Poor customer service is something that ruins businesses. It only takes one bad experience for a customer to feel undervalued, underappreciated, and to walk away from your business, even if they love the quality of the product or service that you offer. With this in mind it is important to understand what it is that makes for good customer service and what your customers should do when they receive poor customer service from you.
Let’s look at what we would advise a customer to do in a situation where they are on a phone call with a customer service agent and feel like they are being treated unfairly. It will help you, as a business owner, to understand certain triggers for customers, and to think about new ways in which you can develop a better quality of customer service. If your customers are found to routinely activate certain types of actions, such as the following, on a regular basis, it could mean long-term problems for your company unless you make a significant change to your customer service plans.
The first is when your customers feel so frustrated that they hang up and call back. There are instances of poor customer service where a customer is left hanging on the line for ages. This could be in the initial queue waiting for the first customer service agent to answer the phone, or in a case where you have been speaking to a customer service agent and they have abruptly ended the call and placed you back in the queue to wait for another agent. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than having to wait all over again, and then explain your situation afresh to someone completely new.
Another thing that we would advise customers to do when receiving bad customer service is to ask for a manager when confronted with a customer service agent who is obstructive and not providing the expected standard of service. Asking for a manager or supervisor is a way of escalating a problem to desperately try to find the answer to your query as a customer. In some case escalation is an effective way to deal with an issue, but if it is a regular occurrence on customer service calls it can signpost that there is a serious problem with your current team.
Another warning sign is when customers feel obliged to write an official letter of complaint to your company. This is escalation in desperation, after failing to find an answer by speaking to your customer service team on the phone, and in most cases after trying to speak to a manager. It is a last resort and should be an incredibly rare occurrence for any business.
If your customer service agents are finding that customers are employing the above tactics on a regular basis it might be time to rethink your strategy as a business. Customer service should always be front and centre of any development plan for a business and if there are many complaints and issues that customers are finding with your existing customer service approach you should change the way you are delivering it.
One of the best things you can do is to seek professional support in the form of a contact centre service. A professional call centre team can act as an addition to your existing customer service team (as an overflow service or an out-of-hours service) or act as your sole customer service team. They will be highly trained in your brand, products and services, and help to raise customer service standards.