How to Avoid Providing a Bad Customer Communication Experience: The Do’s and Don’t
The single, most important component at the heart of every successful business is good customer communication.
Good customer communication is critical in engaging with your customers. Every interaction point between the customer and your company, from marketing campaigns, media marketing, or customer support calls, presents a chance to establish relationships with your target audience.
Doing it the right way can lead to a successful relationship between the customer and the company. A good customer-company relationship is beneficial to both parties, meeting the expectations and needs of the customer while enabling the company to thrive, and as it meets more needs to scale up, and succeed.
In this article, we’ll provide you with some customer service improvement strategies that are essential for ensuring better customer service. As well as poor customer service examples and how to avoid it.
What is Bad Customer Service?
Bad customer service happens when a company is unsatisfactory in meeting the needs and expectations of its customers in terms of service quality, response time, or overall customer experience.
When you don’t learn what your business is doing wrong and how to fix it, or when you provide unsatisfactory customer service expectations, your clients, existing or intended, will take their business where they feel they get value.
A study asked over 2,000 adults in the United States the following question: “Have you switched to a different business as a result of poor customer service?”
49% of participants indicated they had switched, with 67% having switched more than once.
Every statistic and fact suggests that the absence of good customer service can lead to a business’s decline. But why is it so important?
Why Good Customer Service is Important for Business Success?
A smart business starts with the consumer’s best interests in mind.
So, if you’re serious about building a healthy, big business or expanding your current reach, it’s vital to understand why customer service is so essential.
Jim Rohn, an American author, and entrepreneur once said “One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.”
If you want your business to make progress, these are some of the reasons why you must find ways to improve customer service in your business.
- Customer retention is less expensive than customer acquisition
We all know that it costs almost five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer. If it’s so expensive to lose one customer, why take the risk? Your company should be doing whatever it takes to keep customers happy and coming back.
- Good service equals more money
Almost all business decisions are driven by profits. It’s how businesses determine success or failure. The bottom line is the top priority, whether it happens immediately or is slightly delayed.
And this is why customer service for business is so important. It directly corresponds to earnings. According to the book Marketing Metrics, businesses have a 60 to 70% opportunity to sell to current customers while only a 5% to 20% chance of selling to a new prospect.
- Happy customers, good reputation
The person who said that a good reputation is worth more than gold was right. In business, reputation is everything.
A good business reputation translates to an increase in growth. There’s a reason why rating services like Yelp and Trustpilot are doing so well.
- Free advertisement
Word-of-mouth advertising is cheap and a highly effective form of advertising.
When your customers are happy with your service, they talk to others about it, without any incentives or you paying a dime.
People are also much more inclined to follow the recommendation of a friend than they are to follow the suggestions of something an ad or someone said online.
- Skyrockets your brand popularity
Great customer experiences are extremely important for any brand’s awareness. Because when your brand awareness strategy is based on customer loyalty, it results in genuine and long-term growth.
- Influences employees and work culture
Employees are keenly aware of how a company treats its customers. When they see their boss or senior colleagues treat their customers like gold, they notice and it influences them. Especially if the departments/ teams are united under the purpose of valuing every customer. Making them excited to be a part of the team and more inclined to see a future long-term at the company.
- Attract the right kind of people
Everybody wants to be part of a good thing. With people saying good things about your company, the right people will begin to take notice.
Talented employees will start knocking on your door. Investors and partners will sit up and take notice.
These are at the top of our list but not all of the reasons why better customer service is good for your business.
What are Customers Looking for in Customer Service?
There are certain needs and expectations the customer is looking for as a part of your service. Some of these are:
- Seamless experience
Your customers are expecting a simple, easy-to-follow, hassle-free experience from every point at which your product/service intercepts with the public. Optimize each point in the process to be more customer-focused. A customer journey map will help in doing this because it identifies potential friction points and how to remove or minimize them.
- Expertise and Professionalism
No customer wants to trust companies who don’t seem to know what they are doing. They much prefer to deal with experienced professionals. It’s easier for the customer to be loyal when they believe you have the expertise and knowledge.
- Fast response time
Every customer wants instant service, they want their products/service and they want it now. When it comes to customer service, speed is especially important.
Customers dislike being put on hold. When they contact a company, they expect an answer asap, not twelve hours later! Optimize and rework your response times, whether on social media, chat boxes, or other messaging platforms to reflect this. The best time to respond to your customer is in minutes, not hours or days.
- A company that cares
People want to be treated well. Remember that your customers are people, not numbers. Look for opportunities to connect with your target audience as well as existing customers and get to know them. Show you care about the things they care about.
If you get all of the above right but aren’t consistent in these qualities, you’re going to lose the loyalty of your customers because they don’t know if they can trust who you say you are. They want a consistent, predictable, and positive experience.
5 Examples of Bad Customer Service
Let’s take a look at some examples of real-world situations of terrible customer service.
- A business coach once told the story of a business that approached him for a consultation. They told him that one of their biggest problems was finding customers for their product. When he looked into it, they seemed to be doing most of the right things and he was not sure why they weren’t seeing results. Only to go to their Facebook account and see hundreds of backlogged unanswered messages from customers asking for the products.
- Someone on Reddit shared that a few years ago he called the Bank of America, with a question that he wanted to be handled by a live agent. As the call was going through, he had to listen through each new menu with the woman speaking too slowly.
When she finally connects him with someone, it turns out he’s in the wrong place and has to be transferred. He goes through the process of waiting again and gets a hold of another person who asks for all his info before even giving him time to ask his question. This happened two more times before he found himself speaking with an agent who said he was from an entirely different bank!
- Another user ordered and paid for wallpaper through Home Depot’s website. It arrived with one roll badly damaged so they went to the store to return it. An 80-year-old woman was manning the computer and could not figure out how to process the return. The customer waited for 15 minutes while she made various attempts.
The woman finally told him that there was nothing she could do and that they should just go away and come back another day. She just refused to call anyone. or to take any further suggestions to help the customer and didn’t care whether “come back another day” was convenient for them.
- A Jewelry company customer and his wife walked into the company store for a 6 months warranty checkup. As they were waiting for their paperwork, the wife saw a necklace she liked, and wanted to see it. The Sales lady started talking to them about applying to pay through a credit card. They informed her they just wanted to look at the necklace up close, but not buy it immediately. She instantly grabs the necklace back and walks away without another word to them.
- A United Airlines passenger reported to the airline that their baggage handlers destroyed his custom-made guitar. He made a lot of calls and had to spend $1,200 on repairs. So the musician made it into a song and posted it on Youtube. It had over 24,000 views within 48 hours and reached millions of views in no time. The airline saw the video and tried to reach out to him. But the incident reportedly cost the company $180 million (ten percent of its share value) in 2009.
Things That Do Not Work in Customer Communications Anymore
There are several things that businesses do that don’t work in customer communications anymore and may be inflaming complaints about bad customer service
No or unclear communications strategy
Customers can use any platform, social media, email, etc to communicate with you. So you need a strategy that helps you to be on top of your communications game and not miss out on any message coming your way from any of your platforms.
A lack of customer service strategy creates a bad experience for your customers. Most of whom will move on to a competitor before you even see their message.
Long Wait Times
No one likes being made to wait. Yet, it’s one of the most common problems in customer service. Enterprises often think it’s better to have a process and a procedure for everything. Which is a great way to keep track of things and ensure that the person gets the right help.
But when your process is devoid of efficiency and your clients experience troubles accessing your product or service, it’s in your best interest to resolve the issue ASAP. Especially when other solutions are just a click away.
Unhelpful Support Staff
Having an inept team can result in the worst customer service experience.
If your company is guilty of this, it may be unable to provide proactive support, resulting in the loss of loyal customers, a deterioration in your brand’s reputation, and an increase in customer complaints.
Ignoring Customer Feedback
Make an effort to listen to your customers. Create avenues for them to share their thoughts on what works and what needs improving. Be open to any suggestions they may have.
It’s worth it because they direct your attention to the areas that require improvement. One of the biggest areas people have a problem with is the security and safety of their data. With two-factor authentication API, they can be assured that their information is safe from malicious attacks.
Bad Attitude towards Customers.
Customers feel wronged and taken advantage of when a product or service fails. They want an apology for the inconvenience caused.
Your rep should not be rude towards a customer because they are speaking in a frustrated or high-pitched manner. Of course, they would be agitated, no one likes to be wronged or cheated.
Losing touch with your customers.
Do not treat your customers as a one-time transaction. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that customers are human beings with emotions, needs, etc. And we treat them like statistics, numbers, or means to a bigger profit.
This often happens as companies expand and grow. Losing track of a customer-centric culture means that you have failed to put the customer at the center of your business. If a company loses touch with its customers, it ceases to grow, and everything falls apart.
5 Best Practices & Tips for Improving Your Customer Communications
Some of the tips and practices essential to customer service problem solving include:
All communication synced
Every business needs a unified platform where customer data is held to regulate all communications in a coordinated way. This enables increased response capacity and ensures promptness and efficiency at all points of contact. Which is why having an omnichannel messaging platform is critical.
Omni Channels help you respond to customer requests across your multiple channels effectively. Smaller businesses may not have the resources to assign such tasks to one person. It helps them to effectively manage customer service for small businesses.
Optimize response times
To keep up with customer expectations and provide swift responses, it’s important to create an automated messaging system that informs customers how long they would have to wait. Let them decide they can wait. Provide alternatives for those who decide it’s too long. A simple way for them to request a callback or leave a message for your team. Using SMS to improve customer communications may be one of the best ways to do this
Make it easy to find help.
Consumers today are much more sophisticated and technically savvy, but they still want it to be straightforward to find solutions to their problems. Ensure that your customers have easy access to customer support services. It goes without saying that your customer service you should keep your customers informed. A great way to do so is through bulk text messaging or enterprise message services. You can reach 99.9% of your customers with helpful messages anywhere in the world.
Competent and empathetic support staff
The way your staff handles your customers is a direct reflection of your company. Train your staff to respond with empathy, putting themselves in the customer’s and checking if the response they are giving is the ideal one if they were in the other person’s shoes. When a customer has a complaint, they should listen and then apologize, before looking into the issue. This is saying to the customer that you care about them and that you want to help. This boosts the performance of better customer service.
Build the culture
Creating a customer-centric culture is more difficult than it seems. To prevent a negative customer experience, creating such a culture within an organization is key. Top management must develop a straightforward and recognizable vision in order to cultivate a customer-focused culture. Then communicate your customer service vision to your employees. Then you can employ customer-centric campaigns based on data gathered from analytic tools like short links, knowing you have staff aligned to solving customer service problems.
The bottom line
Customers need to know that they are important to you. Customer communication is an essential component of good business because it is a chance to establish and keep a long-term relationship with a loyal audience.
By following our guide on how to improve your customer service for your business, you will not only eliminate the negative impact of poor customer service, but you will also build long-term customer relationships and brand loyalty.