You’re watching your favorite show at home, and you’re minutes away from a huge plot twist. Suddenly, your cable cuts out. You’re slightly frustrated, so you call your cable provider and explain your situation. The customer service representative has no desire to understand your situation or find a solution – they even sound annoyed that you called. You become increasingly aggravated at a lack of empathy or willingness to help and hang up the phone in anger, never wanting to deal with them again.
You log into Facebook and post a rant about your horrible experience before leaving your feedback on other sites like Yelp and Google My Business.
The next day, you see an advertisement for your cable provider’s competitor. You’ve heard great things about this provider from friends and online sources. You give them a call, explain your situation, and switch providers that day.
Poor customer service happens all too often these days, and these experiences usually result in customers vowing never to go back or use those services again. Additionally, with online reviews and social media, those customers also want to let the world to know about their bad experience. To highlight just how important customer service is as a value to local businesses, consider the following statistics.
- 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of a poor customer service experience.
- 95% of customers who have had a bad customer service experience will share it with others.
- 40% of consumers have chosen a business’s competitor solely based on that competitor’s positive customer service reputation.
So, as a business owner, how can you prevent these situations from happening at your business? Here are a few tips.
1. Make your contact process easy.
39% of customers say being easy to contact is their top customer service expectation. Make sure customers can easily reach someone at your business, and if they don’t immediately reach you, follow-up with them as soon as possible. A lengthy contact process or failure to respond in a timely manner can frustrate even the most patient customer.
2. Listen to what people are saying about you.
Listening to customer feedback, positive and negative, can help you and your customer service representatives improve client interaction. If you have access to call recording, you can use this feature for auditing and training purposes. You can also monitor what people are saying about you on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites online. Is there a common complaint? A specific aspect customers are happy about? Analyze customer feedback and improve your interactions based on the results.
3. Work on your online reputation.
If your competitors have an awesome online reputation, and yours is falling behind, it may be easier for your customers to justify leaving you and for prospects to skip you and go straight to your competitors. Your customer service representatives are your best sources for improving your business’s online reputation. Train them to ask happy clients to leave you a review and identify which clients are unhappy so you can address concerns before they hang up the phone.
When 73% of consumers say a positive customer service experience can make them fall in love with a company, we think it’s important to make customer service a priority for your business. Share your secrets for providing great customer service in the comments below!