10 Ways Your Customer Service Can Fail

Lauren Krause
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Customer service is an important part of any successful business model. If it's good, you retain loyal customers. If it's bad, the negative repercussions can make a serious dent in your bottom line. Avoid the following 10 customer service mistakes.

1. It's Too Slow

Customers these days need service that is quick, smooth and convenient. Taking too long to answer the phone, having lines that are too long or failing to find a speedy solution are all surefire ways to lose customers.

2. It's Too Fast

Speeding through customer service is another no-no, as it can make customers feel like they're being rushed. Customer service agents, especially those who provide phone support, should be trained to be swift while remaining thorough and helpful.

3. It's Too Impersonal

Make loyal customers feel like they're being taken care of. Reps should take the time to exchange names with the customer and use the customer's name throughout the experience.

4. A Mismatched Approach

If a customer reaches out to your company via email, respond to that person via email to keep things consistent. Likewise, a customer who prefers to contact a company over the phone will appreciate a call back rather than another form of communication.

5. Bad Timing

In customer service, timing is everything. Over the phone, consider what times are appropriate for reps to contact customers. Try to avoid dinner hours, as well as calling too late or too early for customers in other time zones.

6. Customer as a Nuisance

Employees carrying on personal conversations during work hours can make customers feel like they're interrupting something.

7. It Seems Inauthentic

If your customer service reps don't have a passion for helping people, it will show in their interactions. Seeming overly scripted or flat and unenthusiastic won't win any customer service points.

8. Not Listening

Listening carefully to a customer's concerns is imperative. Customers who have complaints shouldn't have to explain their situations more than once or to more than one person, as this can be aggravating and frustrating for the person.

9. Fail to Follow Up

When a customer is promised a follow-up call or email, it's important to come through. Otherwise, your company may appear unprofessional and careless. Follow up promptly and thoroughly to ensure any customer issues were resolved to that person's satisfaction.

10. The Blame Game

Sometimes a customer complaint falls outside the scope of your department or job description. This is not an excuse to pass the individual off to another employee or say you can't help with the problem. Customer service is all about finding a solution, no matter what.

Bad customer service practices happen every day, and they're not always intentional. Being able to pinpoint these common mistakes in your company is the first step in improving overall customer service.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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