Read about 5 of the biggest issues when contacting customer service & how to fix them to guarantee you won’t loose a customer.
How to Fix Them
Customer Experience can be the difference between a happy customer & lost one. Whilst most businesses understand the cost of replacing customers can be very costly, many businesses still struggle to provide a seamless customer experience, leaving customers dissatisfied & frustrated to say the least.
“Investing in new customers is between 5 and 25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones” (Invesp)
Customer experience or CX as its known, is important for many reasons. By providing customers with great customer experience brands increase customer loyalty, get more repeat business & benefit from more word-of-mouth recommendations, which attracts more new customers & the cycle continues.
Getting it right starts with making it easy for customers to contact your business & in this digital world we live in, your customers want to contact you on the channel they feel most comfortable with at a time that suits them.
So, let’s dive in & look at 5 the biggest issues customers face when contacting customer service & how to fix them.
1. Long Wait Times
One of the most common complaints customers have, is long wait times to get through to speak with an agent.
The average wait to speak to a call centre agent is around 13 minutes & yet most customers are willing to wait 2-3 minutes, before frustration sets in, which leads to agitated customers & more stress for contact centre staff.
One of the main causes of long wait times is inefficient call routing which prevents customers from being routed through to the correct department or agent. Customers can end up in a transfer loop being passed from pillar to post further exasperating the situation. It can also be caused by understaffing during peak times.
“Businesses report that they lost 75% of customers due to waiting times”
To fix this, re-visit your IVR making sure your most popular call reasons are presented first to customers, let customers know their queue position & expected wait times to manage their expectations.
You can also allow customers to ‘hold their place in the queue’ putting them into a virtual queue that calls them back when the next agent becomes available or calls them back at a more convenient time.
Set up knowledge bases so customers can self-serve, this information can be provided through your IVR message.
2. Lack of Support Through Online Channels
Customers expect to be able to receive support through multiple channels, including live chat, social media messages, WhatsApp & email.
However, many businesses struggle to provide adequate support through these channels, leading to frustration & slow resolution times.
It can be difficult to manage lots of channels, trying to merge a customer’s contact history across multiple touchpoints so you can keep up to date with the historical notes takes time & leave you at risk of losing important customer data.
When it comes to online channels, customers expectations are higher, they often expect a much quicker response if not an instant one!
“69% of consumers first try to resolve their issue independently, but less than one-third of companies offer self-service options such as a knowledge base”. (Zendesk)
To fix this, you can either opt for dedicated agents or a team that manage online support channels & that they have the necessary tools & resources to efficiently resolve customer inquiries.
Another way to do this is via omni-channel software that pulls all your conversations into one place, either in a built in CRM or your contact centres CRM via an integration.
This option will save your agents time & make life a lot easier. When they make themselves available the next ‘contact’ will come through & they’ll work
it like a standard call queue. You can also prioritise which queues take priority, for example, live chat before email as the customer is waiting live online.
3. Unknowledgeable or Unhelpful Representatives
When a customer comes through to customer service, they expect to speak with knowledgeable & helpful representative. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, as some agents may lack the training or information needed to effectively assist customers.
This can be down to lots of new starters, a lack of training, coaching & support, or due to changes being made to products or services that haven’t been properly communicated out to agents.
Customers being given incorrect information often leads to secondary complaints, which is costly, not just in terms of compensation or good will gestures, but in terms of reputation from losing customers.
“84% of customers report that their expectations had not been exceeded in their last interaction with customer service”. (Harvard Business Review)
To fix this, you should provide comprehensive training programs for customer service representatives & ensure that they have access to the latest information & tools through internal knowledge bases.
Ongoing training & coaching will keep agents knowledgeable & confident in all areas of the business. Coaching in real-time prevent misinformation on calls.
Another great tool is speech recognition technology that instantly transcribes call recordings into text, flagging up any words of phrases that may be of a concern so they can be reviewed by the quality assurance (QA) teams.
4. Inconsistent Experiences Across Channels
Customers expect a consistent experience when they contact customer service, regardless of the channel they use. Which many businesses still struggle with, leading to confusion & frustration.
Consistency across channels is a big differentiator when it comes to overall customer satisfaction.
Customers should be given the same level od service no matter how they reach out to your business.
“75% of customers desire a consistent experience, regardless of how they engage a company (through social media, in person, by phone, etc”. (Salesforce)
To fix this, you should ensure your customer service policies & procedures are consistent across all channels & that all agents are properly trained to follow these.
Check reporting to understand how busy your digital channels are, what times are busiest? Which channels generate more traffic? Plan adequate cover for these. Again, using omni-channel software will alleviate a lot of these issues.
5. Poor Resolution Times
For contact centres, the benchmark for first call resolution (FCR) is around 70% meaning around 30% of customers need to call back to chase up their query or complaint. In an ideal world, customers wouldn’t have to chase things up, but unfortunately, most do, thanks to busy agent workloads & departmental silos.
It’s worth noting that on n average, for the call centre industry, there is a 16% drop in CSAT for each additional call required to resolve a customer’s call.
Customers expect issues to be resolved in a timely manner & when it doesn’t happen, you’ve guessed it, it leads to further frustration amongst customers.
“70% of unhappy customers whose problems are resolved are willing to shop with a business again”. (Glance)
To fix this, you should regularly review & analyse your customer service metrics, such as resolution times, to identify areas for improvement. Invest in tools & resources to streamline your resolution process.
In addition to this review departmental processes to make sure information flows between teams & agents where necessary.
By addressing these 5 issues, businesses can provide a seamless and satisfactory customer service experience, leading to increased customer loyalty and satisfaction. If you want to know more about QContact book a demo with us!