The quality of customer service can make or a break a company’s relationship with its customers. In fact, good customer service is the lifeblood of the most popular companies today. Take the legendary stories of Zappos for example, which show the impact of excellent customer service on sales. And for companies with poor customer service, it can cause a negative effect on sales or worse, the company can lose business.
Mistakes by customer service agents, the front-line employees of every business, cost a ton of money every year. Service providers often unknowingly self-sabotage their efforts.
That said, let’s look at five common blunders that you can avoid to not hurt your company’s customer service.
1. Using trigger words
Telling an irate customer to “calm down” actually has an opposite effect. In customer service, there are words that should be highly avoided because they can trigger a customer’s anger. Take the words “No” or “Can’t” for example, a simple reply yet it can trigger an outburst.
Find other ways to deliver a message, especially if it’s a bad news, without igniting anger. Instead of saying “No”, provide options or rephrase the request so you can find a way to say “Yes” instead. For “Can’t”, replace it with “Can” by focusing on the possible. According to Entrepreneur magazine, you need to use magic words that customers want to hear from you, like “I can solve that problem”, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out”, and “I will keep you updated”.
2. Making a customer feel like he’s a burden
It’s not just the poor choice of words that can get a customer angry, it’s also in the tone of voice and how fast or slow an agent is speaking. When on the phone, a customer service agent’s quality of service is not just judged by solving the problem or not, it’s also the way the agent spoke with a customer.
Many customers end their relationship with a company because of customer service agents who are indifferent to their needs. This include talking too fast, interrupting a customer before they even finish explaining the issue, and sounding like you’re not in the mood for a conversation. Customers can tell when an employee is doing his best to solve a problem.
3. Putting a call on hold for too long
Customers don’t like to wait for too long especially if they are given the impression that you’re not capable of solving their problem. Putting people on hold for excessive amounts of time will get them really grumpy and hang up on you. Majority of customers who hang up don’t really call back, so don’t depend on that possibility.
To avoid the need to hold customers, customer service reps should have access to answers to frequently asked questions. Agents should also be trained on how to keep small talk to a minimum without making a customer feel that the conversation is rushed.
4. Telling anything just to end the call
This is one of the most common customer service mistakes of rookie customer service agents who don’t know the answer to a specific question. They tell customers anything, like a false answer, just to get them off the phone. Some do it because they feel dumb asking for help or they’re afraid of racking up long call times.
Whatever the reason is, this is the last thing that you should do. To avoid this, agents should be provided with a simple way to research important information so they can give customers the right answers.
5. Quoting time in ranges
Customer service agents usually give a customer a time frame for a service. For instance, a rep might say “Your order will arrive in 3-5 business days”. However, customers tend to only hear the minimum number, “3 days”. And when they don’t get the package in the promised number of days, they get really upset.
Instead of giving time in ranges, it’s better to just give one date. If what they ordered arrives early, that’s plus points for you. And if it arrives on the promised date, you simply fulfilled your promise.
We cannot emphasize enough how integral customer service is in every business. Make sure you’re not making these mistakes and sabotaging your reputation forever.