Learn to Calm Your Customers or Watch them Devour Your Revenue Stream
Posted by Resource Nation on November 29, 2013 in Marketing [ 0 Comments ]
Whether you’re a company involved in B2B or a retailer fully invested in B2C interactions, customer service is a crucial aspect of any successful business. Especially over the phone, poor customer experiences can drive consumers crazy – or worse, to competitors. Email is currently the most popular option for consumers to communicate with businesses, with 72 percent of 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom using the channel to get their messages across. However, communications software specialist Mitel recently released a study uncovering the telephone is the most commonly used channel to voice complaints to businesses.
So, your customer service representatives must be on top of their game while handling unhappy consumers over the phone, or you’ll have mounting client retention issues. In fact, the Mitel survey found 74 percent would switch providers after a poor customer service experience with a contact center. Across the pond, 51 percent of Americans in a recent Accenture study indicated they switched companies during the past year because of a poor customer experience. To avoid this situation, business owners should adopt some tried-and-true principles when employing a customer service strategy.
- First, foster a culture of respect among your customer service reps. Recent research from the call center software provider Five9 found 74 percent of customers would be more forgiving to companies that had respectful employees on the other end of the line. Take, for instance, the experience of Forbes contributor Tom Ford, who found the staff at L.L. Bean’s customer support to be extremely respectful. After the lining of Ford’s favorite leather jacket wore out, the woman on the other end of the line offered him a full refund for the product. This interaction occurred without the customer service rep launching into a barrage of questions concerning how the author had treated the jacket to make it lose the lining – blaming the customer – and, instead, was extremely accommodating and friendly. He simply returned the jacket (marked defective) and received a new one.
- Second, you need to have a knowledgeable staff. The Mitel study found 69 percent of consumers would be calmed down if the customer service rep has a firm grasp of the services or products the individual is asking about. It should go without saying that your employees, especially those involved in customer service need to understand all aspects of the business they work for. Otherwise, your customers will begin to doubt your competence and lose confidence in doing business with you. Looking at Ford’s example again, you can see the customer service representative was able to answer his question regarding the supplier of his worn out jacket within two minutes. Without a knowledgeable staff to address customer service issues, businesses waste the customer’s time scrambling for answers. On the flip side, strong customer support allays any fears a consumer might have and builds his or her relationship with the brand.
- Last, be friendly. 57 percent of customers are calmed by friendliness. While dealing with an irate customer, your service representatives must be sure they can keep their cool and put on the most courteous front for the sake of your company.
While your marketing and sales teams may traditionally be the most charismatic employees in your office, there’s no reason why your customer support staff shouldn’t possess the same qualities. In reality, they’re integral contact points for your business during the customer journey. If your support staff falls short, consumers won’t have a good overall view of your brand or a good experience.