Like any type of business, the customer service outsourcing industry lives by countless philosophies. But among a long list of addages it follows, there is one that experts consider as the mantra for failproof service. It is “Prevention is better than cure.”
However, a problem wouldn’t be detrimental to businesses if it doesn’t exist in the first place. That’s why a proactive approach at solving customer service complaints is always the way to go. But let’s face it: no matter how much we try to keep disasters at bay, there will always be isolated cases where customers end up unhappy with the products and services we provide. Then when we face complaints, we try to appease customers by offering a solution to the inconvenience they experienced.
When you look closely, however, it’s not always what companies give that solves the complaint, but rather the response of representatives in dealing with the issue.
How should you and your customer service agents give immediate and long-term remedies to common complaints? Let’s look at some of these suggested approaches to these frequent-faced issues:
1. No follow-up
It’s ironic for some companies with multi-channeled customer service when customers complain of not hearing back from a representative after getting promised of a follow-up call or message regarding a product issue. However, it’s understandable for companies to struggle with responsiveness, especially if they’re only at the early stages of transitioning from traditional to digital customer service.
To make the most out of your voice and non-voice platforms, determine the most popular channels where the public contacts you and station an appropriate number of people there. The channels you use should also coincide with your audience’s preference: if you were contacted via email, reply through email. And most importantly, know the ideal span of time needed for a response. On Twitter, for instance, it is ideal for you to respond within 15 minutes, while on live chat, it should take no longer than a minute.
2. Experiencing multiple transfers
This is perhaps one of the most aggravating things you could do to customers. So to keep them from having to repeat their story over and over again to different agents, make sure that your contact numbers are well-disseminated. This way, you lower their chances of reaching the wrong department. On your agents’ part, focus on training them to take full responsibility for every inquiry making first-contact resolution a highly prioritized metric.
3. Unmatched expectations
Usually, customers feel that they didn’t get what they paid for or got the wrong product because of unrealistic advertisements. Avoid this by being completely clear and truthful in your offers. Always go for the long-term engagement than the one-time sale. In the event that someone calls in with your product that is different from what he expected, a refund may be offered to disarm the anger.
4. Unfulfilled promises
Like the previous point, complaints like this is usually brought upon by giving false hopes, so the solution is simple: never promise anything that you can’t provide. It’s difficult to recover from unfulfilled promises, but when faced with this situation, always start off with an apology and then explain why you weren’t able to follow through. And next time, keep in mind that solving problems precisely is more important than doing everything right away without much thought.
While the approach my vary from problem to problem, one thing should remain consistent when responding to complaints: express regret and apology if need be. These are just half of the common issues customer service units commonly face and have to deal with. In the follow-up of this blog entry, see four more common complaints and the right responses to use in solving them.