Customer Service

5 Customer Service Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make This Year

Many experts have declared 2018 “The Year of the Customer Experience.”

While all eyes are on digital marketing and emerging technology trends such as artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots, the reality is that a significant portion of the customer experience still happens in one-to-one customer service interactions. As a result, companies are taking a closer look at their customer service and making sure they deliver the world-class customer experience today’s most discerning audiences demand. Here’s a closer look at five common customer service mistakes—and the steps you need to take to ensure they never negatively impact your brand.

Being understaffed. Nothing is more frustrating for a customer facing a service issue than a long wait—or even worse, being told to call back at another time. It is imperative that customer service managers take the time to analyze the customer service requests the company receives to establish adequate staffing for fast, efficient service. Whether that means adding additional staff during busy periods for redirecting customer service requests to another channel such as live chat, there are many solutions you can consider. The bottom line is that it’s critical that customers receive fast and prompt service.

Agents who don’t understand your products. Today’s customers have less tolerance than ever before for inefficient brand interactions. As a result, it is important that your customer service reps are fully trained on your products and services. Whether they’re offering technical troubleshooting or answering detailed questions about the company’s pricing model, make sure you’re providing your agents with state-of-the-art training and technology services that enable them to address specific details of your customer experience.

Long waits for managers. In an ideal world, your frontline customer service agents or senior specialist can resolve every customer query that comes in. However, the reality is often quite different. Customers who demand to speak to a manager for a specific situation may require higher-level input. Asking customers to wait 15, 20, or even 30 minutes to speak to a manager is unacceptable. Often, inefficient processes are the difference between keeping long-time customers and losing an account. Your processes and staffing must support the availability of managers—whether they are backing up your customer service agents or providing direct support to customers.

Lack of preferred support channel. Not long ago, customers would be delighted with the option to reach customer support via a call center. However, today’s busy customers are often on the go and have come to expect a wider variety of customer support channels. Many customers hate to pick up the phone. Instead, they want the flexibility to send an e-mail, interact with a customer service agent via text chat, get the personal touch of video chat, or even reach out to you on social media channels. If your customer support operations are not diversified, it’s imperative for the sustainability of your customer service organization that you take a closer look at how you can offer buyers a wider scope of support.

No post-sales support. Many companies are focused on offering adequate customer support when prospects are browsing their products or trying to make a purchase, but this is just the beginning of the customer relationship. Your customer service plan must include post-sales support. Whether that means tracking a package, answering questions about how to use your products or processing efficient and seamless returns, focusing on post-sales support can differentiate your brand and help turn first-time buyers into return customers.

Focusing on the customer experience is a critical aspect of running a successful business. In many cases, this doesn’t mean investing heavily in expensive technologies. It simply means evaluating your customer service options and supporting quality, diversity, and efficiency—and making the necessary investments