8 Reasons Why Customer Service Fails

The right kind of customer service can make the difference between satisfying a customer's basic expectations and building the brand loyalty that will bring that customer back, but many businesses still struggle to make this essential service work. Some of the most common reasons for these failures occur because employees are not given the right customer service training or because the changing expectations created by new technologies are not being met. All eight of the following common issues are avoidable, as is the feeling that they give customers of being undervalued and unsupported.

1. Not Being Available

Customers are becoming accustomed to accessing services at any hour of the day, on any day of the week. If your customer service team is not responding to emails immediately or making themselves available online or by phone whenever assistance is needed, your customer's satisfaction will be affected.

2. Making Customers Work Too Hard

The service might be available 24/7, but if customers have to wait in a queue, talk to a machine, repeat information to different departments, or find their way through a complicated system to reach help, they will soon lose patience. The customer experience should be seamless, so customers can reach the person with the answers quickly.

3. Lack of Knowledge

Customers today are often highly knowledgeable about products and services, armed with information gleaned from the company website. If the customer service team cannot match this knowledge, they will appear unprofessional and unhelpful.

4. Not Recognizing the Customer

Relationship management tools make it possible for customer service agents to call up personal information about a customer from their name, phone number or customer ID. Anyone answering a call should routinely access this information or risk making customers feel undervalued.

5. Lack of Soft Skills

Customer service software can provide a lot of essential knowledge, but it is no substitute for the personal touch. Anyone who is interacting directly with a customer needs to treat them politely and respectfully, paying attention to their needs and managing their experience of the brand to build loyalty.

6. Being Inflexible

Sometimes a creative solution needs to be found to help a unique customer. Representatives who stick too closely to a script, failing to recognize different needs and solutions, will not earn a customer's loyalty.

7. Not Keeping Promises

Actually performing actions as agreed might be the most basic part of providing customer service, but many businesses still fail in this regard, either through technical glitches in the system or because customer service agents lack the training to make sure the changes they make are enacted. If customers don't see promised actions being taken, they will lose their trust in the company and be more likely to look elsewhere.

8. Meeting Expectations, Not Exceeding Them

Providing a level of service that meets basic expectations can ensure that customers report satisfaction, but in order to retain those customers and attract repeat business, it is often necessary to go further. Customer expectations are now so high, thanks to interactive technologies and enhanced experiences, that businesses need to provide fast, interactive, round the clock services if they are to build brand loyalty. Customer service managers need leadership training to ensure that they can keep up to date with the latest ways of interacting with customers while also ensuring that the representatives they lead are providing the right customer experience. [box type="note"]

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