5 Mistakes that kill customer satisfaction

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ensuring excellent customer satisfaction is just one of the many goals of every business. It enhances customer experience and influences a brand's reputation. With its ability to affect the public's purchasing decisions, it's also responsible for sales growth the expansion of a company's consumer base.

If you want your customers to choose you over other competing brands, then knowing their needs and their preferences is crucial. This knowledge can affect the quality of the products and services that you develop and, most importantly, your overall business relationship with your demographic.

Sometimes, employees tend to take for granted the smallest things that can turn customers off. To help ensure customer satisfaction, here are some common mistakes that can hurt your business relationship with your customers:

1.   Frequent call transfers

When customers call regarding an issue, they want immediate solutions. This means they expect the first person they get in touch with to be capable of answering questions and offering solutions. One of the reasons why clients get easily irritated is when their calls get transferred multiple times from one representative to another. Though this is inevitable in some cases (such as when the responding agents are not well-equipped with the right information), you can still reduce the chances of it happening. Here, you can hold frequent training sessions to ensure that every agent is indeed capable of addressing a wide variety of customer concerns. You can also inspect your hotline's call routing system to prevent callers from being routed to the wrong department.

2.   Repetitive conversations

Nobody likes to repeat themselves, especially not your customers. They already feel like they're being inconvenienced, and having to repeat themselves simply adds to their frustration. This shows that your agents lack the both the ability to listen well and empathize with the customer's situation, and a clear indication of poor customer satisfaction. As mentioned, clients want immediate answers that require agents to be very attentive and proactive during the course of the conversation. As a solution, ensure that your pool of agents pay close attention to the needs of the customers. This can be done by having them take down notes and then reiterate the important details of the concern.

3.   Lack of follow-ups

Some customer care issues may take a longer time to be fixed and might require a few hours or even days to be fully resolved. This means that you need to guarantee clients that you'd keep them updated. Here, call center agents can either offer to give the customers a call when the issue at hand has finally been, or regularly update them via email as the resolution progresses. So when you say you’d call or send an email to them on a certain date, be sure to do so as this reflects the company’s genuine concern and effort to get things fixed on time.

4.   Talking over the customer

Like any normal conversation, the engagement between the customer and the call center agent over the phone also needs to follow the same interaction etiquette. This can be a tad bit challenging during a call where agents need to follow specific company-sanctioned protocols and, in most cases, even stick to a prescribed script of spiels and legally-binding statements. However, they must be very careful not to be too dominating during the call and end up talking more than listening, or even talking over the customer. If either of these happens, the customer might be forced to repeat themselves or feel inferior and offended in the flow of conversation. So keep in mind not to dominate the interaction so that customers will know that your there to listen and take care of them.

5.   Refusal to take responsibility

Customers don’t expect a perfect service. They assume there will be a stream of flaws along the way. What matters to them is how a company takes responsibility. Do they reach out to customers or do they simply run away? This dictates their satisfaction level on their preferred brands. As such, it's best to always take responsibility when the need arises, apologize when needed, and take the extra mile to satisfy their needs. If possible, you may also offer refunds, store credit, discounts, or waived fees to correct the mistakes and win back the customer's trust.

To ensure repeat service from your clients, avoid these mistakes that kill customer satisfaction. Remember that small complaints, if not properly attended to, can negatively affect your reputation, sales growth, and even your company's competitive edge.