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Introduction

Maybe the person was rude, didn’t have the answer to your question, and referred you to a different department.

Or maybe they transferred your call and then it dropped, or you weren’t able to understand them due to a language barrier or a bad connection.

Point being, there are a million and one things that can go wrong with customer service today. Fortunately, there’s also a number of ways to improve bad customer service. Here’s everything you need to know!

Common mistakes bad customer service teams make

#1. Providing only one specific channel for customer service

Customer service teams that provide only a phone number or only an online form are, frankly, doing it wrong. If you currently do this, know that this only allows customers to contact you in ways that they prefer, and you aren’t thinking about what’s best for the customers.

Not every customer loves to sit on the phone with a customer service representative or has access to email. It’s something to think about when creating a customer service plan!

#2. Lacking listening skills and empathy in your customer service representatives

Nothing is worse than being frustrated with a bad customer service representative. Either someone who is rude doesn’t listen to your issue or can’t relate to the problem you are experiencing.

Empathy is a trait that not everyone has and often can’t be taught—not everyone should be sitting behind a customer service desk!

#3. Avoiding ownership

When anyone commits a fault, it’s time to own up. In a business, it happens. Be sure that your customer service reps know when to admit something bad happened and can apologize for it on behalf of the company.

Many times, customers want to hear that apology more than they want their money back.

#4. Not educating customers

Customer service fails when customers don’t understand the company’s process. Whether they’re returning a product or looking to get assistance with some other issue, educating them step-by-step is crucial so no one is confused beyond that interaction.

Ways to improve the customer service experience

#1. Offering multiple customer service avenues

Providing avenues like a website, phone number, text, email, and social media channels allow you to reach the customer however works best for them.

Today, many millennials hate spending time on the phone. Creating opportunities for them to connect with reps avoids bad customer service experiences that ruin your reputation.

#2. Being proactive in your customer service

Bad customer service is reactive instead of proactive. If you’re only talking to your customers when there’s a problem, then you’re doing something wrong.

Reach out to your customers and provide them an opportunity to give feedback about their experience. This allows you to mitigate any issues before they reach out to you with issues.

#3. Providing consistency in your customer service

Customer service – regardless of what avenue you’re using – should provide a seamless experience for customers. If they speak with someone on the phone, receive an email, get a text, etc., it should all maintain a consistent voice and consistent information.

It helps to reinforce your brand even amongst customer frustration.

#4. Managing customer expectations

Customer expectations are difficult to manage, especially if they’ve been broken and that’s why they’re reaching out to customer service. In the same way that bad customer service fails to educate, managing customer expectations looks to mitigate potential issues.

Companies aren’t perfect, so if your customer knows that things might go wrong and you’re here to help along the way, then you’re already off to a better start.

Running customer satisfaction surveys

Customer satisfaction surveys like Net Promotor Score (NPS) and the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) can help reveal whether or not your company is on the right path to customer satisfaction.

NPS gives a range from -100 to 100 and reflects whether or not a client would recommend a particular service or product to another person.

The CSAT measures if a product or service met our clients’ expectations by asking them to rate their experience. It has a 5-point scale from “Very Unsatisfied” to “Very Satisfied.”

Instituting a process for feedback

Even if you’re using a customer satisfaction survey as a mechanism to gain feedback, you’ll need to make sure that you’re actively engaged in ways that you can improve your customer service.

With the technology that’s available today, it’s easy for bots to take over customer service and remove the human element from a process that’s so inherently human.

No shame if you’re currently utilizing technology to help with your customer service efforts, but make sure you put people back in there somewhere.

One of the ways that you can do this is by setting up automatic alerts if a customer provides a certain poor rating and then ensuring that a human customer service rep follows up with them.

This is a proactive mechanism that ensures that your customers feel that they are being taken care of and helps you take action on your analytics.

Conclusion

Bad customer service is an easy way to tell a good company from a bad company. Over half the population won’t do business with a company again that they had a customer service issue with.

Thus, focusing on ways that you can improve your customer service will work wonders for your brand and ensure that you’re doing all that you can for the people who purchase your products and services.

Put the right people in those roles, utilize technology where necessary, be proactive, and manage your customers’ expectations. It’s the best way to bring your business to the next level!


Anna Rubkiewicz

Content Specialist @ Survicate. Hopeless animal lover & avid (albeit amateur) singer.