Ensuring efficient customer service is crucial to the survival of your company. Providing excellent customer service is no longer a choice but a necessity. Poor customer experience can be detrimental to your organization. One bad experience can cause 91% of customers to be unhappy and leave without complaining. This shows us that maintaining customer service standards can affect organizations in various ways.
To take your customer service to the next level, you need to steer clear of the common mistakes that can hound your organization. 56% of people would stop doing business with a company that offers poor customer service. According to a report by Forrester, poor customer experience can cause consumers to abandon a planned purchase. To deliver excellent customer service, it is worth knowing the most common mistakes in customer service.
Common Mistakes In Customer Service
- Not Listening To Customers
- Not Asking Questions
- Not Being Proactive
- Absence of Empathy
- Lack of Communication
- Not Training Your Customer Service Agents
- Not Delivering On Your Promise
- Not Resolving The Problem On First Call
- No Omnichannel Support
- Not Addressing Customer Pain Points
Common Mistakes In Customer Service
Customer service is vital for any business. Any mistake can have severe repercussions as it could compromise the value of the service. Check out these ten common mistakes in customer service you should avoid:
1. Not Listening To Customers
To be effective in customer service, you need to listen to what your customers say. Customers contact you because they have specific issues that need to be addressed. Ensure that you identify them during your conversation and keep it in mind throughout your interaction.
Gather as many details as possible and think about any details that the customer may have missed or ignored. You need to engage with them to meet or even exceed their expectations. Your customer service team needs to be all ears to address customer queries effectively. Your agent should be fully attentive, take notes, and refrain from repeating the customer query.
By not listening to customers, what your company wants to say and convey takes precedence over what customers want and need. This will give them the impression that your company is not committed and not reliable. With such an impression, customers may be inclined to leave and do business with your competitor and share their negative experiences.
2. Not Asking Questions
Aside from not listening to customers, not asking questions is another common mistake in customer service. Sometimes customers don’t know what type of information you need to resolve their issues. They reach out to you and describe what their problem or question is. Asking questions is part of active listening. If you don’t ask enough relevant questions, you won’t get to the real heart of customer service issues.
Like active listening, asking questions is a good way of showing customers that you care. It can also help you get feedback from clients. You align your work with what your clients need and desire by asking questions. It will allow you to be in the customer’s shoes and better understand what they really need. Asking questions will help you dig deeper into their goals, challenges, hobbies, and habits to help you find a product that best suits their needs.
Asking questions is an invaluable customer service skill as it helps you uncover the information you might need to deliver customer service better. It will also guide you in clearly defining their problems, increase customer desire for your offer, and enable you to close more high-value deals.
3. Not Being Proactive
The lack of proactive support is one of the biggest mistakes that customer service teams make, which can prove detrimental to your business. Don’t make the mistake of waiting for customers to raise their problems. This approach is not right as 87% of customers want brands to be proactive when reaching out to them to ensure excellent service. Lack of proactive support means you are not taking the initiative or taking the extra effort to solve customer service-related problems.
When you are not proactive, you allow the issues to fester further and become a pain point, adversely affecting the customer experience. Many dissatisfied customers remain mum until they are reached out to. This can result in customer churn. Instead of waiting for them to reach out to you, they should follow up with the customer. Being proactive in support can help increase customer retention rates by 3-5%.
Proactive support helps you identify issues and resolve them before they become problems, reducing the number of tickets you receive. A study by inContact revealed that customers had positive feedback on proactive service. When you take the initiative, you can strengthen customer relationships and boost the value of your customers. Being proactive means making yourself available to customers through different communication channels.
4. Absence of Empathy
Empathy is putting oneself in the shoes of the customer. It can be described as understanding and being sensitive to their feelings, thoughts, and experiences. When you have empathy, you understand what your customer is going through and show your support. Empathy in customer service means listening to what your customers have to say.
Empathetic listening means considering and understanding the needs of your customers. Empathy should be practiced by your agents and made a pillar of your company culture. Nothing can make customers happier than agents who show they are on the same team. Here are five ways you can show empathy to your customers:
- Listen actively. It is estimated that only 7 percent of communication is verbal, meaning that the other bits of information are conveyed through body language or facial expressions. This means you should have a pen and paper ready in case you may need to take notes.
- Recognize their emotions. Emotions are important signs that you are on the right track to solving a problem. To deliver effective customer service, you must first understand that you need to heal the person first before you can fix their situation.
- Accept their interpretations. Accepting their interpretation does not mean you agree with them. This will allow you to view the situation from your perspective and better observe the situation.
- Restate the problem. Before trying to solve the problem, it’s wise to restate it. You can paraphrase as long as the meaning is retained. By restating the problem, you can show customers that you have been listening to them and respecting and caring for their needs.
- Ask permission to move forward. Asking their permission for you to move forward is more than just being polite. It indicates whether you and the client are at the same place in the discussion. The client may still want to talk about their situation, so you should go back to the beginning.
Show empathy when needed and approach their case in a similar way you would approach it if you are experiencing the problem. Nothing makes customers happier than agents who show that they are on the same team. You can show empathy by using the correct words, which could change the customer’s experience and satisfaction levels.
5. Lack of Communication
In today’s digital age, customers demand instant answers to their emails, social media posts, phone calls, and others. Making customers wait or putting them on hold will no longer cut it. Research by Edison reveals that almost half of people complaining about social media expect a response within 60 minutes. Failing to respond to the customer quickly can impact your relationship with the customer.
Nowadays, it isn’t enough to reply to customers’ queries and comments, you need to do it immediately and quickly. That is why it is important to use the right mix of tools to stay on top of customer communications to keep them satisfied. Communication skills are as important as listening skills. Effective communication skills entail using positive language to keep customers focused on the positive aspect of their situation.
Good listening skills are part of effective communication. When listening to the customer, avoid being judgmental. Respond to the customer and ensure that you understand them by paraphrasing what the customer said.
6. Not Training Your Customer Service Agents
Bad customer service is often the result of agents not being adequately trained or lacking complete knowledge of the processes. Without the proper knowledge, it is impossible to deliver a customer experience that customers crave. If your customer service team is not trained to ask the right questions, how will they know what the customer needs?
Training your customer service team will help keep your staff on their toes. It needs to be an ongoing and dynamic activity. Help your team in the weaker areas. Create a manual or knowledge base they can refer to so they can handle and proactively avoid customer service issues down the line. Train your customer service team on the following aspects:
- Internal Processes. Your customer service team should be aware of the internal processes in an inside-out manner to give them an idea of the standard operating procedures in customer handling.
- Product Knowledge. One of the reasons for the failure of customer service is because agents do not have sufficient knowledge of the product they are offering or handling issues. For this reason, you need to make sure that your team is trained and aware of your product for them to provide the correct response to customers.
- Etiquette Training. Ensure that your customers are aware of basic customer etiquette to follow the rules that provide the foundation of quality service.
Not focusing on proper training for your agents can badly impact the quality of support your customer service agent will offer. Allow them to identify their mistakes so that they can work on them.
7. Not Delivering On Your Promise
Making a promise but failing to deliver is bad customer service. When we don’t respond in a timely or appropriate manner or make promises that we cannot keep, it will turn small customer service issues into big problems. Breaking promises can become a bad habit. A study by Accenture found that 60% of companies who broke promises to consumers did so several times.
Delivering on your promise is one of the best ways to earn long-term trust with clients. The sad fact of the matter is that expectations for a product are higher now than they were decades ago, but brands can only fulfill their expectations 7% of the time. Many promises made by sales reps are based on factors beyond their control, such as the delivery of a product or specific ROI that can be generated from a marketing campaign.
Empty promises can ruin your brand’s reputation. You want to make sure that you leave a great first impression, and broken promises will do the opposite. It will promote disengagement and decrease customer retention rates. For example, if your website says that estimated delivery is within 7 – 10 days, but you promise them five days, it will leave a bad impression on your brand.
8. Not Resolving The Problem On First Call
Time is something that your customers do not have the luxury of. When customers reach out to you for the first time, do your best to solve their issues in the first encounter. Creating a positive first impression will result in customer satisfaction and lead to a good brand recall. Creating a solid first-call resolution shows that you are providing exceptional service and that you are receiving the answers in a fast manner.
It is important to excel on first-call resolution (FCR) as this is often equated with poor customer service. Good first-call resolution can help with customer retention. If you can address a customer’s concerns in a swift and friendly manner, your customers can turn into a good brand promoter for your business.
Dissatisfied customers will tell up to 15 people about a negative experience with a business, so you want to get it right the first time. You need to invest in Interactive Voice Response technology to route your customers to the correct department. You can save time and serve more customers by sending them to the right place straight away.
9. No Omnichannel Support
Customers today utilize various platforms to connect with your customer service team. It could be via chatbot, live chat, email marketing, social media, and so on. You cannot force a customer to use a channel they don’t prefer. Companies providing omnichannel support recorded an 89% increase in customer retention.
An omnichannel strategy is an excellent way to deliver great experiences across all touchpoints. By having a presence on different channels, you can ensure customers a seamless experience. With omnichannel support, you can look forward to a faster resolution rate and allows you to streamline your customer experience.
In addition, you can create a knowledge base or support forum. This way, you help the customers solve issues on their own. By assisting them on their preferred channel, they can become the source of creating more potential customers for your business.
10. Not Addressing Customer Pain Points
76% of customers expect businesses to understand their needs better. The more you know customers, the better you will serve them. When you are unsure of what your customers want, it will be difficult for you to improve your products and enhance their experience.
To successfully serve your customers, you first need to understand what they want and need and analyze their pain points and challenges. You must be able to identify the pulse of your customer. To be successful in customer service, you don’t have to be a mind-reader. Your agent needs to “think” like the customer and put themselves in their shoes.
Customers have different needs, so don’t treat them like you will treat other customers. Each customer is unique, so you need to identify their specific needs. One of the ways you can identify customer needs is to be consistent with communicating with them. Once you know your customer’s pain points, you can confidently approach and offer quality support to the customer.
Customer service does not stop once your customer has completed a purchase. It should continue throughout the lifecycle of the customer. Customer service aims to keep the customer delighted and loyal to your brand. In the long run, they can become your brand ambassador and bring in more customers to your business.
Outsource Customer Service with airisX
Companies come to us to optimize existing customer support channels and/or leverage new ones. airisX focuses on incorporating existing processes into your desired channels and helping you scale to other ones as your requirements grow.
Our services are flexible and contracts are based on your specific needs. Whether you only have a one-time project, additional skills for just a few hours a week, or you may need a multi-year contract for long-term support and scalability, we can do it. Whatever your requirements, your Solutions Architect can work with you to find the right solution.
Contact us at email@example.com and one of our agents will get back to you with a customized solutions tailored to your needs.