3 Obsolete customer service techniques you should abort

Faith Ocampo Published on April 14, 2017 Last updated on February 26, 2024

Some customer service techniques aren’t really long-term. In fact, there are some that you should completely abandon.

The right customer service strategy plays a crucial role in shaping customer satisfaction, loyalty, and brand reputation. However, not all customer service techniques are created equal. It’s important to identify and abandon outdated approaches that no longer resonate with modern customers.

Today, we will look into three obsolete customer service techniques that you should abort to elevate your customer service to new heights.

1. Robotic Responses

These days, customers are seeking more than just quick responses. They desire genuine interactions and empathetic support from the companies they engage with. Unfortunately, the use of robotic responses has become an outdated practice that fails to meet these expectations.

Robotic responses, characterized by pre-programmed and impersonal replies, lack the human touch that customers crave. When faced with an issue or concern, customers want to feel valued and heard.

They expect personalized attention and a genuine effort to understand their unique needs. If you keep relying on robotic responses, you risk alienating your customers and damaging their perception of your brand.

Let’s have a scenario as an example. Imagine you encounter a problem with a product or service and reach out to the customer service department for assistance.

But instead of receiving a thoughtful response, you are met with a generic, automated message that barely addresses your specific issue. The frustration and disappointment that ensue can erode your trust in the brand and drive you to seek alternatives.

  • Personalized Customer Service Techniques

    To enhance your customer service, it is crucial to abandon robotic responses and embrace a more personalized approach.

    Invest in training your customer service representatives to understand customer needs and adjust their responses accordingly. Through empathy and genuine assistance, you can build stronger connections and loyalty with your customers.

2. Scripted Interactions

In the past, scripted interactions were prevalent in customer service to ensure consistency and adherence to company guidelines. However, this approach is no longer viable in the quest for authentic and meaningful customer experiences. That’s because scripted conversations often lack the personal touch and fail to address customer concerns effectively.

Customers want to engage with agents who can have real conversations, understand their needs, and provide genuine assistance. Scripted interactions limit the ability to connect with customers on an emotional level. Not to mention, they restrict the potential for creative problem-solving. This can lead to frustration and a sense of detachment from the brand.

Let’s have another scenario: you reach out to a company’s customer service department with a complex issue that requires a flexible and adaptive approach. How would you feel if the representative is limited by a script and fails to fully grasp the nuances of your problem?

The generic responses that you receive will leave you dissatisfied. You might even seek other brands who can better solve your problem, right?

  • Customer Service Techniques Going Off-Script

    To overcome this obstacle, it is essential to empower your customer service representatives to deviate from rigid scripts. Provide them with the necessary training and tools to understand customer concerns and find innovative solutions.

    Make it a point to encourage authentic interactions with customers. With it, your agents can forge stronger connections with your customers and build their trust in your brand.

3. Long Response Times

Naturally, customers expect prompt and efficient customer service. Long response times have become an obsolete practice that can have detrimental effects on customer satisfaction and brand reputation. In the modern day, waiting for extended periods to receive a response leaves customers feeling neglected and undervalued.

Delayed responses not only frustrate customers but also undermine their perception of your brand’s reliability and professionalism. Remember, instant communication is the norm now, so customers want timely resolutions to their queries and concerns. Failure to meet these expectations can result in a loss of trust and drive customers away.

Can you imagine contacting a company’s customer service department with an important inquiry, only to receive a response several days later? For sure, your initial enthusiasm and trust in the brand have dwindled by then. You might even have already sought assistance from a competitor who prioritizes timely customer service.

  • Customer Service Techniques Right on Time

    To enhance your customer service, it is vital to reduce response times and prioritize efficiency. Invest in technologies such as chatbots or automated ticketing systems to streamline customer inquiries and provide real-time assistance.

    Additionally, ensure your customer service team is adequately staffed to handle incoming requests promptly. Show responsiveness and attentiveness to deliver a positive customer experience and reinforce customer trust in your brand.

Other Customer Service Techniques Your Business Should Do Away With

Unfortunately, those three aren’t the only customer service techniques you need to abandon. In fact, there are other outdated practices that your business should disregard to stay ahead in the competition:

  • Siloed Communication Channels

    Back in the day, customer service interactions were often limited to specific channels, such as phone calls or email. Today, though, this seemingly isolated approach can create frustration and inconvenience for customers who prefer to engage through other channels.

    It’s important to break down these communication barriers and adopt a multichannel system. Provide customers with a variety of channels to interact with your business, including live chat, social media, and self-service portals. In offering multiple channels, you empower customers to choose the most convenient and preferred method of communication.

  • Reactive Problem Solving

    Traditional customer service often focused solely on solving immediate problems or complaints. However, today’s customers expect more than just issue resolution. They seek proactive problem-solving and assistance in maximizing the value of their purchase.

    Instead of being reactive, strive to be proactive in identifying potential problems and providing guidance and support. For example, you can offer product tutorials, guides, and tips to help customers make the most of their purchase. Anticipate their needs, reach out to offer assistance, and provide solutions to potential pain points.

Alternative Customer Service Techniques for Your Brand

Customer service techniques that were once considered effective can quickly become obsolete. To stay ahead of the game and deliver exceptional customer experiences, it’s crucial to embrace modern alternatives:

  • Interactive Virtual Assistance

    Integrate interactive virtual assistants that engage customers in real-time conversations. These AI-driven tools can provide instant responses to queries, guide users through processes, and even perform basic problem-solving tasks.

    Through such tools, your brand can enhance the efficiency of customer interactions, offering quick and personalized support around the clock.

  • Community-Based Support Platforms

    Establish a community-based support platform where customers can connect, share experiences, and assist each other. Encourage active participation and moderation to ensure a positive and informative environment.

    Community-based support platforms run on the collective knowledge of your customer base. This creates a sense of camaraderie and allows users to find solutions through peer-to-peer interactions. Of course, community-based support not only eases the burden on traditional channels but also builds a vibrant customer community.

Outsourcing Against Obsolete Customer Service Techniques

Outsourcing customer service functions can be a game-changer for businesses looking to abandon obsolete customer service techniques.

If you partner with a reliable and experienced outsourcing provider, you can use their expertise, resources, and technology to improve your customer service. Let’s explore how outsourcing can help your business abandon the three obsolete customer service techniques we discussed:

  • Robotic Responses

    One of the primary benefits of outsourcing customer service is gaining access to a team of well-trained and empathetic agents.

    These professionals are skilled in providing personalized and humanized responses to customer queries and concerns. Unlike robotic responses, they can adapt to each customer’s unique needs, ensuring that their issues are addressed effectively.

    Outsourcing partners invest in training programs to equip their agents with the skills and knowledge to handle diverse interactions. But more importantly, they understand the importance of empathy, active listening, and problem-solving. Hence, they can employ these skills to engage with customers in a meaningful way.

    Additionally, outsourcing providers often use advanced technologies, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems and knowledge bases. Because of this, agents have access to relevant customer information and can provide accurate responses.

  • Scripted Interactions

    Outsourcing customer service allows you to break free from the limitations of scripted interactions. Professional outsourcing providers understand the value of authentic conversations and empower their agents to deviate from rigid scripts. They encourage their teams to actively listen to their concerns, and provide customized solutions.

    Outsourcing partners typically collaborate closely with their clients to understand their brand voice, values, and guidelines. This makes sure that customer service representatives keep your brand’s identity in mind while adapting their communication style to each customer. Agents are trained to ask probing questions, clarify customer needs, and think creatively to address issues.

  • Long Response Times

    Outsourcing customer service can significantly improve your response times and ensure that customers receive timely assistance. Providers operate with a dedicated team of agents who are available round-the-clock to handle customer inquiries promptly.

    In addition, outsourcing firms have a strong technological infrastructure for streamlining customer interactions and facilitating efficient response management. They can handle high call volumes, manage emails and chats, and even provide support through social media platforms.

    Whether it’s implementing chatbots for customer inquiries or maintaining a team of customer service agents, outsourcing providers are well-equipped.

    Outsourcing customer service also offers scalability options, allowing you to adjust resources based on fluctuating demand. During busy periods, outsourcing providers can quickly ramp up their operations to handle increased customer volumes without compromising on response times.

Summary

It is crucial to reassess and update your customer service techniques to meet the expectations of modern customers. On that note, by abandoning obsolete practices such as those mentioned above, you can elevate your customer service to new heights.

Embrace personalized and empathetic approaches, empower your representatives to have authentic conversations, and prioritize efficiency in your response times. In doing so, you can forge stronger connections with your customers, enhance their satisfaction, and drive long-term success for your business.

Open Access BPO specializes in multilingual and multichannel customer support which helps in retaining customer loyalty. We are there for customers when their self-service options are exhausted. We serve as a strong bridge between your business and your customers, balancing your principles with their satisfaction.

No matter what language your customers speak, no matter what platform they use to reach out to your brand, no matter if they are long-time or first-time customers, Open Access BPO’s top-notch solutions will give your business a good reputation.

Contact us today to begin your partnership with us.

angry businessman crumpling paper

Every now and then, we’re seeing new customer service trends that are shaped largely by technological innovations. How well is your call center adapting to these changes?

To meet customers growing demands, your contact center must ensure that the strategies it employs are convenient and efficient. It’s not enough to merely run an omnichannel approach. You must also make sure that your platforms and techniques are geared to meet the needs of your clients.

dead customer service rep in call center skeleton cobwebs

That means you should regularly review your existing strategies and update them accordingly. If you’re still employing these three customer support practices and techniques, you should abort (or update) them immediately.

1. Refusing to provide self-service options

call center rep holding hand out refusing offer

A few years back, there was a big debate about whether customers really want self-service options. Some customer relations experts believe that even if customers do want to look for solutions to their issues all on their own, it isn’t really what’s good for them. On the other hand, there are those who argue that self-service can empower consumers by giving them more control over their own purchasing journey.

It seems that the latter side is winning. Current statistics indicate that around 90% of consumers have accessed a self-service system to find answers to their questions. In addition, 59% said that self-support options even improved their experience with a brand.

2. Employing cumbersome IVR systems

frustrated annoyed woman shoting at landline phone receiver

Inefficient interactive voice response (IVR) systems aren’t just annoying. Most customers consider them a huge waste of time.

IVR, systems work by gathering information from customers. During a phone call, an IVR system would play a voice prompt, asking customers to input data (either via their phone’s keypad or via spoken word) to provide the appropriate responses. This way, they can categorize the customer’s issue and connect the customer to the right agent.

But if your IVR system uses complicated menus, talks in a robotic manner, and lacks a voice recognition capability, they might ruin the customer experience. Callers may find them too time-consuming and inefficient.

Thus, if you’re using an IVR tool, make sure that it sports smart and interactive features such as voice recognition, language processing, and voice biometrics capabilities.

3. Prioritizing average handle time

shocked call center rep with hand on chest staring frightened at clock

Average handle time (AHT) is one of the most common metrics that call centers use to evaluate their performance. It’s essentially a measure of speed. A shorter AHT is taken to mean that a customer service rep is able to resolve an issue quickly. And in a fast-paced world where consumers are all about instant gratification, fast transactions are a must.

But this comes at a huge expense. In their hurry to end a transaction and attend to the next queued caller, agents might end up sacrificing the quality of the customer experience. They might resort to quick fixes instead of targeting the root causes of a customer’s issue.

While AHT would still be relevant in some cases (e.g., for simple transactions), updating your metrics can redirect agents’ attention to the more important aspects of customer support. For instance, instead of AHT, you might want to prioritize first call resolution. This can help ensure that customers’ issues are fully fixed upon their first contact with your brand reps.

 

Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
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