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5 Customer Service Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

by: Sidney Liquigan

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 |

Whether you have a B2B or B2C business, customer service is an important part of your business. It drives customer retention and loyalty, as well as profitability. No matter how minor, customer service mistakes should be taken seriously and addressed immediately. A mistake may not be impactful at first, but if it persists, it could be a reason for your customer to refuse to renew with your company and switch to a competitor instead.

Customer service mistakes

To keep your customers happy and loyal, be aware of the customer service mistakes that you didn't know affect your business.

  1. Complicated Processes
    If it requires customers to put a lot of effort to do business with you. It will be most likely that they will eventually get exasperated and find a better service provider. Even if you have the best products or offer competitive rates, the hassle of the process will be a deal breaker.

    How to Avoid: Review the processes that your customers have to go through to acquire your products or services, from the registration and communication up to requests for returns/exchanges and warranties. Review previous customer feedback to learn about your customer's experience. Look for the obstacles and take action to make it better. Is it poor communication? Difficult website navigation? If the registration or purchasing process itself cannot be simplified, then make sure to set customer expectations early and to manage them well by communicating with them better.

  2. Poor or Inconsistent Overall Customer Experience
    Providing excellent customer service does not end with delivering high-quality products or services. There are many other things that make up the customers' overall experience. Sure, you were able to satisfy their need; but if the service was slow or the customer service representative was rude, it will result in a negative experience for them.

    How to Avoid: Establish an organizational culture that prioritizes providing excellent, proactive customer experience that goes beyond your core product or service. Make sure that every little detail that involves your customers is well taken care of.

  3. No Multiple Service Channels
    Directing potential customers to your contact form or online store for the initial communication or purchase is understandable, but once they need to follow up, you must be able to communicate with them through different channels. There will be customer concerns that are more effectively addressed through the phone, and forcing them to contact you via chat or email only won't suffice. This also involves accessibility. You must be able to cater to all of your customers, especially those with certain difficulties with hearing or reading.

    How to Avoid: Offer multiple channels where customers can reach you through different options that they're most comfortable with. Have customer service representatives ready to answer calls, chats, and emails. Many customers also like to reach out through your social media channels – by posting on your feed, leaving a comment, or sending you a private message.

  4. Automating Everything
    Having parts of your business processes automated can be cost-effective and produce a faster turnaround. However, what makes a great customer service interaction is the empathy and personalization that an actual human interaction provides. Many customers still prefer to have the option to talk to a real person, especially for complex issues.

    How to Avoid: In addition to having chatbots and answering machines, employ contact center agents to answer calls and messages and provide personalized solutions in real time.

  5. Setting Unrealistic Expectations
    Customers want solutions that are accurate and efficient, and they want it now. However, there are just things that cannot be realistically delivered quickly, or not in an ideal way. But when they call your customer service representatives, there is always a script to follow and not all information will be available, resulting in escalations and an irate customer.

    How to Avoid: Make sure that your customer representatives actually listen to your customers and that they have access to the right information. Set realistic expectations and not over-promise then under-deliver.

Handling customer concerns may tend to be delayed or neglected when you are focused on the core aspects of your business. To make sure providing an excellent customer service experience stays a priority, you can outsource a team of customer service representatives or contact center agents to focus on providing undivided attention to your customers and giving them realistic and effective solutions. Be proactive and avoid customer service mistakes, or fix them immediately as they happen. Don't wait until your customers choose to switch providers or give you a bad review.

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