Half of consumers will start doing business with one of your competitors after a single bad experience, according to Zendesk. This jumps to 80% after more than one negative experience.
With the stakes so high, it’s critical to provide customers with high-quality, end-to-end service across the entire lifecycle - from purchase through retention. To get started, here are five customer support “do’s and don’ts” that will help ensure the experience quality you deliver is what customers expect.
Before discussing customer support best practices, here are some habits to avoid.
Let’s face it, everyone loves positive feedback and online reviews. It’s always great to garner praise, but negative feedback can be highly beneficial as well. When customers share things they dislike, it offers an opportunity to respond. If a single customer complains about a particular issue, the incident may be an outlier. If dozens of customers report the same problem, you have some work to do.
Most organizational leaders look past the sting of negative feedback and use the information constructively. However, many businesses worry that complaints on third-party review pages are a “death sentence” for brand image. If left unresolved, many complaints can certainly have dire consequences for a company. At the same time, it’s not possible to satisfy every customer every time.
If your company receives a complaint, reply directly to the customer and attempt to resolve their issue. Not only will you have a better chance of strengthening that relationship, but other current and potential customers reading the review will also see that your company takes a proactive approach to resolving concerns.
Listening to customers also provides an opportunity to be recognized by industry authorities. There are a number of industry awards, like the Stevie Awards, showcase companies, “It took time, but you came back strong. I can see ups and downs in the performance, but it was great to see a huge hike in your CSAT compared to 2018. I really appreciate all the efforts your team gave in and continued with never give up attitude which has shown great results for you. Best of luck to the team for future successes!” (Stevie Awards 2022, Element Electronics partner Goodbay Technologies)
Although modern consumers are incredibly tech-savvy and knowledgeable, it doesn't mean the support experience has to be overly complex. For customer experiences, focus on optimizing accessibility and eliminating barriers that might magnify consumer frustrations. One great way to accomplish this is to offer omnichannel support, which is interconnected customer service that leverages multiple mediums.
Also, ensure that support agents aren’t focused solely on saving deals. People contacting your company for product or service support want to be treated like individuals, not accounts. If the tone of the conversation is too business-focused, customers will pick up on it. Train frontline agents to let customers know they’re being heard and are important, which in turn will help promote loyalty to your brand.
Related Article: Top Support Trends to Watch in 2022
If you want to enhance your company’s customer support strategies, we recommend that you do the following
Customers want to feel appreciated. After all, they chose to buy from your company and believe that your organization should be grateful for their business.
When support agents interact with consumers, simply opening the conversation with “Thank you for being a customer” can go a long way in mitigating feelings of frustration. Pragmatic support and empathetic interactions with an upset consumer can quickly transform a negative experience into a positive one.
Also, agents should feel enthusiastic. Apathetic service agents can be a big challenge in customer support. Top customer support agents will make every effort to take care of customers and demonstrate empathy. Agents experiencing burnout will often demonstrate indifference, which can cause you to lose customers at alarming rates
Whenever possible, your support agents should attempt to view issues from the client’s perspective. By stepping into the shoes of the consumer, support agents can guard against feelings of indifference and offer higher quality service. Examples include making confirmatory statements like “I understand how frustrating that may be.”
In addition to showing empathy and viewing problems from the customer’s perspective, support agents must be willing to accept the responsibility on behalf of the company. This willingness means apologizing for the issue that the client is encountering and exploring ways to make things right. At times, consumers may know that there is no way for the agent to remedy the issue but simply want to be heard and understood.
Once support agents have set a positive tone for the conversation, they must demonstrate integrity and transparency. Specifically, support personnel should be upfront about return and exchange policies, be clear about what they can do to resolve customer concerns, and avoid making any promises they cannot keep.
If your support agents commit to follow-up with the consumer, delivering on this promise is vital. Otherwise, the next agent who encounters that client will have difficulty establishing trust or salvaging the customer relationship.
If you have been searching for a way to deliver better quality to your customers, outsourcing may offer the ideal solution.
By outsourcing, your provider handles staffing fluctuations. They have the scale and scope to adjust, and you always have enough working agents to meet demand. You won’t need to build in redundancies to address fluctuations. And you avoid the hassles, training, and overhead associated with hiring temporary workers - which leads to savings.
Partnering with an outsourced customer support provider like Goodbay Technologies can reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, and eliminate the logistical nightmare of managing an in-house support center.
If you would like to learn more about Goodbay’s omnichannel support solutions, contact our team today.
Related Article: 5 Ways to Keep Support Agents Happy