5 things that are NOT relevant in modern customer service
Think like a customer, Act as an employee!
What is customer service? It may include several things and hold different meanings. Perhaps, it’s a term that is extremely important for all businesses. Coming to a proper definition, there is no certain or exact description. Different organisations may try doing unique things to achieve the goal of keeping customers happy and satisfied but they also fall prey to customer service myths. Let us see some of the popular definitions-
As per Paul Mckinsey– ‘Customer service is the act of taking care of the customer’s needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high-quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer’s requirements are met.’
Shep Hyken defines – ‘Customer service is not a department. It is a philosophy that includes every person and aspect of the best and brightest companies.’
According to Wiki – ‘Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees “who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest”.’
However a business may define it, the ultimate goal of customer service is to attract and retain the customers. A company takes various steps to achieve these goals. But, the question is – are your customer service strategies effective? Or, you are just going with the flow? Is your business well-positioned to take care of its customers by understanding their needs?
There are numerous tips and advises for great customer service. As important as it is to do the right things, so is the need to avoid doing WRONG things. Relying on outdated ways can do more loss than profit. Debunking five customer service myths to guide what should NOT be done-
1. Ditch those CHEESY lines
‘Thank you for being a valued customer.’ ‘Your association is very important to us.’
All such lines have been in the templates or scripts since ages. Unfortunately, the magic they did earlier is no more applicable now. Modern customers are no longer accepting the cheesy lines used to make them feel happy. Instead, they expect accurate service and better awareness. It’s high time for the customer service representatives to get rid of the scripts and be genuinely committed to help and retain the customers.
Possible solution – Go with the flow! Yes, the customers are human and so are you, so put yourself in their shoes and treat them as you’d want to be. Make use of technology to dig into their history to know them and create better experiences.
2. Don’t create the WAIT-and-HOLD world
‘We appreciate your patience.’ ‘ I understand you’re frustrated but…’
Well, almost everyone has heard this line from customer service executives on a call, in-store, on chat or email while making a complaint or reporting an issue. In a world of 5G and Li-Fi, speed matters. It is simply not acceptable for a customer to wait unnecessarily for known or common issues. If they have to wait once, they will almost not be back ever.
Recommended change – Go for effective customer service! It’s not about hiring more employees for quicker resolutions. But, providing adequate training and empowering the employees to make decisions and addressing the concerns. Thus, shortening the cycle and ensuring service excellence.
3. REWARD points do not make up for mistakes
Kolsky reports that 91% of disappointed customers chose to leave rather than raise a complaint.
It’s known to one and all that most of the customers do not bother to complain. They choose to leave for better service. In fact, they tend to tell the people around about their bad or dissatisfactory experiences. So, it’s not only the loss of a single customer. But, it also brings along negative word-of-mouth marketing which leads to quite a big loss. A common way to address such issues has been giving discounts or reward points. It really doesn’t work now. With so many alternatives in the market, this scheme cannot guarantee customer retention.
Quick tip – Focus on providing ‘proactive’ customer service. The idea is to ensure once a complaint has been resolved, definite actions should be taken to prevent all such issues further. Also, be transparent, keep on checking with customers, record their feedback and make extensive use of analytics to study the graph and employ strategies.
4. AUTOMATION is nice, but humans are wise
As reported, around 30% of consumers state that being unable to reach a real human is the most frustrating part of a bad customer service experience.
Yes, we are in a tech-driven world and automation is indeed a game-changer. Still, the essence of human touch is irreplaceable. It’s not advisable to be in the mad rush to implement bots or automated customer service just because everybody is doing it. If not positioned correctly, this automated service can be problematic than helpful. Customers can be severely pissed off due to misguided or never-ending loop of automated help.
Reality check – Adopt automated service in incremental steps. For instance, reduce human efforts in entry-level or first level concerns and gradually moving to other areas. Also, don’t lose human touch as it is very important for the customers to feel connected to the business. Use self-service and automated technology to ease repetitive workload on employees so that they can focus on business-critical work.
5. LIMITING the scope of customer service
‘Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job.’
This quote is quite relevant to modern times. New businesses or even the old biggies are trying to be customer-centric in all the ways. Still, the scope of customer service becomes limited just to the department. Not a good sign! Customer service is all about doing what has been promised and exceeding the expectations in all terms. Customers tend to shift away if they are just dragged or do not get the attention personally at every stage of the customer journey.
Actionable advice – Customer service should be an essential element of your organisation. It should be the responsibility of one and all such that customers can associate with you as well as be loyal. And, for that, it is also essential to have employees as your genuine advocates not just for the sake of a job.
Go Accurate and be Affectionate!
Times are changing and the millennial customers hard to retain. It is becoming crucial for businesses to do the right things as well as refrain from wrong moves. A negative experience or inappropriate action can be quite harmful. Serve your customers by leveraging the right technology and effective approaches far from the customer service myths. Let your customers feel connected beyond business.
Don’t just follow the tribe; create your own customer service vibe.