There’s no denying that customers are your lifeline—without them, there’s no business. This is why a good and efficient customer service support is a major company asset.
Despite its importance, many companies still have problems with it. Below are some of the most common problems businesses face in terms of customer service support, along with suggested solutions.
Problem #1: Agents lack empathy.
Many customers think – if not, believe – that call center agents lack empathy. In fact, some think customer service people are cold.
Perhaps some customers are talking out of experience or believe that agents go through hundreds of calls a day, and they’re just another caller. Perhaps these are all true, but that doesn’t mean that teams can’t improve their agents’ image to the clients.
Customers who call customer service are, more often than not, angry or frustrated already. Showing a positive attitude and being proactive can help you ease the client’s anxiety, which is one of the goals of customers service support.
Role play and training exercises can help agents practice this kind of mindset until it becomes natural to them.
Problem #2: Everything is automated.
While automation is good, a simple and old-fashioned conversation can earn you some brownie points among customers, especially amongst the older demographics.
Millennials may prefer the faster, automated approach, but for some, automation results in even more frustration and that can’t be good.
While automation can help solve issues quickly, agents fail to connect with the customers and ease their tensions and concerns. This, then, becomes a nuisance.
Limit automation to a point that it becomes a tool to help customer service people connect rather than disconnect.
Problem #3: Lack of good listening skills.
Communication is a two-way street—where one lane is listening while the other is speaking. Listening isn’t just about hearing the words, but also analyzing the customer’s tone. However, some agents overlook the listening part.
Agents should allow the customers to talk more than they do. And when they do talk, they should adjust their tone and choices of words based on the tone of the client calling.
Before ending the call, summarize the issue and ask the customer to confirm if they are on the same page.
Problem #4: Poor follow-through or the lack of it.
Some customer issues can’t be completed in just one call. Many customer service support fails to complete follow-through promises, and customers end up getting more frustrated with the lack of such.
Remember to keep your promises. Some teams even insist on calling customers back even if it’s not required. Some agents even use this time to inquire if there are other issues they can help the customer with.
Problem #5: Missing processes or policies.
Some customers end up hearing “This is not our policy” when they call customer service. Some even get the infamous “Sorry, we can’t help you.”
In any customer service support, there are strict rules that agents follow, and sometimes, they end up hurting the customer satisfaction rates.
Agents should take note of any policies or lack thereof that affect their work with customers. Escalating these issues to team leaders will help in crafting better policies.
Problem #6: Poor agent skills.
People skills are hard to come by. In fact, customer service work is not for everyone. When clients are faced with unskilled agents, they end up creating more problems.
Employees need sufficient training before they can be rolled out into teams. Continuous training, coaching, and mentoring can help customer service agents improve their people skills.
Problem #7: Customer service is not inherent to the company.
If the business doesn’t have a customer-centric culture, training can only do so much. Moreover, if the leadership team doesn’t support initiatives aimed at improving customer service support, it will all be in vain.
Providing excellent customer service and improving customer satisfaction should be at the heart of the business.
Problem #8: Inability to step up.
Agents must learn how to take ownership of the customer’s concerns. By doing this, they learn how to be responsible for its solutions.
Agents must develop an attitude of full responsibility. This can empower them to solve issues and see it through from start to finish.
Problem #9: Fast growth.
While growth is good, if the support team can’t keep up with the growth rate, it will affect the team’s performance, and eventually, the customers.
Pause and check if your growth rate is compatible with your team’s size. They key is to maintain a certain balance.
Problem #10: No access to previous customer interactions.
It is vital that agents can quickly access the client’s information. Apart from helping them fix the issues faster, not having one paints a bad reputation about the company.
Invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) software to give support staff access to customer information and past exchanges.
CRM data can also help other departments such as marketing and advertising create initiatives that can help the sales team close more deals. It’s a win-win situation.
Customers Are Your Lifeline
Now that you’re aware of the 10 most common customer support problems, you can make several tweaks and help improve your own systems in place.
Remember, customers are your lifeline, and one of the goals of customer service is to keep patrons happy.