How to Fix Poor Customer Service: 5 Simple Steps

How to Fix Poor Customer Service: 5 Simple Steps

Is customer service something that your business struggles with? You aren’t alone.

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 actively listen to their feedback.

Situations and Solutions: Poor Customer Service

If you are a business that falls under the above statistic, it’s time for you to revamp your customer service operations. But now there’s no need to worry, as I intend to cover what bad customer service entails and how you can help solve it. 

Delays in Answering Customer Calls

The Situation

In digital customer service, long hold times are the equivalent of waiting in long queues at the bank. 

You can easily imagine such a scenario – the agitated customers standing in the line, murmuring about the slow customer service. Not a good look at the company whose first priority is customer service. 

The same goes for a customer who reaches out to a company’s customer support through voice call, they have to wait hours before their concern can be heard. Until then they just go on about their day while the caller tune plays in the background.

This means that the number of calls on hold increases, and the individuals picking up their phone to call now, might have to wait days before their issue is resolved.

These are the telltale signs that you might be losing customers to your competitors simply because you couldn’t answer calls or messages. 

Let’s Talk Solution

I asked for the solution for this problem from someone who has been in the industry for years, navigating customer complaints one phone call at a time. 

He suggests that the solution lies in being able to be present at the office during peak hours when you would expect most incoming calls or emails. This can vary from one timezone to another. 

Using AI can be advantageous when responding to customers in real time. Smart IVR systems can also help routing calls more efficiently, or even provide basic solutions without human intervention.

But if it’s a busy season and your phone lines are flooded, make sure to be transparent with customers. Let them know about the expected wait time so that customers don’t get frustrated about the unknown and might consider calling at a later time if their issue isn’t urgent. 

Inexperienced Service Agents

The Situation

Since last week, I have been on a quest to find a functional CRM at a reasonable price tag. The purpose was simple: to nurture the leads we receive. 

During my research, I contacted multiple SaaS companies, each offering their product with novel features. 

Which product I chose is a different question, so that is why I chose it. 

One thing, however, that I noticed throughout my hunt, was the untrained staff of most of those companies who were operating their live chat. It was like talking to a kid who only knows how to say the words “Hello” and “Thanks”. 

When I asked them about specific problems that I was facing, I was sent links to the company’s FAQ page. But that didn’t solve my issue. 

After multiple exchanges and clear confusion from the representative, I was mostly left even more frustrated, without a resolution.

Therefore, I concluded that the impact of untrained staff in customer service includes:

  • Decreased customer satisfaction
  • Extended resolution time
  • Increased customer frustration

Let’s Talk Solution

In such scenarios, it is apparent that the staff on the other end aren’t trained sufficiently. 

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. Along with technical training, a support agent’s soft skills should also be polished as they represent your brand. 

I would recommend having a detailed internal knowledge base. It should be readily available so that representatives can easily access it. 

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 Customer Complaints

The Situation

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 that damage your business as well.

In today’s fast-paced world, 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. This inevitably leads to a slump in revenue making you question whether becoming a business owner was a mistake. 

Let’s Talk Solution

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.

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.

Let's Fix Your Customer Support.

The “Do It Yourself’ Kinda Customer Service Agents

The Situation

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 replies rudely: “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. It 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.

Let’s Talk Solution

The lack of basic customer service skills such as empathy and active listening are to blame for such an attitude.

Since there’s no tone of voice, facial expressions, or body language to soften a message in 

digital interactions, every word matters and can oftentimes be misinterpreted.

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.

Personalization: Nowhere to Be Found

The Situation

Personalization in customer service means developing 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 a particular cosmetics 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 that don’t cater to her skin tone. 

The experience makes her feel like just another number to the company, rather than a valued, repeat 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
  • Trust deficiency with the brand

Let’s Talk Solution

Lack of personalization is like an icecream seller who tries to give out flavors at random without asking customers what they want.

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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The value of having good customer service agents by your side can’t be underestimated. They are your brand’s reputation managers, ensuring prospective customers get the best possible experience. This helps turn potential customers into repeat clients. 

Actively listening to your customers is the most important aspect of customer service. This would allow agents to assist them and help resolve their issues. Think of interacting with a customer like throwing a pebble in the water, which will have a ripple effect on your future interactions. 

Yes, outsourcing your customer service operations would help resolve issues. The team of agents is available around the clock to assist your clients, making sure that their needs are met. Agents are given training beforehand to avoid any mishaps. 

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