4 Signs Your Customer Service Needs Improvement (And What to Do About It)

Customer needs and expectations may change all the time. While it’s always a positive when your business thrives and grows, this also means that customers expect more from you the more well-known your brand becomes.

4 Signs Your Customer Service Needs Improvement

This means that your level of customer service needs to constantly be evaluated and also evolve with changing customer demands and expectations.

If you’re at a crossroads with your customer service and wondering how (and if) it needs improvement, here are 4 signs you need to reevaluate — and how you can do so successfully.

1. Customers Have Officially Spoken Out About Negative Customer Service

It’s not uncommon for a disgruntled customer to make it known about a bad business experience, and unfortunately, due to social media, this is made all the more easy by customers being able to make a quick post and comment about it. If this is on your official business pages, this can have disastrous consequences for other customers who may be debating doing business with you. It’s important to pay attention to any negative feedback regarding your business or customer service.

What You Can Do About It

First and foremost, damage control is key. If you see a post or a public review regarding bad customer service, a public reply is encouraged. This reply needs to placate the customer and extend an olive branch for changing their view. If the situation is too complex to be handled by a quick reply, invite the customer to speak with one of your team members (such as providing a direct email or telephone number) to discuss the situation.

Other customers will therefore be able to publicly see that you’ve responded in a positive way. Not only that but if you can get the original customer on your side, you may be able to change their opinion of you. Customers who have this happen will usually go back to their original review and change it for the positive if they are happy with the service they received afterward.

2. You’re Not Offering Customer Service on Multiple Channels

You may already have a customer service routine in place, in which customers can contact you in a certain way. Perhaps this is through the traditional channels of a support email address or a phone call.

However, in this modern age, where more and more consumers are looking for support online and through social media, it can be seen as a negative if you aren’t offering support through multiple channels. It may even be that customers are choosing to send queries through social media — such as Tweeting, sending a private Instagram message, or commenting on one of your posts — and you’re failing to even see these messages because you aren’t considering social media as a customer service channel.

What You Can Do About It

You need to be sure that all channels of communication are open to customers and to have a system in place which allows you to connect in multiple ways. If you’re a small team, it can be tricky trying to keep on top of all messages, comments, phone calls, and emails, however. If this is the case, being transparent with your consumers regarding the best way to contact you for support is encouraged.

An idea for this is posting an official message on your business website or social media profiles. This could outline all the ways customers are welcome to contact you regarding queries, but you could give an estimated time of reply, or else advise what would be the quickest way to contact you with a query. That way, if a direct message isn’t answered straight away, you’ve already been upfront and honest that an email may receive a quicker reply than a social media message, for example.

If you’re looking to best manage all channels of communication in an easier way, you may also want to look into live chat software, which allows you to organize all methods of communication in one place.

3. You Don’t Have a Set System in Place

Customer service needs a system to work. Without it, you run the risk of failing to respond quickly enough, failing to respond at all, or misunderstanding which team member is responsible for sorting a problem. If you feel that you’re missing a lot of queries or failing to have good organization, this is a sign that your customer service system needs improving.

What You Can Do About It

You need a system that works for you and the size of your team. It can be difficult for smaller startup businesses to handle a lot of customer queries, but what matters is honesty. If a customer knows you’re a very small business, they will perhaps be more forgiving in delayed response times. It’s a good idea to make it known how any queries will be handled so that your customers know what to expect.

You then need to implement a designated system.

Who is going to be responsible for checking communication channels? Who is responsible for replying to queries? Are you logging every query in an organized fashion? Who is responsible for arranging a solution to the query?

Answering these questions is key to knowing who is responsible for each important task and to avoid miscommunication.

4. You Don’t Allow Customers to Help Themselves

The last thing customers want is to have to go through the rigmarole of making a complaint or query. It can be time-consuming, and even if it’s resolved in a positive way, it’s still time wasted that shouldn’t have been. If there is any way for a customer to avoid contacting customer service and resolve a query themselves, it should be implemented.

What You Can Do About It

Self-help options are a great idea for customer service. This could be a help page on your official website, which provides answers to a lot of common questions. You could also include any extra information which could assist customers, such as including product demonstration videos on how to set up a new product in case customers are struggling and need assistance.

You could even set up an automated assistant where customers can type in their questions and receive an instant answer.

If you’re finding that you’re running into problems with your customer service, be sure to always be honest in finding solutions; use these four steps to ensure you’re providing everything your customer needs and more.

    e-Business | e-Learning Consultant

    Takis Athanassiou is a Business Consultant, Author, and Trainer, active in the areas of leadership, business consulting, marketing, e-Learning, social media, and personal growth. He aims at the development of people, business and assets! You can check out his blog, listen to Leadership Execution podcast, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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