Part 27 – Five Reasons Why Your Customer Service Doesn’t Work

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Every company has some form of customer service, be it phone, web, or social media.  Hopefully, your company uses all three. A lot of times people hate dealing with customer service reps and departments.  Here are five reasons why.

1 – Complicated phone trees.

Everyone is familiar with this.  Your customer has a problem, they may already be upset.  Now your phone system forces them to properly route 3 or 4 levels deep.  Worse yet they can’t get an operator by dialing 0? Why? Because you thought you could use  your corporate phone system to handle customer service, instead of having a dedicated direct-call number. Get a dedicated number with no phone tree.

2 – Making your customers wait

This basically means one of three things.  You don’t have enough support reps to handle a problem, your reps are overloaded with problems, or they don’t answer the phone properly and are wasting time elsewhere. In each of these, your company has problems, not just the customer.

3 – Having your customers repeat the same information multiple times.

Sometimes you need to redirect a support call to another person (or multiple).  You have already taken the information and logged it into your CS system. Why do customers have to repeat the same information for all of the other people they are routed to?   The reason I have heard is “We need to verify the person’s identity for security reasons.”  But your first point of contact has already done that. You can’t set a flag or attach a note on the CS screens to indicate the identity has been verified? Or maybe you don’t trust your corporate IT system?  Or maybe your CS system isn’t integrated into the rest of your environment?  If so, these are problems you should fix.

4 – Your CS system replies with “This is an automated response, do not reply.”

An automated response is ok for email support, but a customer should be able to reply to an automated email and get a real human.  Your reply-to header can’t handle a direct email contact?  You don’t know who to route to?  Route to a first-point of contact.  Keep it simple.

5 – You close out a ticket just because you have responded.

Yes, companies do this.  Customer service in these companies is similar to what used to be called “piecework” in old factory days. You get judged/paid/evaluated on the number of “pieces” you handle.  This isn’t even ok in factories today, and should not be the way customer service should work. A ticket is closed when the customer tells you they are satisfied and tell you the ticket is closed.  The customer shouldn’t have to “please open a new ticket” to follow up on the same problem.  This is aggravating, and your company loses the context and history of the problem it’s trying to fix.

So, is your customer service environment broken? Are you continually improving your customer support? Or is it the same it has been since you were a startup?  Work on fixing these 5 to improve customer satisfaction.

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