80% of businesses believe they deliver a superior customer experience, according to a recent Bain & Company study. That’s pretty good, right? Unfortunately though, only 8% of customers agree.
Companies don’t just suddenly start failing their customers on a service level. In most cases, there are a series of small events that lead down the road to poor customer service. And due to competing priorities for the business, any real shift in the way customer service is managed is pushed off until some point in the future when the urgency is finally great enough.
But like the parable of the frog in boiling water, if you wait too long to take the leap, it may be too late.
To prevent that grim outcome and keep your business from complacently sitting in that pot of water while the temperature rises, we’ve put together a short list of red flags to watch out for:
1. You Make a Service Error.
Eventually and inevitably, customers will experience some kind of service failure: the hotel room isn’t ready, the order is wrong, the package arrived damaged. But we’ve known since the 90s that, if handled correctly and sincerely, an effective service recovery can actually increase customer satisfaction even more than if the service failure had never happened in the first place. So why are so many businesses still failing to make it right? Because more often than not, the company’s reaction is to offer a token response, perhaps a monetary compensation, but fail to demonstrate a sincere desire or effort to fix the issue at the source.
If your company experiences a customer service disaster, don’t just put a band-aid on it and offer that token response. Identify why the failure occurred, and take actionable steps to prevent it from happening again. Is there a gap in communication across departments? Is there something about your customer service interface that is hard to navigate? If the underlying issue is in your tools or processes, it’s time to rethink your approach.
2. You have a Collection of Single-Purpose Tools.
It’s a common story: First you get one new application that solves one problem, and it works great. Then you get another. Then another. As new tech emerges, more and more workflow challenges are resolved. But eventually you have an abundance of tools in your toolkit, they don’t all play together nicely, and you’re paying out the ears to maintain subscriptions and licenses.
If you find yourself digging through a stack of different customer service applications just to do your job, chances are you’re not only making more work for yourself, you’re probably paying more for all those tools than you need to. If this is you, it’s time to clean up your workbench. Get a single customer service management tool that does the job of many. It’ll make life easier for your customer service team, and give your customers a more streamlined experience to boot.
3. Your Customer Service Management Systems are Old.
Customers are savvier than ever before, with increasingly rising expectations of the companies they interact with. Today, they have more information, more choices and more power than ever before. On top of that, they expect to be treated as individuals and want you to remember information about their accounts, history, and preferences to anticipate their needs. Companies that can pull this off will be rewarded, but customers will punish those that can’t.
If you aren’t able to track the interactions with your customers and easily recall that information, you’re making it harder for your employees and more painful for your customers. It’s time to enable your workforce with modernized tools. Just like you won’t keep a rusty, pitted wrench because “it’s what you’ve always had,” don’t keep software that can’t get the job done.
4. There has Been a Merger or Acquisition
When two people get married, they don’t keep two sets of toasters, coffee makers, or furniture; the home would be cluttered, disjointed, and difficult to manage. When two companies become one, why should there be two sets of service management tools? You want customers to have the same great customer service experience regardless of which entity they’re interacting with. It should be easy to use, and offer a seamless experience throughout departments and divisions.
Whenever there’s a cluster of disparate tools and immature processes, you need to take the necessary steps to unite and streamline your tools.
5. There's been a Regime Change.
Sometimes an influx of new corporate leadership will bring with it some fire to make a change in the organization. While this can be a red flag, it’s more often an opportunity to collaborate with the C-suite and drive a shift towards customer-obsessed service.
Companies want to provide great service and customers expect it. Use this change in leadership to implement new processes and systems to provide a stronger customer experience and delight them at every interaction.
When 39% of customers will tell family or friends about a negative customer service experience, the writing is on the wall. If you don’t have a great CSM platform and team in place, it’s going to be difficult to stay competitive.
If you are experiencing any of the red flags above or are trying to be proactive about creating a customer-obsessed culture, give us a call or send us an email! Our team is always happy to help you delight your customers.
Thanks for reading!
Deliver Better Service to Meet the Evolving Needs Of Your Customers.
Customers today demand effortless service. They expect personalized experiences, meaningful interactions, and the ability to choose how they engage across the spectrum of your business.
But how do you full engage and meet the needs of individual customers, even as you grapple with the constant pressure to reduce the costs of service delivery and maintaining or improving key customer satisfaction metrics?
Click the button below to watch this on-demand webinar to learn how to turn your customer service into a team sport.