Customer Service Issues that Can Kill a Small Business’s Reputation
Customer service is a hugely important part of running a business, since it is directly related to making sure that your customers are getting what they expect from you, and if not, are having their issues addressed, preventing them from taking steps such as leaving negative reviews or spreading their grievances through word of mouth. While maintaining a strong level of service, business owners should be aware of the types of issues that customers really dislike that can make them more likely to take negative actions.
Not being able to get in touch with anyone. When a customer has an issue, one of the worst feelings is when they are unable to get in touch with anyone from the business in question in order to fix it. Having poor quality customer service reps on the phone is arguably better than having frustrated customers hit a voice-mail or send emails that never get answered. Ignoring complaints is a surefire way to turn a minor customer service issue into a major problem that can get aired over the internet.
Excessive wait times. The next step up from not having anyone answer complaints is making people wait for excessive amounts of time before they are contacted in response to an issue. Turnaround on complaints can be cut down by using a CRM suite to keep track of customer information in order to verify claims and look up information like order numbers or shipping dates. Having processes in place that can allow your business to
Rude customer service reps. Customer service standards will differ on a business to business basis, but aiming to keep them as high as possible should be a priority, lest you allow customer service reps who are not up to par to ruin the image of your business. There are few things more frustrating to small business owners than losing business not because of issues with their business plan or products, but because customers were offended by the way they were spoken to by the people you have hired to take care of them. Having a clear cut standard and taking the time to get to know prospects before hiring them is one way to keep things moving smoothly.
Confusion over how to get in touch. Preemptively providing for customers through an onboarding letter that troubleshoots basic issues and includes support information and contacts is one way to ensure that there will not be any confusion on the part of your customers over how to get in contact with customer support. Not having a clear support number on your website or product packaging can leave customers frustrated, not knowing how to make themselves heard.
Photo Credit to derriel street photography on Flickr