Everybody knows the importance of standout customer service. Companies that continually strive to go above and beyond in their customer service efforts – Zappos, Amazon, Apple, Trader Joe’s, UPS – are continually rewarded with happy, satisfied customers. And, as we all know, happy, satisfied customers are the best way to create long-lasting relationships with continual buyers and company advocates.
At Haley, we strive to always provide Shareworthy Service to our clients. But we know, sometimes it’s hard to tell the exact steps to take to prevent, amend or improve a situation. So, to make everyone’s lives easier, we’ve compiled a quick list of five ways your customer service methods might actually be hurting your company … and bottom line!
- Taking Too Long to Respond
Nobody likes feeling ignored, especially when they’re reaching out for help. When a phone call or email request for help or to report a problem comes in, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. You should always make an effort to respond, even briefly, to let them know you received their message and will follow up when you have a resolution or next step for them to take.
- Being Stubborn and Unapologetic
It’s not always easy to say “I was wrong” or “this is a mistake” – but it’s easier than explaining why you lost a client. Taking the time to understand what a client or customer is upset about, how it happened, and the part you played (if any) in the process will all help you to form a complete understanding of the situation, and respond appropriately. “I’m sorry this happened,” or “I completely understand why you’re upset” are much better ways to begin to respond to an upset client, rather than stating “This isn’t MY fault!”
- Complicating Processes
Is your customer service process easy? Do you have a phone number, email, or landing page clients can go to directly in order to report an issue or problem … even to ask a pertinent question? If not, you need to create one. Having a separate phone number, email or landing page to report issues to, and a dedicated team member to respond to these requests, takes out the middle man and gives clients an easy way to begin the solution-finding process.
- Breaking Promises
It might sound great to say “This will never happen again!” but if you can’t guarantee that is true, you shouldn’t be saying it. It’s better to apologize and address a concern than make promises that can easily be broken. Sometimes outside forces, third parties, and Murphy’s law all take effect at the same time. If they break something you promised was infallible, you’ve positioned yourself as untrustworthy – and clients are much less likely to forgive you twice.
- Not Following Up
Once a solution has been reached, and a problem has been solved, that does not mean the customer service process is over. Wait a week and send a follow-up note or email thanking your client or customer for their patience and understanding. They will likely remember your efforts to amend the issue more than the issue itself.
Is your customer service lacking? Are unsatisfied clients wreaking havoc on your online reputation, or are you having issues keeping clients satisfied? Click the following links to read more Shareworthy Service advice, or to learn about our Reputation Management service.
Contact one of Haley Marketing Group’s dedicated marketing advisors to learn more about the topics covered in this article.