4 of the Biggest Customer Service Mistakes -- and How to Avoid Them
Research shows that companies lose a massive $75 billion every year due to poor customer service. Some of that is due to silly and obvious mistakes while others are due to more complex and counterintuitive issues
Let’s take a look at the 4 most common areas and how you can avoid them for your company:
Mistake #1: Not Responding to Online Reviews
Ninety-one percent of consumers read online reviews on a regular or occasional basis, while 84 percent trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends.
The problem is, online reviews don't always tell the full story. Disgruntled customers with an ax to grind might exaggerate a negative experience with your company. This could have a detrimental impact on your reputation and deter other customers from visiting your online store.
Responding to negative reviews can be beneficial in the long run. This is your opportunity to to own up to any r customer service faults, make it right for the affected party and provide information on what you’re doing to prevent it from happening again to others. .
Research shows that responding to online reviews results in improved ratings on review websites like Yelp and Amazon. Average ratings for hotels on TripAdvisor after managers responded to reviews were 0.12 stars higher than they were before, according to one study.
"While negative reviews are unavoidable, our work shows that managers can actively participate in shaping their firms' online reputations," says Davide Proserpio, who carried out the research.
Mistake #2: Not Appreciating Your Customer Service Staff
Your customer service employees are the bread and butter of your e-commerce organization. These workers are on the frontline -- they take orders, process returns, and upsell products.
Not appreciating your customer service team, however, can result in problems. Research shows that unappreciated employees are likely to leave your organization. Not to mention the loss in morale and sales while they are there.
This is where good leadership matters and when you show your customer service team some love, everyone will be better off. You can reward high-value employees who meet monthly targets with small prizes, for example.Recognize all of your customer service staff, too. "There's power in recognizing people on an individual basis," says Small Business Trends. "You don't have to make it super formal or anything -- a simple slap on the back in the hallway is often sufficient -- but do make sure you're taking the time to call people by their names and recognize individual efforts."
Mistake #3: Not Being Accessible Across All Channels
The relationship between customers and brands has evolved at lightning speed. Now, consumers communicate with companies across multiple digital channels: email, social media, and live chat. If customers can't contact you on these platforms, you're making a simple yet major customer service mistake.
Make sure you are accessible across all channels in order to improve the customer experience. Remember, different demographics favor different communication methods. Fifty-eight percent of millennials, for example, prefer to use text-based communication like live chat when contacting a business and prefer not to call on the phone.
Mistake #4: Not Using Software Automation
If you still rely on slow, manual customer service methods (hint: email), you might alienate your customer base. Ninety percent of consumers say that an immediate response from a company is "important" or "very important" when they have a customer service problem.
Get your team on software that automates many of the tasks associated with customer service like complaint resolution, product recommendations, and upselling. You can use these programs to expedite your customer service processes, improve workflows, and respond to consumers in a quicker timeframe.
Word spreads fast and customer service is one of the most crucial component to grow your e-commerce business and to dominate your niche. Get it right, and you can retain customers, increase your online reputation, and drive sales. Get it wrong, and you could jeopardize everything.