Holidays provide a great opportunity for companies not only to sell more to repeat clients but also to acquire new customers. Together with a great opportunity to gain, comes a big chance to lose customers in the holiday season if you offer them bad customer service.
Customer service is almost always the first impression a customer will have with your company, so it is important to handle it the right way and not scare your customers away.
The survey says that 60% of consumers would be “unlikely or very unlikely” to give repeat business to a company that had given them bad service in the past.
And repeat customers that continue to support your brand over time will spend 67% more than new customers. So it is well worth it to give your time and attention to managing the busy customer flow well in the holiday season.
The French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is credited with saying “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
It is generally understood that the goal in customer service is to have effective communication with customers, which will result in customers being satisfied and will produce more revenue for the company in the end.
However, what is effective communication? What does it include and how a company can achieve it? Breaking down your plan into smaller sections which are easy to understand and convey to employees is the way to go.
Have you ever thought about why you are losing customers? Perhaps you are giving them a reason to leave?
A study from NewVoiceMedia found that:
- 67% of customers left a company due to poor service
- 10% have switched more than 5 times in the past year
- $430 is the average loss per customer
On the whole, all those service failures cost to businesses in the United States $75 billion per year.
Losing income, however, is not the only consequence of losing a customer. Angry and frustrated customers can hurt your company in many other ways. For example, they can spread negative word-of-mouth about your company or leave negative online reviews in social media and other online resources.
One of the main reasons customers get frustrated and want to leave is when companies don’t respond to their service requests. >>>
Genuine customer feedback creates opportunities for companies to earn more loyal customers, those who know that they can speak out about their problems and that they will be addressed.
It also helps to:
- measure customer satisfaction
- improve products and services
- show that you value customers’ opinions
- create the best customer experience
- establish reliable source of information to other consumers
- collect data that helps taking business decisions
Most customers ignore survey requests unless they have something very positive or very negative to say. The main reasons for this are that surveys often reach customers at inconvenient time and the customer doesn’t see any real value for themselves in completing the survey. And even if the customer has taken the survey offered, this often results in very generalized responses, which don’t give you as a company much insight about the customer or what their interests and difficulties are. >>>
Have you ever encountered a situation when you would click the live chat button on a website promising instant online help and you would not reach anyone? I did. At other times, I would contact live chat support and instead of finding an answer to my question, I would be escalated to another person who would say that they will check the information and email me later.
I do understand that some questions take research and some issues take time to be diagnosed and fixed.
And still, I feel frustration in many such situations, especially when I have to explain the issue over and over again to another agent or repeat the same things in email later. As a customer, I want to be helped here and now while my question is still relevant and the issue is current.
Perhaps similar customer experiences are the reason first contact resolution remains an important metric in customer service. According to the Customer Experience Executive Report by CCW Digital, 70% of customers consider first contact resolution the most important factor when interacting with a company, yet only 10% of companies believe they excel at its delivery. >>>
Proactive communication is an important part of customer service. It helps to facilitate the customer journey and inspires customers to stay loyal to the company.
CEB Global study found that for every ten customers who have a high-effort service experience, nine will become disloyal and eight will say something negative about your brand to others.
What other benefits does proactive communication bring to a business?
At some moments customer service job can be a challenge. Dealing with different people and trying to meet their expectations is not an easy task. It takes patience, sharp intellect and I would even say wisdom to navigate through the various customer moods and still provide a professional service.
In this article I would like to review the biggest customer service challenges based on my own experience. I would like to share with you what I found worked best for me to overcome them and I hope my experience will be of use to you as well.
So let’s begin. >>>
If you are aiming for excellence, you can never stop learning and polishing your skills. What skills are needed for a great customer service?
There is a long-running debate over which set of skills is more important for a customer service rep, soft skills or technical skills.
A recent survey by Service Strategies concludes that 96% of respondents judged communication skills and interpersonal skills more important than technical skills for the success in customer support. After all, to resolve any technical problem a CSR needs strong communication skills to effectively gather information, analyze it and find a solution which will help the customer.
A set of soft skills every CSR needs to learn:
Did you know that 51 percent of U.S. employees are looking for a new job? Why?
Aren’t they satisfied with their salary? Don’t they like their old laptops? Can’t they bear long traveling to and from office? Or maybe their chief isn’t empathetic enough?
It’s quite a difficult task to find the one who cares only about material values when deciding on a job. The ProvideSupport blog writers have prepared fascinating statistics on this issue. Take the trouble to have a look at it and find out how much chiefs lose per year just because of not being empathetic (reading will take you 3 minutes).
Each time when a young or already experienced specialist decides to apply for a job, they expect to be engaged at work, to love what they do, to have friendly and permanently smiling colleagues (such innocent fools!) and what else? An empathetic boss. Statistics show the great correlation between a chief’s empathy and employee’s productivity, that means between a chief’s empathy and company’s income.
Do you still doubt empathy plays an important role in business? Take a look at what we’ve prepared! >>>
What’s the most important thing a business needs to do to improve relationships with their customers and keep them coming back for more? The answer is pretty obvious, and yet so often overlooked: providing a delightful customer service.
No matter how good your product may be, or how competent your customer service team is, the only thing that matters is how your customers feel about your company.
And the key to providing an exceptional customer service lies directly in the ability of your team to deliver a positive experience. If you are a customer service manager, you are probably aware that it’s your team that is the face of your company, and your customers’ experiences will be driven by the skill and quality of the support they receive.
As a customer service manager, it’s your ability to drive both customer satisfaction, and employee engagement, that defines your own success. Happy agents are more likely to go above and beyond while servicing your customers. And customers who feel they are cared for, are the ones that will return.
The bottom-line is that you can’t have delighted customers with disengaged, or even disgruntled employees. That’s where you need to start. >>>