According to Microsoft’s most recent Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report, over 60% of consumers have ceased business with a brand due to a poor customer service experience. Though it may not have escalated to losing your business entirely, you too, have likely experienced poor customer service. Customer service is the backbone of a successful business, regardless of industry/sector. Here we’ve provided 3 important variables that could be lowering your service score and ultimately hurting your business.
Consumers pay your wage.
The equation is simple: No consumers = No business
No business = No job
No job = No need for you
The income generated from sales made is turned into a profit which then pays the overhead (i.e., employee salary), amongst other things. This is not about who’s “right,” or “wrong.” There will be plenty of times a consumer becomes frustrated at no fault of the business. How you handle that consumer is what will make or break their experience. How you speak to them, the body language used (if face-to-face), and how you come to a mutual accommodation of their needs while not hurting the business are all best practices that should be learned prior to interfacing with a consumer. Give an honest effort to see through from their perspective. There’s nothing more obvious that someone who is ingenuine.
Communication is key.
Arguably the most important part of customer service is proper communication. Training should be provided to employees who interface with consumers to ensure they are providing the best service possible. Proper communication is achieved through the following:
- Listen first, then speak.
- Know your audience. Not all customers are the same and should be approached accordingly.
- Verbally acknowledge their concern to let them know you understand.
- If possible, be on the same level as them and mimic their body language.
- Be clear in explaining policies and procedures as necessary.
- Remain calm and involve a manager if the situation escalates.
Lack of Continuous Improvement.
In a world facing perpetual change, consumers’ needs will shift and your business should accommodate those needs accordingly. Things like what service channels you provide or improving the products/services you provide will keep your consumers interested and problem free. If you’re firm on remaining the same and avoiding change you, in turn, avoid growth and will likely face a quick demise.
Customer service is severely lacking in many industries and in a time when one bad review on social media can greatly harm your business, it should be taken more seriously. There’s no better time to implement change than the new year!
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