I came across an article that talks about the top 10 errors companies make when it comes to customer service….as I read through the list, one theme was clear – customer complaints and satisfaction, and how companies can better manage this.
The takeaway from this article is quite simple: if you want to “fix” customer service errors, companies need to be aware of complaints and have a system in place to effectively handle it.
1. Be aware of complaints as they happen: effective listening can go a long way. Customers may not overtly complain, but if you’re listening carefully you can hear their dissatisfaction. Trying to resolve that will go a long way in customer service.
2. Complaint resolution: this article suggests that resolving complaints at the first point of contact is key in customer service and dissatisfied customers. If the first representative cannot resolve an issue, transferring the customer to the correct person right away is included in this category. This goes hand in hand with offering multiple channels for customers to voice their complaints and have issues resolved. A double loop resolution system can go even farther in customer satisfaction – strive to resolve customer issues on the first point of contact, and follow up with the customer at a later time to ensure their issues are resolved. This second point of contact can be important in making sure customers are satisfied with the resolution while showing them that you really care that their needs are met. It’s a win-win situation.
What considerations should you make when evaluating the customer resolution process?
1. Points of contact: which points of contact does your company offer? In addition to a phone number and perhaps a web based comment form, does your company offer online chat, mobile options, and/or social media venues dedicated to customer service? Offering a wide variety of options gives customers the opportunity to interact with you where they are most comfortable. Take a look at the different communication channels – which are used most often by your customers? Do satisfaction surveys indicate issues with any of the channels? Where can improvements be made to existing channels? In talking with customers, are there other communication channels they would like to see?
2. Consider the double loop resolution process: by following up with customers who have complaints, you can easily learn more about their experiences. It’s important to note if customers feel their issues were resolved to their satisfaction, and get their feedback on the experience. This can help you pinpoint where breakdowns occur if it happens, and how to improve the process.
3. Review complaints and look for common denominators: evaluating the complaint resolution process is key, but looking at the types of complaints is also important. Are you seeing any common themes – perhaps with product selection, delivery, or employee interaction? Common denominators can signal an area for improvement that can be rectified with additional training, adjustment to procedures, or something similar.
Demanding isn’t quite the right word, but customers are coming to expect a lot more, a lot more quickly when it comes to doing business with companies. Complaint resolution seems to be a hot spot when it comes to customer service, and making sure the proper procedures and processes are in place can go a long way in customer satisfaction.