Have you ever suffered through a customer service experience that was so grating and unhelpful, you wanted to hang up the phone and immediately contact a rival provider? Customers leave when they no longer believe a company can be trusted to solve their problems. If anyone on your team interacts with customers, it is their responsibility to convey that your entire company understands—in specific detail—what those customers need. Too many businesses do not give their client-facing staff access to the data they require to keep track of the information customers expect representatives to know.
Make no mistake, businesses lose customers when communication becomes inconsistent, fails to build a relationship, or when they feel they haven’t been listened to. The threshold for customer service failure is low. If you have ever repeated the same explanation, in full, to more than just one representative on a single call, you experienced all of these customer service pitfalls.
- The first step to building a relationship with your customers is remembering who they are. Relationships never form between perpetual strangers. Your representatives need to understand what each customer needs, and how far along the business is at meeting those needs.
- Consistency means that your customer service agents are able to provide the same details— the correct details!—for each client. If your customer-facing responses are not consistent, your business will seem amateurish.
- Make your customers feel listened to by immediately keeping records of what they need! If any one of your employees are not able to call up this information, your customers will feel like their requests go in one ear and out the other.
Managers have a strong tendency to over-estimate their ability to delegate tasks. According to one 2013 study by Econsultancy, while only 30% of managers think they delegate well, only one-in-three of their subordinates considered those managers to be good delegators! When employees complain that they do not have the tools or resources to accomplish their tasks, their manager is not delegating effectively. If you need a subordinate to verify information with a supplier, they have to have access to the supplier and the information they need.
Our solution to avoiding a customer service catastrophe is to empower your trusted team with OfficeBooks. OfficeBooks is a powerful CRM in the manufacturing and hard goods industries because it is not just a CRM: it handles purchasing, sales orders, inventory, and reporting. OfficeBooks’ sales view compiles each contact’s sales history, and also allows users to record service events or even append documents to their contact card using Google Drive. There is no excuse to be caught unprepared, because OfficeBooks is a cloud service available to anyone on your trusted team with a modern web browser.
What is the worst customer service experience you have ever witnessed first hand? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.