Each frustrated customer that contacts your company is an opportunity to transform the situation into a positive customer experience and develop brand loyalty.
An angry customer calling to express their frustration with an issue they have with your product, service or company is one of your greatest opportunities to create a brand advocate. Resolve an issue and a customer will tell on average 8 people about it. This is because you have demonstrated you are willing to invest in them and work towards a positive outcome, which helps gain their trust and appreciation. Research shows that it is actually because of this experience that they will be more loyal than if they’d never experienced a problem. This ends up resulting in them spending more money, and remaining loyal to you as a customer longer than they might otherwise.
However, if the call ends with the customer feeling like things went poorly, they will tell roughly 21 people about it and there’s a 40 percent chance that they will end their relationship with your company.
So how do you make sure to navigate those waters effectively and turn that call into a positive, relationship building experience while avoiding the heavy damage that awaits if that same call goes sideways? Below we have put together a few key tips to help you make sure your customer support team is armed with information aimed at accomplishing just that.
Act Quickly. When a customer has an issue, resolving it quickly will leave them with a positive experience 69 percent of the time. This doesn’t mean be short with your callers. It is always important to be polite and friendly. However, being decisive and to-the-point can be immensely effective instilling confidence in the customer that you have a strong command of the situation and demonstrates that you value their time enough to be respectful of it.
Be Persistent. Although being respectful of the caller’s time is important, your primary objective is to make sure that you have resolved their issues effectively AND completely. This may not always lend itself to a quick conversation, and should include touch-points during the conversation to confirm the problem is resolved or that the information being provided is being fully absorbed and understood.
If an issue is effectively resolved in a customer’s first contact, they are two-thirds less likely to leave a company. This means accuracy is almost exactly as important as speed when it comes to supporting a caller who needs help. Because of this, you should do everything within your power to keep them on the phone until THEY feel their issue has been resolved.
Solve It Yourself. Transferring a caller should be a last resort. The leading cause of frustration in a customer service survey was needing to talk to more than one person to resolve an issue. Research reveals that feeling like they are talking to a person who is empowered to help them is all part of the importance of efficiency.
If You Can’t Answer, Transfer. While being transferred does frustrate callers, spending time talking to a person who can’t solve their problem may be even worse. Being able to provide a satisfactory answer to a question was the most important factor in good customer service. But a close second was getting connected quickly and on the first try to someone who could answer. So if you must transfer, do so ASAP without taking up unnecessary time with the caller and get them to the right person.
If All Else Fails, Apologize. Sometimes, a customer just wants to be heard. Customers take customer service personally. If they are frustrated with the price or product, they are four times less likely to end the relationship than if they are frustrated with how they feel they have been treated. So if a caller is unhappy with something that cannot be changed or resolved, there is still a measurable value in listening with compassion and apologizing for not being able to help them.
Double Check. While customers increasingly expect a high level of customer service, they are still not always, or even often, vocal. Only 1 in 26 customers who have a complaint will let a company know about it. Because people’s experiences are subjective, it is not always possible to tell if a customer is upset. Instead of waiting for them to tell you, ask them outright if they are satisfied with the level of service they have been provided. And always ask if there is anything else you can do to assist them.
Bad Experiences Can Lose You Customers – Or Gain You Business
9 out of 10 people have quit doing business with a company after a bad customer service experience. On the other hand, customers who have their bad experiences fixed or turned around develop a stronger bond with the organization. This heavily weighted risk vs reward impact that customer service has on virtually every business is exactly why it is SO critical that the right resources are in place to ensure the best possible results. The question you need to ask yourself now is, are your customers being supported by resources with the right level of skill and experience to turn them into brand advocates?
Call us today if you want to take your customer experiences to the next level to increase customer retention and brand loyalty. Our call center customer care experts are dedicated to assisting your callers as a powerful extension of your customer support team.