There are very few things more harmful to a business than poor customer service. This has always been the case, but today, bad customer service has a deeper and more immediate impact on a company than in generations before. We have the Internet and social media to thank for that. With these two entities connecting us on a global scale, they have made it simpler for one experience to be shared with the masses. If you are a business, your only hope is that you are on the positive end of that experience.
However, good customer service is not easily achieved. None of us wants to make promises to our customers that can’t be delivered. But in many cases, the contact center can turn into an inadvertent tragedy zone. Despite the best intentions, any kind of policies and decisions will end up negatively affecting your helpdesk service. Here are the most common causes of bad customer service which one should definitely avoid:
As hard as some employees try, it is difficult for them not to be affected by the events of their personal life. This can lead to employees being short with customers on the phone and not effectively finding ways to solve customer problems. It’s important that management encourages employees to communicate their personal problems so those issues don’t spill over to their communication with customers.
Customers are calling or reaching out to customer service for one reason: they want answers. If an agent is unable to provide those answers, then customers become frustrated. Frustration can lead to one of the outcomes we detailed earlier, like sharing their bad experience or simply not doing business with your company moving forward. One way to avoid this is by giving your agents more power to solve problems so that they don’t need to pass on the issue to another agent.
Relying on a Single Business Metric:
If your agents are only focused on achieving a single business metric as their baseline for success, then you are doing a disservice to your customers. The average call time and the number of calls agents are making each hour are certainly part of what determines their performance. But the main focus should be on how agents can connect with customers and resolve their issues.
Lack of Employee Empowerment:
It’s important that agents are empowered enough to actually provide the actions that can solve a customer’s issue. If agents are not empowered, they end up having to pass the customer on to someone else who does have the power to make things happen. This means customers spend longer on the phone and often have to explain their problem more than once. This is one of the top aggravations for customers.
Not Enough Focus on Important Resources:
Agents are the main resource to your customer service. If they aren’t happy or well-trained or feeling empowered, then your customer services suffer. Put in the time, effort, and resources to ensure that agents are prepared and feeling valued. This will significantly improve their output.
When thinking of the causes of bad customer service, this one may not immediately come to mind. However, if your business sees customer service only as a cost, then it impacts how you interact with your agents and the energy you put into helping them improve. Customer service agents need to be seen as much more than a cost. They represent an opportunity to connect directly with clients, which almost no other aspect of your company can claim. Treat your customer service department with the respect it deserves and acknowledges its impact on customer relations and your bottom line.