All companies rave about their customer service being the best in the industry, promising you to go above and beyond your expectations and so on. We've heard this statement over and over again, but after a while it starts to feel like empty promises when a company doesn't create a great customer service experience.
Surveys have shown that while companies feel like their customer satisfaction is to The T, on the customers end, they don't agree all too much with that statement. Many customers are unsatisfied, unhappy or don't care too much about the companies they use, so when something better comes along, they switch brands/companies/services.
People would rather pay for a better experience, then pay lower prices for average service. This is where a lot of companies struggle because they lack the foundation to establish loyal customers, and as we know, it is more profitable to retain clients than to put in batches of new ones. Below are a handful of reasons or red flags to help you determine if/why you're under performing in customer service.
Who Are You Hiring?
The success or downfall of your company relies heavily on your employees, and this is one of the first building blocks when it comes to your company's success. Do not take who you hire as a light task. You may be leading a one person business and need the extra help, but don't jump the gun too quickly by hiring just anyone.
Really take the time to qualify your candidates. Get to know their mindset and their vision. Understand what kind of experiences have led them to think that way. Ask thought provoking questions to see if they have a heart of giving and serving or if they are solely in it for the money.
Truth is, everyone works for money, but you want your employees to have a higher purpose, or a higher vision for their selves. Also evaluate their values. Do they align with your company values and mission? Are they looking for growth opportunities? Do they adapt quickly, or are they hesitant to change? Asking the right questions is crucial to determine the right candidate. You can only learn so much from their resume, but understanding how they handle situations adds more value to your company.
Are They Trained Properly?
Many times, poor customer service comes from employees who are not trained enough and they get frustrated or stop trying. Don't put a cap on your employees' growth because you don't want to invest in training programs. It's just that: an investment.
Allocate enough time and resources into training your employees, so they are educated on what you expect from them. Educate them on the importance of exceptional customer service, so they know how to provide it. I would also add that some employees should be given the power to make/execute decisions. It's frustrating for clients to have to repeatedly wait for someone in a higher position to give them a call back or to get an answer to a simple question.
Train your managers and employees to be problem solvers. Saying you go above and beyond a client's needs shouldn't be an empty promise. Follow through by equipping your team with the right tools. Set them up for success. In the long run, it will cost your company more if you do not invest into training your team. I would hate for my team to provide poor customer service because I didn't take the time and money needed to properly equip them to succeed.
Empathy In Business Is A Must
Your company's role should be to make your client's life easier in some way, shape or form. It's hard for your company to succeed if you're only centered on your success. When your goal is to help others, your success comes back like good karma. The most impactful way to do this is through empathy. I've seen companies that were going south completely turn it around when they started focusing on the client's experience.
As cliché as it sounds, put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand their situation/ issue through their point of view, and use your energy towards trying to help them as best as you can. Instead of thinking of a million ways that you can't help them/ don't care about their situation, focus on what you can do to help.
Take it personal. This mindset will take you a long way.