Can customers get a human being on the phone? Are your service reps rude? Do you require too many steps to resolve issues? Does your support team provide unhelpful solutions? These are just a few examples of top gripes from U.S. consumers.
The reality is these scenarios are symptomatic of root issues, which can be solved with an internal overhaul of your customer service operations. It’s an inside job.
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Solve Common Customer Service Challenges
Your good customer service intentions can easily become an afterthought as you scale. But when you reinforce a customer’s feeling that your product or service has met their expectations you can compete on a new level – customer experience.
Poor customer experiences result in an estimated $83 billion loss by US enterprises each year because of defections and abandoned purchases. (Source: Parature) Tweet This
So let’s take a closer look at your pre and post purchase path and identify internal customer service challenges and practical solutions:
Challenge #1: How should we manage customer service channels?
How do you decide which customer service channels to activate? From phone handling, in person and email to social media, live chat and help desk software it can be daunting to identify the best means to serve customers.
Consider starting with a customer-centric approach; define a process and make it stress-free for customers to get help. Most importantly, gather and consolidate data at each touchpoint to provide a unified customer-facing experience.
Challenge #2: When should we outsource customer service operations?
As your small business scales, customer service needs will grow. Your needs may not require a large call center, but you realize that in-house solutions (i.e. going at it alone or hiring freelancers) is not a feasible long-term solution.
Before you outsource customer service identify interaction volume, the complexity of customer’s needs and the time you are currently spending. If the cost outweighs the benefits it is time to outsource your small business customer service needs.
Challenge #3: How can we maintain a consistent and high-quality customer service experience?
“Companies that prioritize the customer experience generate 60% higher profits than their competitors.” (Source: Leading on the Edge of Chaos) Improving the customer experience starts with the definition and unification of interactions.
Everyone should have a clear understanding of what great customer service “looks and feels” like. Once you define your ideal customer experience, develop a simple roadmap of customer service conduct, how to handle customer complaints and manage dispute resolution. Empower your team to become solution-oriented instead of problem-focused.
Challenge #4: How can we proactively address mounting customer expectations?
It’s no secret that in today’s digital age, your customer expects more – especially in channel availability. Managing customer expectations starts with clearly communicating contact points.
Did you know? 41 percent of consumers expect an email response within six hours, yet only 36% of U.S. companies respond that quickly…14% never respond at all. – Internet Retailer Tweet This
If you offer phone support do customers know how long they should expect to hold? Do you offer easy to use online or social media support? Are email support, online ticketing, and knowledge bases readily available? Don’t assume customers know how to engage your company. Set communication expectations and preclude stress and performance issues while enhancing user experience.
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