Ask any business about customers or customer support and you’ll hear them say, almost by rote, of course, all our customers are equally important, and our customer support division is working flat out just to make sure that they are always happy. But how often is this the truth? How often do customers ask for support, only to be made to feel insignificant or frustrated? How often are their grievances resolved in one call?
Regardless of the size of the business, it is important to have a dedicated customer support division. Customer wrath, when not contained, can come back to haunt the company. A happy customer might or might not spread the word about your company but a disgruntled one will be sure to tell everyone who’s willing to listen. Especially in this information age, when all it takes is a Tweet or a post on Facebook to instantly reach millions of people.
So, how do we avoid such a scenario? How do we ensure that our customers are happy with us? How can we develop a responsive customer service?
Don’t say no and don’t pass the buck. One of the favorite responses of customer service reps is that the problem is way over his or her head and it can only be resolved by someone above them. There is almost nothing that they can do except pass it on to the next level, which usually means that the customer has to wait much longer.
Ensure that all your reps are responsible and accountable. If they cannot pass the call immediately onto the next level, they should try to engage the customer and solve as much as they can. Even if they are unable to resolve the complaint, the customer will know that the rep tried.
Track all media/channels of communication. As mentioned earlier, in today’s world, with so many channels of communication available, don’t wait for the customer to call you or write an email. Track as many channels as you can so that you never have to miss a customer’s grievance, especially social media. You’re being talked about, whether or not you participate in the conversation.
Imagine how bad it is to see your support being derided in front of everyone. Now imagine how it would be if you respond immediately and the whole world gets to see it.
Use technology. With so many customer support tools available, it’s almost criminal to not adopt them for your own use. Post-its and notepads are unreliable and telephones could have long waiting queues which emails and helpdesks don’t. Deploy an effective CRM or help desk software so that you can track all complaints from a single interface so that you never miss a complaint.