Be aware of what makes your customers tick so that you can serve them as well as you can.
When interacting with customers, you probably have a few goals in mind. You want to please the customer while not costing your company an arm and a leg. But it’s also important to know what will set a customer off so that you avoid an angry confrontation. Here are four things customers typically hate.
- Waiting: Not surprisingly, customers can’t stand listening to elevator music for 15 minutes while put on hold. Try and make your calls as efficient as possible. It also might help move things along to implement a chatbot on your website or some frequently asked questions so that not every customer has a need to call in. If a customer feels like he or she is being asked to wait for too long, he or she may just hop off of a phone call, leaving a bad taste in his or her mouth about your brand. If you claim to care for customers, you should care for their time and make sure no one’s left tapping his or her foot.
- Mixed messages: Being told one thing by one customer service agent and a second by another will get customers frustrated pretty quickly. Make sure you have policies put in place so that each agent isn’t just winging it while he or she talks to each individual customer. If your team is able to do something that’s outside the norm for a customer, make sure it’s clearly expressed that this isn’t typical policy. Although customer service agents should be given some wiggle room, there should also be a structure for common issues like refund requests.
- Beating around the bush: If you know you aren’t able to do what the customer is asking for, like a full refund, be up front about it. Don’t waste time trying to talk around the issue. Instead, cut to the heart of the problem—what would be a win for both of you? The customer will appreciate your honesty, and the call will take much less time, hopefully resulting in a win-win situation.
- Being ignored: Everyone wants to feel heard and understood. Nothing will make a customer angrier than feeling like his or her words aren’t being listened to. Make sure your customer service agents practice active listening techniques, like affirming and repeating back what the customer has said, so that no customer feels like the or she is being ignored. Also, make sure every inquiry is responded to via e-mail or phone. No one’s message should be left to linger.