We’ve gone from a world where the customer’s always right to one where the customer is almost never right, and it seems the pendulum is swinging back again.
Bad customer service has become the norm, but customers aren’t standing for it anymore. Many are showing their distaste for their treatment by spending their money elsewhere. The best thing you can do for your business is developing a customer-focused outlook that helps to prevent bad customer service from happening at all.
Here are three ways to get ready to create your best customer service experience ever:
Empower your customer service agents. When American Express asked its callers what “excellent customer service” meant, by and large they responded that the top qualities for businesses included agents that could answer their questions or handle their problems the first time or who were able to connect them to the person who could. Instead of setting up your first tier customer service people to say no as much as possible, give them more ways to say yes and access to departments that can help.
Offer hassle-free returns. Reverse logistics is a big part of running many businesses, so it’s important that you consider returns from your company’s inception. A hassle-free returns policy may feel like an open door to anyone who wants to return anything for any reason, but it’s really just a way to show your customers how valued they are and how much you trust them. Feel free to put an asterisk on the end and ask for a receipt or that the item be in re-sellable condition – most customers will already know to expect these small requirements.
Teach your CX reps to work off script. Although scripts are a great place to start, customers are really tired of hearing canned responses. The 2015 US Customer Rage Study found that customers want to be spoken to in everyday language. In fact, certain scripted responses really set them off, including “That’s our policy.”
At least 15 percent of respondents actually wanted that phrase permanently banned. If you want your customers to feel like you’re truly on their side, drop the scripts and speak to them directly. This is going to require your customer experience representatives are trained more thoroughly, but the extra effort will pay off.
There’s nothing worse for your business than bad customer service. It may cost a little more in the beginning to devote extra effort getting to the bottom of your customers’ problems, but if you help them find a solution the first time and make the process easy, the frustration you save your customers and your employees will turn into money in the long-run. Customers love businesses that are easy to work with, that’s the company you want to be – not one that turns ugly as soon as any sign of trouble raises its head.