You’ve probably run into social media posts or blogs that detail customer service horror stories: being left on hold for what seems like forever, inept representatives unable to answer questions, or even complaints going unnoticed. You may even have personally experienced customer service representatives that left you frustrated or irate. 

Unsurprisingly, customer service can greatly affect your business. NewVoiceMedia reports that companies in the US lose about $41 billion due to bad customer experience. Additionally, 58% of customers choose to patronize competitors after inadequate service. Meanwhile, 59% of 25 to 34-year-old customers will share their poor customer experiences online.

No business is perfect. Mistakes can happen, but some mistakes are far more damaging than others. Whether you have your own team or are taking advantage of customer support outsourcing, it’s crucial to review some of the biggest customer service mistakes that can impact your business—and how to avoid them. 

  1. Being hard to reach or inaccessible

    Your customer wants to reach out to you about their concerns as soon as they can. Making it difficult for them to contact you, whether due to a lack of contact details or a delayed response, can get them even more upset. 

    Having your phone number and other pertinent details easily accessible on your pagecoupled with 24/7 call or chat support shows that you take customer service and satisfaction seriously. With round-the-clock support, your business can address client needs and issues when it is convenient for them.

  2. Over-promising and under-delivering

    It’s understandable to want to provide the best service for your customers, sometimes even going above and beyond their expectations. Unfortunately, delivering these promises can be another matter entirely. If you promised your customer a solution after one business day but failed to deliver, you are not only frustrating your customer.  You are also driving them to question your trustworthiness.

    The best way to address this issue is to manage your client’s expectations. You need to be able to reach a compromise where the client is satisfied with the solution while delivering realistic and achievable results. 

  3. Lacking self-service options 

    Having a responsive customer service staff is non-negotiable. Aside from that, providing your customers with important information that allows them to resolve concerns on their own can be a great bonus for your customer service.  

    A lack of self-service options may frustrate customers who dislike having to call customer support. With that in mind, the best practice is to have an FAQ page that your customers can check at any time. Having easily accessible resources that allow customers to help themselves shows your dedication to their overall experience. It also takes the burden off your customer service staff, allowing them to field more complicated issues.

  4. Sending canned responses

    When a customer comments a concern on your page or sends a message, a canned or automated response can do more harm than good. Not only can a canned response be ineffective in resolving the issue, but it can also make the customers feel their issues are being ignored.

    Automated responses are not entirely bad nor useless, but make sure to customize them so that they still provide value to your customers. If a customer messages your business on Facebook, but your social media support agents are busy, send an automated message that provides your customer with alternative methods to contact you.

    Of course, the best solution is to address concerns promptly, rather than leaving the customer with a canned response. Having 24/7 call and chat support can also ensure that the issue can be addressed as soon as the need arises.

  5. Lacking unified documentation

    Having multiple lines of communication open to your clients can make you more accessible. However, the benefits of this arrangement can fall apart if they must keep giving their information with every interaction.

    Take advantage of the various tools available to best organize your customer service data and make them easily accessible by your representatives. With this, you reduce the chances of miscommunication and confusion, and the customer service process can go smoothly.

  6. Treating new customers better than existing loyal customers

    Increasing your customer base is important for growth. However,  don’t let your existing customer take the backseat. It is also important that your loyal customers are given the same attention, or else they may decide to take their business elsewhere.

    The cost of acquiring a new customer is much higher than keeping an existing one, even five times more, by some estimations. Make your client base feel that their patronage is valued by setting up a customer loyalty program. Giving repeat customers added benefits make them more motivated to keep patronizing your business.

  7. Ignoring customer service metrics

    It’s not enough to deliver good customer service and leave it at that. Continuous improvement is needed for your business to grow. In order to make the right improvements, you need the right data.  

    There is a wealth of information that can be gained by monitoring your customer service strategies. If you’re working with a customer support outsourcing company, you have access to valuable data and insights. Consult with your customer support provider on which Key Performance Indicators and metrics you should track and monitor.  

  8. Cutting back on customer service training

    Providing customer service training and continuous learning opportunities for your support agents are non-negotiable. Delivering good customer service isn’t something that anyone is skilled at from the get-go. Your representatives may have an idea of what to do or what not to do, but that may not be enough when new situations arise. 

    Investing in customer service training will allow you to maintain high-quality service while equipping your staff with the necessary skills to help them improve their overall performance. 

Be Proactive!

Customer service can make all the difference in your client’s experience. At the end of the day, mistakes can be avoided by putting your customer first. Consistently examining your processes and features ensures that each transaction go can smoothly, and every issue is addressed correctly and in a timely manner.

Now that you’ve learned about damaging customer service mistakes, find out how stellar customer support can grow your business.

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