Every day, customers encounter customer service representatives anywhere from one to five times. That’s why focusing on excellent customer service is crucial to a company’s success and ultimately leads to higher profits. Without great customer service, businesses are less likely to retain the loyalty of existing customers and it is more difficult to attract new ones. A study released by Gartner revealed that, “Over the last 10 years, customers’ trust in big business has declined rapidly. Customers have become more willing to complain, more willing to switch suppliers after a poor experience and more likely to tell others about it.”
With all the competition out there ready to absorb your customers, great customer service is no laughing matter. This April don’t let your employees fall victim to these five customer service myths.
#1. Myth: Customers Want the Fastest Service Possible
While speed is important, it isn’t everything, and just because it can be easily measured doesn’t mean your customers value the effort. Data shows that when trying to maximize speed and minimize customer interaction, things can go wrong. For example, it was found that patients who are injured during a procedure are far less likely to sue if they feel like their doctor spent a sufficient amount of time with them and believe that their procedure wasn’t “rushed.” In a world that pushes for speed and efficiency over everything else, customers increasingly value one on one attention. Attentive service and an empathetic demeanor will guarantee that your customer leaves as satisfied as possible rather than as fast as possible.
#2. Myth: It’s ok to fall behind on technological innovations.
When it comes to getting to know a new product, sometimes face- to- face or over the phone interaction is not the most efficient or satisfying service method for your customers. For those customers who are more self-sufficient, an indirect means of providing help can increase customer satisfaction exponentially. Helping customers solve their own problems isn’t just a matter of updating equipment or providing better instructions, staying up to date on technology will ensure your customer has the most sophisticated and comprehensive self- service experience available. Take the time to stay up to date on the latest technology tools, whether that’s social media, mobile marketing or online video, and determine which best could help your company’s service. Have someone more tech savvy to help if needed. Especially if your product is software or requires assembly, online video tutorials have been proven to help tremendously, increasing customer satisfaction. Gartner analyst Michael Maoz states that, “as much as organizations tout the importance of people and process over technology, it is not possible to deliver an engaging customer service experience without technology”.
#3. Myth: Great Service Develops Unrealistic Customer Expectations
It is a misconception that the better service you provide, the higher your customer’s expectations will be, leading to disappointment and customer attrition in the future. While a successful business constantly tries to be innovative in order to improve their service strategies, thus reducing feelings of disappointment, it is also crucial to manage customer’s expectations by making your service policies easily available so that they have as much information as possible before purchasing a product or service. More importantly however, is the strategy of “under-promise, over deliver.” Most of the time, a customer will view their overall experience based on the expectations set in the beginning of the transaction. For example if the situation requires that a service or product is delivered, and you know it will typically take 3- 4 days for delivery quote the customer 5-6 days. If the product arrives sooner, the customer will be even happier and will more likely perceive their experience as good customer service.
#4. Myth: It’s Okay to Not Plan Ahead
Even if there is no official written business plan, all companies will have an idea of where it’s headed, whether it’s keeping to an overarching vision of its goals or having a set plan of action for the next few months. The same goes for its customer service strategy. Having a structured vision and setting goals will improve staff performance and create a better quality of service. Do not hesitate to provide planned training strategies for team members catered to your goals, as it will give your company a huge advantage over those who offer only limited training. More training and clear communication with team members has proven to avert more customer problems as well as lower staff attrition rates and improve company- wide performance.
#5. It’s Okay to Blame Customer Service Staff.
Just because business owners and managers might not be dealing with customers on a daily basis doesn’t mean that they do not influence the quality of customer service. Setting expectations for representatives and promoting a standard of service starts at the top. Managers must set an example for service staff, so make sure you keep customer service a priority and take complaints seriously. Take opportunities to give staff positive feedback. Customer service ought to be a skill that is valued deeply in a company and it is one of the most important indicators of the success of a business.
To Sum Up-
Setting goals to improve customer service has been proven to not only help a business become more profitable but has also improved customer and employee loyalty, and boost a company’s work environment. Don’t be fooled by these misconceptions this April and work a maintaining a great relationship with your customers.