Here’s the thing about the field of customer care- it is largely dependent on interactions. In a highly modernized world, where human interactions seem to be on a decline, the field of customer care still happens to revolve around it. That is proof of the fact that the relationship between a customer and a company is irreplaceable and not to mention, sacred. You may have grabbed the best available cloud contact center software in the market, you may even have gone all out when it comes to hiring the best possible talent; but unless you’re actually meeting the expectations of the customer, you really cannot call yourself a success. Because the harsh truth prevails that your success or failure as a contact center will depend on your customer’s opinion of you.
Unfair? Yes, but true nonetheless. When customers speak about you to their peers, what do you think they talk of? Do they praise the high-tech tools such as the latest versions of cloud calling software that you claim to use? Or do they speak about the kind of service that was meted out to them? The latter, obviously!
Customers don’t care what you do or how you do it as long as you manage to fulfil their needs and give them what they want. You see, mistakes and errors are quite common in this field. After all, each customer is unique and comes with a different set of demands. You’re not going to be able to meet all of them, nor are you expected to. However, there are few common expectations that all customers have.
For instance, no customer wants to be put on hold indefinitely and this is a genuine problem. Similarly, there are quite a few failures that can bring down the whole boat. In the article below, we will discuss a few of the most common yet grave errors that you can make at a cloud call center and how to avoid them. We will also study a few simple tips that can help you with customer recovery. So let’s get started.
A few common mistakes in the field of customer care
I. Having long holding times is almost a cardinal sin in this arena. The world is becoming increasingly fast paced with such advanced technology. In such a generation where all the latest technologies are at your fingertips, you really have no excuse for making your customers hold long. When you make your customers hold for long periods of time, you create the impression that you’re incompetent, lazy, hesitant and reluctant to provide services. There is no use testing the customer’s patience since that will only cost your valuable clients.
II. When you provide services using cloud calling solutions you’re expected to provide efficient and meaningful services. So if you keep transferring the calls of your customers, do you realize what a terrible impression you leave on the customer’s mind? The customer is not only frustrated because he or she hasn’t found an answer to their questions yet, but is also bounced around from agent to agent! In a way, that is outrageous. You’re basically forcing the customer to repeat his problem over and over again till he gives up.
III. When customers call up a call center, they expect to speak to agents who have all the answers to their problems. It might seem unrealistic, but that is the truth. Thus, you can imagine the bitter taste customers leave with if you aren’t able to answer their questions. If a customer comes up with a tricky problem that you aren’t familiar with, don’t beat around the bush or try to distract from the problem in hand. Deal with it in the best possible way or seek help from your superiors.
IV. Every company has certain promises that it makes to its customers. Promises would include the best possible customer care, 24 x 7 all-round support and so on. Now as the company reps, you’re expected to live up to your promises. Customers love a brand that keeps its word. Otherwise, how do you expect your customers to trust anything that you say? And why should they, if you aren’t able to keep up the simple promises that you make?
V. Speaking of promises, another failure would be overpromising but under delivering. Say you make a promise to your customers about something to get them to trust your brand. Now if a customer decides to take you up on it and it turns out, you fall short, what do you think that says about your company? The trick is to under promise and over deliver. By promising less, you ensure that your customers come to you with fewer expectations. With their expectations lowered, you’re able to hit the mark better.
5 common failures in customer care
I. Poorly trained customer care agents are a massive fail when it comes to call centers. Think of your call center agents as the frontrunners, since they are the ones who interact with your customers. The quality of cloud based call center solutions that you provide will be directly proportional to the kind of agents you have. If your agents aren’t trained enough, they are bound to make mistakes like making the customer wait or not being able to satisfy the needs of the customers. Before you let an agent even speak to a customer, you should ensure he or she has had sufficient training.
II. When was the last time you updated your call center cloud software? If you do not have the latest versions of the software, then you could already be losing out on customers. The newer versions are faster, more efficient and better equipped to deal with the workload. Plus, most of them come with attractive features like CRM or even predictive dialing. All of these features have been developed to make customer interactions easier or to enhance customer experience.
III. Have you started omnichannel customer support yet? In 2016, this has to be one of the biggest failures. Today, telephones happen to be outdated with so many channels of communication cropping up. Why should customers have to go to the trouble of actually calling you when they could simply chat with you or even send you a message across social media? Most of your customers today are tech savvy and it is your duty to make provisions for them. You need to install omnichannel support if you haven’t already. Modes of communication like live chat, social media, emails, text messages should be a part of your solutions.
IV. Maybe you haven’t been paying enough attention to the people you’re recruiting to your team. Or you thought you could get away with it and decided to cut a few corners. Well, we do understand why you feel the need to curtail your costs. Running a call center involves too many overhead costs and it might become a tad bit overwhelming. However, while you can settle for the mediocre in the other areas, this is one area you absolutely cannot compromise on. You must strive to get the best possible agents and go all out to acquire them.
V. Inconsistency in your services is one thing that customers absolutely hate. For instance, say a customer calls an agent up for help and is greeted with exceptional service. The customer is pleased and you win over their loyalty. The next time the customer calls, he or she has high expectations based on your services last time. If the agent this time around is incompetent or is unable to provide effective solutions, the customer leaves with a negative impression. You need to be consistent in the services you provide, and make sure you strive for excellence each time.
Tips to avoid customer care failures
Well, now you know about some of the biggest failures and errors that you can make in the field of customer care. Here are a few tips to avoid them:
I. Getting customer feedback is the most efficient way of getting insight into the customers’ minds. Once you’re done with your customer, ask him or her to take a small survey for you or send their feedback to you via message or other modes that you find convenient. Simply gathering feedback won’t help; not working on the feedback you receive is another major failure. Get hold of a software that allows you to acquire customer feedback with ease, analyze and process it and produce results. Based on that, you can pull up your socks and determine if there is scope for improvement.
II. If there has been a mistake on your part, don’t be ashamed to apologize. Customers hate nothing more than customer care agents who are nonchalant or afraid to own up. If you haven’t been able to fulfil the needs of the customer or have made them hold for too long, then you should already have an idea of how frustrated the customer is. A simple apology could go a long in fixing things. After all, the customer and his impression of you is top priority at the end of the day.
III. If you have been able to pinpoint where you’re going wrong, you need to fix the problem. The solution is that simple. Do you think you’ve been hiring the wrong people? Or maybe you haven’t updated your software in ages. Or worse, you haven’t been paying attention to the demands of the customer. None of the problems mentioned above are irreparable. It is never too late if you’re willing to try.
IV. Document your problem and the solution as well. If you’ve made certain changes to the software or to the team, then you need to document what you did and why or how you did it. This will not just be an official record of the changes implemented by you but will also serve for future references. If there are similar problems in the future, your successors will know where to look!
V. Acknowledgment is the key to success in this business. If your team has made a mistake, or if you think your team is guilty of any of the aforementioned failures, then accept it. Being in denial never helped anyone! You need to acknowledge the fact and move on from it. How you treat the issue or how you choose to deal with it will make all the difference.
The case study
Well, now that you have some idea in the various failures and commonly made silly mistakes in customer care, we can assume that you would take necessary steps to rectify your ways. We have even provided you with tips that can help you get over your errors and move past them. We have decided to take it one step further with a case study. The following case study will tell you exactly how a brand can fall due to its failures, no matter what heights it reaches, unless it takes up precautionary measures.
You must have heard of Netflix; after all, that’s where the urban phrase “Netflix and chill” came from. For those who don’t know already, Netflix is a company that allowed you to subscribe to their company for fixed periods of time if you wanted to watch the latest TV shows or movies. There came a time when Netflix became so popular that people would rather surf TV shows and movies at home than go out with their friends! Well, there was a reason why Netflix was so popular. The company allowed people to watch their favourite programs at comparatively lower prices and also offered a responsive website that was easy to handle. Let’s take a look at how some of their failures took a toll on their business.
The problem and the solution
Delving into details, there were quite a few failures and mistakes that Netflix made:
• The company executives, having understood the immense power they had over customers, decided to take it one step further. They doubled the prices. As compared to other brands in the same business, Netflix was now charging almost double.
• Of course, that led to an immediate outrage. Customers who had been loyal to the brand since its inception spoke up and protested against the hike in prices.
• What took everybody by surprise was the egotistical attitude of the company executives. They didn’t seem to care about the customers and were not ready to budge from their stand.
• As a result, complaints started piling up. And it wasn’t just about the increase in prices; it was also about the quality of shows Netflix had. According to some customers, Netflix didn’t update its collection of shows and movies.
• The question arose, if people were paying twice the amount of money, shouldn’t they get the best possible services?
• Maybe Netflix should have conducted a customer-survey to gauge the mood of their customers and assimilate the results into actionable insights using an efficient cloud call center solutions used by Netflix weren’t up to the mark
• Further, Netflix refuses to maintain open lines of communication and doesn’t really believe in keeping their customers in the loop.
• Now where did that leave Netflix? Within a couple of months, Netflix lost a large number of customers and their stock values went down. When we say “large”, we mean literally thousands.
Angering your customers doesn’t help anybody! Customers can walk away and turn their backs on you. Think about it, who’s on the losing end here? YOU! In todays day & age of global competition, you must take a customer pulse before making such radical decisions. Modern tools such as social media, forums and call center cloud solutions, enable you to engage your customers and get their opinions. Don’t take your customer for granted like Netflix did! However, it is never too late to make a full comeback!