“Customer service,” for many customers, invokes feelings of fear, anger, and frustration.
Not all companies, but many, place genuinely helpful customer service at the bottom of their priority list.
And customers routinely have dreadful experiences with some of the most common consumer services: ISPs, cable/satellite providers, and airline travel, among many others.
So, rather than frustrating and irking your customer’s resentment, protect the number one thing you’ve got: your reputation.
Warren Buffet once said,”It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
So, what can you do differently with customer service so that it increases your reputation, rather than harming it?
Learn from these examples of what customers never want to hear from you:
1. “Company policy doesn’t allow me to do that.”
You must have a customer service policy. You can’t get around that. Unfortunately, you can’t give every customer who has something go wrong double their money back.
The economics just don’t work that way.
But, you do want to make sure your customers hear the policy line as infrequently as possible.
Empower your customer service team with highly flexibility to do the right thing for the customer.
Policy should be their absolutely last resort.
2. “Sure. Let me get you to the right person for that.”
Blast! Another transfer!
Just like the point on policy, sometimes you can’t get away from transferring your customers.
You have to do it.
But again like the last point, make sure you do it as little as possible.
Build out a map of all the problems your customers have and who solves them.
Give your customer service team additional training so they transfer customers as little as possible.
3. [Sound of your hold music playing]
Nobody wants to be on hold. But, you also can’t always predict call volumes.
Again, optimize your processes so that your customer spends as little time on hold as possible.
And if they do have to be on hold, which happens, make sure:
- That they get updates every 30 seconds which tells them how long they can expect to stay on hold
- They have the option to leave their name and phone number and have you call them back at a convenient time they can schedule
And, this often gets overlooked, but make sure your hold music is pleasant. Screeching, annoying music only antagonizes already irritated customers.
So yes, it requires a lot of work to optimize your customer service team’s performance.
But it’s worth it because how you handle customer service issues can grow your name (and sales) far and wide when consistently done well.