91% of unhappy customers will not return to your business again. 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. Amidst the chaos, a typical business hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers!
That’s quite a number!
Customer service has everything to do with revenue generation, product promotion, company credibility and reputation. It’s directly responsible for handling customer concerns and influences brand image, being the face value of any organization.
Picture this: You are selling e-learning authoring tools and have quite an impressive market. However, your customers face issues while exploring authoring and customization features in the software. Who would they call? Without a question, the customer support! What if it isn’t there? You’ll have unhappy customers who aren’t happy with your service and gradually start leaving; resulting in loss of revenue.. Who’d want to invest in a company that doesn’t lend a sympathetic ear to their customers and doesn’t offer proper protocols to resolve their grievances either?
Lack of customer support reflects an unhealthy amount of over-confidence of a company in its products and services. If you are selling or marketing a product or service then there is some chance that it might not be perfect or the customers who have purchased it might not fully understand the functions and features and thus, may not be able to operate it. In such a scenario, customers need to feel empowered and customer support does so by providing necessary information while troubleshooting technical and non-technical issues timely.
Care for your customers and support agents equally
- As an organization that relies on revenue through intensive internal and external marketing efforts and advanced set of products and services, one can’t afford to lose an existing customer or forgo an opportunity to impress a prospective one.
- On an average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. In fact, there is a 60-70% probability of selling to an existing customer compared to a new one.
- And, it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one. So, it is an unspoken rule of the industry to never let of the happy customer base. Customer support plays a massive role in cultivating a satisfied customer base that comes back for more.
- In 2011, 7 in 10 Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service.
Every customer is an opportunity that you can’t let go of so making enormous efforts and grand gestures to retain the customer base is indeed a simple survival tactic for any company. Growing competition in the market and rising industry demands for 24*7 active support has turned consumer support into a cutthroat sector. Customer support professionals often pour their blood and sweat into catering to incoming complaints on almost daily basis but complaints stay on the rise. While the support agents can only please customers one by one, the company needs to take care of the social, emotional and psychological health of the customer support agents too. Much like the customers, they deserve a special treatment that gives them a certain reputed status in the company for their regular grand efforts. The company should also focus on compensating the support agents through positivity inducing, inspiring programs and practices to enhance the sense of reliability and trust among employees. Moreover, such efforts will also counter stress and boost overall customer support performance.
Motivation, mental well being and better performance
While it’s only natural for the company to compensate the employees (support agents) financially, taking a step towards making the workplace a positive and stimulating environment should be the organization’s responsibility too. Trainers and managers should focus on building a motivating atmosphere inside the company so the support agents dealing with frustrated customers and facing negative and angry reactions can find some percentage of inspiration every day. This won’t only lead to the better professional environment and higher collaboration but also result in enhanced teamwork efforts and reduced stress levels among employees. The workplace should be a happy place so support agents can follow the same eloquent, energized and motivating an approach to make their customers happy.
Simple tips for trainers and managers
Customer appreciation of agents who fix issues completely means a lot so trainers and managers should often celebrate daily success of the agents with an announcement based on the number of customer appreciations. Managers can even start a program through which they can reach out to happy customers and ask them to score the support agent they spoke with and based on the score and testimonials, managers can reward the agents.
Another top tip for managers is to let employees work remotely, especially during the holiday rush when often agents work when they should be enjoying with their families. Managers can employ specialized live chat software for remote professionals so they can stay connected and work hassle-free from home.
A great tip for trainers, supervisors, and managers is to empathize and build healthy, communicative relationships with their teams and assist the agents professionally and personally regularly. This won’t only help the agents relate to their supervisors but will also help them build better internal team relationship and sense of community and belonging. Moreover, the agents will find it easy to ask for help and clear queries. This is even better for continued training of the agents. For instance, if a certain customer is very angry and screaming at the executive then the manager can take over the call and personally walk the customer through the entire process.
Doing as little as asking agents how are they everyday will help them build a productive and inspiring relationship with their counterparts, trainers, supervisors, and managers. The simplest step is opening communication and allowing flexibility in shift timings so agents can enjoy time of their own and consistent breaks during and post the holiday rush. Furthermore, creating specialized training opportunities for high performing candidates will also help in motivating the agents. While employers can’t compromise on the expectations they set for their teams but they can sure assist the employees in reaching short term and long term goals through combined efforts.