The best way to provide A+ customer service is to identify common customer complaints and be prepared to resolve them. Having your agents and reps trained to quickly and effectively handle complaints will lead to better and improved customer service. And this sets you on the path of gaining loyal and returning customers.
Resolving Common Customer Complaints
Customers reach out to a business for a variety of reasons ranging from help with signing up, product inquiries, request for quotes to assistance and support. However, they do not always have a good experience. This is why over the years so much emphasis has been placed on good and effective customer service.
So, what are some common types of customer complaints and how can they be resolved?
1. Waiting in Queue for Long Periods
Problem: Most of the time customers calling a business for customer support end up waiting in line for 15-45 minutes. Waiting on hold can be extremely frustrating for customers who have a small inquiry or an urgent issue.
Solution: Have more agents on call during high call volume periods. For most businesses, these periods occur between 12 pm – 2 pm (during lunch) or 4 pm – 6 pm (end of the workday). Additionally, use call routing to forward calls to different agents or office locations, when one is overburdened.
2. Long Response Times
Problem: One of the most common customer complaints is long response times. This includes customers sending emails, queries through webforms, responding to voicemails, etc., and not receiving a response within 1-2 business days.
Solution: Prioritize responding quickly and actively. Ensure your employees are on top of the emails, queries, voicemails within 1-2 business days. Longer than that and a potential customer will go with a competitor instead. While automated responses can do the trick, personalize these responses to make them less “mechanical.”
3. Frustrating Automated Systems
Problem: Dealing with chatbots and IVR systems can be hard, especially for customers that have a unique issue. Automated systems are useful for handling simple, common, mundane tasks such as:
- Transferring calls to the right department
- Offering troubleshooting help
- Providing company information
- Activating or renewing services, etc.
Customers love self-service. However, more complex tasks will need a real agent’s help. Additionally, some customers may not even know how to use and navigate through an IVR system. Some may select the wrong option and end up in the wrong department. While others may find the long menu options more annoying than helpful.
Solution: Have a simple and easy-to-use automated system with an option for voicemail or “speak with a representative” easy to find. Keep menu options short and clear. Avoid jarring hold music or repeating your services on a loop when calls are transferred. And also, be sure to allow for the option to “speak to a representative.” This way, customers can request to speak with an agent if all else fails.
4. Being Passed Around
Problem: Customers being passed around from one employee to another will definitely leave your business for another more organized and efficient one. This includes in-person, phone, and email conversations.
Solution: When they connect with your business, it should be easy for them to find the right person to speak with. Therefore, your teams need to be organized with useful department extensions or email addresses. An IVR system will come in handy here; offer menu options to callers such as Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for Customer Support, Press 3 for Billing & Accounting, etc. Route calls effectively using attribute-based routing to ensure customers get the help they need with their preferences in mind.
5. Impatient or Rude Staff
Problem: This is a no-brainer. Agents that are impatient and trying to quickly resolve a call without making the customer feel welcomed and valuable or are rude and condescending will lose customers promptly.
Solution: Train your agents and reps to adopt active and empathetic listening, be patient on their calls, and behave appropriately with customers. We recommend that you use these customer service tips for 2020.
6. Staff Not Helpful or Knowledgeable
Problem: Customer complaints also include staff or agents being unhelpful or unaware of a solution. When customers interact with your business for customer support, it is usually to inquire about a product or resolve an issue they are facing. And so, they expect to talk to someone who has the knowledge and expertise to assist them.
Solution: Train agents in the subject matter of your product and service as well as the industry they serve. Create knowledge bases for employees to use when they are in a pinch and need additional support. Furthermore, you may even consider call barging and call whispering to have supervisors and managers enter a call and provide support.
7. Poor Product or Service
Problem: Another common complaint is that the quality of the product or service is poor and deceptive. Customers may feel that the description of your product or service doesn’t match the result which can lead to cancellation and refund requests.
Solution: Take these complaints seriously because they may be an indication of a much larger problem with your product or service. Customer feedback is useful not only in improving the development of your service but also in understanding your customers’ expectations and preferences. Train your staff to deal with unhappy customers. Once you see a common issue with your product, be prepared with solutions, alternatives, refunds, or promotions for future customers that may experience the same issue.
Why Paying Attention to Customer Complaints is Important
Listening to your customers and their complaints can help you improve how you serve them. Additionally, it will help you offer better and more efficient service. This can directly enhance customer support and increase customer retention, as these two factors are necessary for any business’ success!