Every brand wants to pride itself on exceptional customer service. After all, customer support is one of the most decisive factors in a business’s success. But the reality is that flawless support is not so simple to achieve, and customer service mistakes happen.
At the end of the day, customer service agents, as well as those in charge of mapping a support strategy, are human. And as humans, we’re inescapably prone to error. But how strongly can customer service mistakes affect your brand? Let’s look at statistics to find out:
- 68% of consumers say they are willing to pay more to a brand known to offer good customer service experiences. (Source: HubSpot)
- 78% of customers have backed out of buying due to poor customer service. (Source: Glance)
- 89% of consumers have switched to doing business with a competitor after a bad customer experience. (Source: Harris Interactive)
To give your brand the best chance at building a satisfied client base, it’s essential to know the most common customer service mistakes to avoid. The good news? You don’t have to make those mistakes to learn – others have already made them.
This article will reveal six common customer service mistakes as well as what you can do to avoid them. Let’s jump right in!
1. Not Fully Understanding Customer Needs
Before you can serve your customer, you need to know your customer. Basic demographic information helps, but businesses need to dig deeper to fully understand their audiences. The real motives, wants, and needs of a customer may not be very obvious at first glance.
As a business owner or strategist, you need to take your research beyond surface-level data to penetrate to the deeper layers of your customers’ challenges. Once you have a solid idea of what problems your clients have and how your business can solve them, you can pitch your offer much more effectively.
To access those deeper insights, of course, you’ll need to analyze the data you have at hand. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But this is where many businesses fail. This takes us to our next point.
2. Not Utilizing Data
There is an enormous volume of user data available online, yet not every company takes advantage of it. Each and every customer interaction, visit, chat, review, and survey can turn into a valuable knowledge base if you collect and retain the information.
Having access to historical data will enable you to measure and reassess your brand’s support experience. Many businesses don’t take the necessary measures or lack the tools to collect past data and thus treat every new client interaction as a clean sheet.
But if agents had supporting data, they would approach the customer from a different standpoint. Imagine how drastically different the assisting experience would be if the agent knew more about the client’s background or how those types of issues had been resolved before.
When it comes to gathering and analyzing information, especially if there’s a lot of it, artificial intelligence tools are what you need. Once your business’s audience grows to a certain point, it’s worth investing in AI customer service. AI can become a game-changer and take your support experience to the next level.
3. Limiting Support to One Channel
Different people prefer different platforms, which is also reflected in their choice of support channels. When your brand is not available on a platform where users need you to be, you miss the perfect opportunity to connect with them. That right there is one of the biggest customer service mistakes.
More and more clients expect immediate assistance regardless of the channel they use. But due to the lack of resources, a significant number of businesses still fail to provide quick, high-quality service across multiple platforms.
Forbes reports that companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement retain 89% of their customers, while those with weak omnichannel strategies only achieve 33%. That’s quite a big jump in numbers!
The most demanded channels for customer support are social media networks, email, live chat, chatbot, and phone calls. So to make sure to be where the consumer is, your business should be reachable through all the mentioned channels.
4. Making Clients Wait
We hear you: Providing real-time assistance is challenging enough, and time zone differences don’t make it easier. This issue is especially pressing if your business operates globally. Still, customers need your help, whether it’s 12 pm or 12 am.
Lack of availability and late responses are some of the biggest frustrations clients face. If a business doesn’t resolve or at least address a query quickly, it risks losing the client’s loyalty. Quality support and responsiveness go hand in hand and often end up shaping your customer experience.
Some businesses claim to provide 24/7 help yet don’t truly live up to the promise, which is a common mistake in customer service. The best way to avoid this is to combine the forces of your support team and an automated assistant. This way, your agents won’t be as overwhelmed with a constant influx of questions, while your clients will still get instant responses when they contact you.
5. Not Using Feedback to Improve
Customer feedback is not something to be taken lightly, as it can make or break a company’s image. According to Microsoft, brands are viewed more favorably by 77% of consumers if they invite and accept customer feedback.
Improving based on user feedback starts with developing a mechanism to collect it. Whether it’s through email, comment section, or feedback form on your website, give customers the means to voice their opinions. This will also help you understand clients better, the importance of which we discussed in the first point.
Once you do gather the feedback, that’s where the real work begins. It’s vital that you actively respond to messages and act on the suggestions you receive. Sometimes companies leave feedback unanswered for days on end, which is a common mistake in customer service.
A timely response to the comments and messages your clients leave will show that you value their opinions. Taking each constructive feedback into serious consideration and making an effort to improve is the best way to prove your commitment to your customers’ happiness.
As a small business owner, you can even dedicate some time to getting in touch with customers yourself to create a more personal, stronger bond.
6. Not Investing in Staff Training
Remarkable customer support isn’t achieved overnight. It’s a continuous and systematic process that demands investment – be it in the form of time, money, or energy. Each support team has its strong and weak points, and it’s crucial to know both to prevent customer service mistakes.
Customer service progresses and transforms as new trends and requirements emerge. What worked five years ago might be an outdated practice today. That's why it's essential to periodically invest in staff training and ensure that your team is up to date with the latest industry standards.
Great Customer Support Matters
Customer support is detrimental to your business’s success. Consumers nowadays have a wider choice than at any other point in history, so now is the time to amp up your customer service and ensure a loyal client base.
With a deeper understanding of which customer service mistakes to avoid, you can equip your business with the right tools and support strategy.