Are you looking to fix bad customer service that your business is suffering from? You aren’t alone!
In fact, the 2022 Global Consumer Trends report revealed that 62% of consumers worldwide believe companies should show more concern for them, while 63% feel that businesses need to improve in heeding their feedback.
The mentioned statistic tells us about the poor state of customer experience worldwide.
If the main stakeholders of all businesses worldwide agree that customer service is in shambles, that means something!
From a business point of view, this is a crisis situation, and a crisis is always an opportunity.
Therefore, in case you identify with those companies that are part of the bad customer service club, you can use this to your advantage.
If you read and implement the following 5 tips on how to fix bad customer service, I assure you that you can quit your bad company with little effort!
Bad Customer Service Scenarios and Resolutions
Long Wait Times
Scenario: In digital customer service, long hold times are the equivalent of waiting in long lines at the bank.
You can easily imagine such a scenario – the agitated customers standing in the line, murmuring about the slow customer service.
The same goes for a customer who reaches out to a company’s customer support through live chat (such as the one in the left corner).
If there are a number of chats in the queue, and the wait times are prolonged, live chat loses its purpose.
That’s because one of the benefits of live chat support is that it helps provide instant customer responses.
If your business puts the customers on hold on calls, takes a long time to follow up on emails, and also responds late on chat, then you’re in toxic waters!
Solution from an expert: I put this scenario in front of Zeeshan Afzaal, who has over 5 years of experience as a customer service agent.
He suggests ensuring “maximum call center staff during known busy hours and that businesses should be proactive.”
He also adds, “Technology can be a savior. I’ve seen businesses benefit immensely from smart IVR systems which can help in routing calls more efficiently, or even provide basic solutions without human intervention.”
On keeping the customer calm throughout the scenario, he says, “If waits are unavoidable, keep the customers informed and give them an estimate. Setting the right expectation can alleviate some of the frustrations.”
Recommended Reading: Adapt These 15 Proven Practices to Improve CSAT in 2023
Since the last week, I have been looking for a cheap, functional CRM to nurture the leads we receive.
During the hunt, I contacted multiple SaaS companies, each offering their product with novel features.
Which product I chose is a different question, so is why I chose it.
One thing, however, that I noticed throughout my search, was the untrained staff of most of those companies who were operating their live chat.
No doubt, I might’ve been a bit too inquisitive and might’ve asked daunting questions.
However, that’s what the sales process is. The representative should be sure about the product’s features.
For me, it was quite the contrary.
I kept receiving generic links, which didn’t address my specific issue.
After multiple exchanges and clear confusion from the representative, I was mostly left even more frustrated, without a resolution.
Therefore, the impacts of untrained staff in customer service include decreased customer satisfaction, extended resolution time, increased frustration, and higher costs.
Solution from an expert: In such scenarios, it is apparent that the staff sitting on the other end of the screen is not trained sufficiently.
Nouman Prince, a customer service agent at HiredSupport says, “Digital interactions lack the exchange of emotions as in face-to-face communications. That’s why training is even more crucial for digital customer support.”
He also says, “In the digital world, every chat, email, and social response represents your brand”.
He suggests that it is beneficial to have a comprehensive, easily navigable internal knowledge base for representatives.
That way, even if your agents are not as well-trained as you’d like them to be, they’ll at least be well-equipped with the right tools.
Failure to Resolve Issues
Imagine ordering a product online, but when it arrives, it’s damaged.
You quickly send an email to the company’s support address.
After a day, you get a generic email response saying, “Thank you for your feedback.”
No mention of a resolution. You then try reaching out via the company’s social media pages, only to be redirected back to email.
Weeks pass without a clear solution, and you’re left with a damaged product and increasing frustration.
Consistent failure to address and resolve issues like this can make customers feel undervalued and ignored.
This leads to a bunch of other problems as well that damage your business.
Especially in today’s digital age, an unresolved issue can quickly escalate into negative reviews and social media complaints.
One viral tweet or review can tarnish a brand’s online reputation.
Moreover, customers who experience unresolved issues are less likely to make future purchases.
Furthermore, keeping your current customers happy is usually cheaper than finding new ones to replace those who are unhappy.
Solution from an expert: I asked Afzaal about this problem.
According to Afzaal, digital channels provide quick and convenient solutions, despite potential impersonal interactions caused by screens.
They can be used to fix bad customer service and are one of the best tools to strategize an improvement in customer service.
When handling customer complaints or concerns, it’s important to view each one as a chance to enhance the relationship between the brand and the customer.
A reliable ticketing system can aid in organizing and prioritizing these issues.
Additionally, keeping a centralized knowledge base that contains the solutions for common problems also helps fix bad customer service.
Most importantly, it’s crucial to give your digital customer service team the freedom to make decisions that can quickly resolve a customer’s concerns.
Rude or Indifferent Staff
Let’s say you’re trying to navigate a software application and encounter a bug that’s hampering your work.
You decide to use the in-app chat feature to seek assistance.
After describing the issue, the representative’s reply seems rude: “That’s not a problem on our end. Check your settings.”
When you ask for clarification, the response is, “Just read the user manual.”
This dismissive tone leaves you feeling unsupported and frustrated.
Just one negative interaction can shape a customer’s perception of the entire brand.
A rude or indifferent staff member can make a company seem unprofessional or uncaring.
As a consequence, feeling undervalued or disrespected can prompt customers to look for alternatives.
They might cancel subscriptions, return products, or simply choose not to do business with the company in the future.
Rude interactions can escalate situations, leading to more formal complaints that demand additional resources to address and resolve.
Moreover, negative feedback or continuous escalations due to poor interactions can demoralize the internal customer service team.
Solution from an expert: Afzaal considers such a situation a lack of basic customer service skills such as empathy and active listening.
He says that since there’s no tone of voice, facial expressions, or body language to soften a message in digital interactions, every word matters.
Training staff to be patient, empathetic, and clear in their written communication is crucial.
Equally important is fostering a work culture where customers are genuinely valued.
Recognizing and rewarding positive interactions can inspire the entire team to always put their best foot forward.
Lack of Personalization
Personalization in customer service means developing customer experiences that cater to a customer’s individual needs.
Let’s see an example of how a lack of personalization can make a customer feel bad.
Consider Emma, a regular online shopper.
She has been shopping at an online clothing store for over a year.
She has a user account, has made several purchases, and even subscribes to the store’s newsletter.
However, every time she logs in, the website shows her random product recommendations, many of which are items she’s already purchased.
Moreover, the newsletter emails she receives seem generic, promoting men’s wear, even though she has only ever browsed and bought women’s clothing.
The experience makes her feel like just another number to the company, rather than a valued, returning customer.
This lack of personalization is a good example of poor customer service.
It can have severe impacts, such as reduced customer engagement, missed sales opportunities, wasted resources, and a huge decrease in trust.
However, nothing to worry about, as Prince addresses this below and gives tips on how to personalize customer experiences and fix bad customer service.
Solution from an expert: Prince explains the lack of personalization brilliantly with the following analogy.
“Lack of personalization is analogous to a shoe salesperson offering all their customers the same shoe size and expecting it to fit them.”
He adds, “Personalization isn’t just about addressing customers by their first name; it’s about understanding their history, preferences, and needs, and tailoring your approach accordingly.”
According to Prince, “A customer who feels valued is a customer who returns. With the wealth of data available, there’s no reason not to tailor experiences to individual preferences and behaviors. “
“Whether it’s through AI-driven recommendations, segmented email campaigns, or simply acknowledging repeat customers, personal touches can significantly enhance the user experience”, he says.