real person and not a bot. A lack of sincerity will fail to reassure customers and can further exacerbate a bad experience. To ensure a more authentic experience, train your customer service team to personalize their interactions and take the burden of resolving the problem off their shoulders.
8. Not Being Transparent with Pricing
No one likes deciding to follow through on a purchase only to find hidden fees or surcharges on their billing. When setting pricing, make sure your customers have all the pertinent information in front of them to make an informed decision. Finding out too late that there are one or more additional charges over what they expected can prevent your customers from purchasing your product or service or cause them to take their business to your competitor.
9. Giving Your Customers Too Many Hurdles
Make your customers feel valued by creating an easy path for them to reach you with questions, concerns, or issues. When consumers can’t readily find contact information, whether on your site, in confirmation emails, or through digital ads, it is not only frustrating but creates the impression that you don’t want to interact with them or address their issues. That sense of avoidance damages their impression of you and can deter them from making future purchases.
10. Not Keeping Historical Customer Records
Your most loyal customers are huge supporters of your business, and when they come to you with questions or concerns, having their information readily at hand makes them feel even more valued. Having poorly organized historical records can be frustrating for the company representative to try and fail to get information on a prior order, and it makes your business seem less capable. Using CRM software facilitates fast and easy records of favorite products and make the customer feel valued when their information is readily available, preventing them from providing it multiple times. CRM data can personalize interactions, recommend new products, and streamline the customer service process.
Avoid These 10 Customer Service Mistakes to Provide Excellent Customer Service
Customer service is an essential element that helps establish your loyal following. Even a terrible experience can be turned around by going the extra mile to empathize with your customer, treat them with respect, and proactively solve their problems. After the effort you’ve put into providing a fantastic initial experience, the last thing you want is for a customer to abandon you over bad service.