10 Things Consumers Look for in a Great Customer Service Experience
Did you know almost 80 percent of people say insufficient customer service experiences have had a negative impact on their overall quality of life? That stat shows just how important it is for companies to make each and every customer service experience they provide worthwhile.
There are a lot of people who hate the way companies approach customer service these days. They don’t believe companies are doing enough to make customer service a priority. They’re also finding that, more often than not, they’re not getting the right answers to questions when they contact companies expecting a good customer service experience.
Do you want to enhance the customer service experience people receive when they call on your company? There are some simple changes you can make to ensure your customers love the service you give to them.
Here are 10 things customers look for in a great customer service experience.
1. They Want to Talk to a Live Person, Not a Recording
There are more and more companies that are greeting their customers with an automated recording as opposed to a live person when fielding calls. Customers are prompted to listen to the recording and punch in different numbers to direct them to the right department.
If you have a large company that receives hundreds or maybe even thousands of calls every day, using an automated recording isn’t the worst thing in the world. But you should make it as easy as possible for customers to track down a live person once they’re on the line.
Rather than attempting to use an automated recording to solve peoples’ problems, use it to quickly guide them in the right direction. The automated recording should be easy to hear and should only prompt them to punch in a few numbers before they get on the line with a live person.
This will prevent customers from getting frustrated and give them the best customer service experience possible right from the start.
2. They Want to Receive a Warm Greeting
Once a customer is able to touch base with a customer service representative, that rep should provide the customer with a warm greeting and set the right tone for the conversation that follows.
They should say something like:
- “Good morning! And who do I have the pleasure of speaking with today?”
- “Hello there, and thank you for calling [company name] today! How can I be of assistance?”
- “Hi [customer name], we’re so happy to hear from you today and hope we can take care of whatever questions you might have. Is there something I can help you with this evening?”
Many customer service representatives speak to dozens and dozens of people every day. It can be difficult to maintain a high level of enthusiasm over and over again. But it’s what needs to be done to keep customers happy when they start a new customer service experience.
3. They Want to Get Right Into Their Issue
The majority of people don’t like calling customer service departments. They do so only because they have to in order to fix a problem or make a change to their account.
With that in mind, people don’t want to have to spend all morning or night on the line with a customer service representative. When they connect with one, customers want to get right into whatever the issue at hand is and have it dealt with accordingly.
Make it easy for people to get right into their issue when they call by having them identify themselves and confirm their identity during the automated portion of the call. Once they get on the line, this will allow them to get the conversation going with the customer service rep.
People will have a much more pleasant customer service experience when it only takes a few minutes of their time. They’ll be more likely to call back in the future and recommend your customer service department to others.
4. They Want to Feel Like They’re Being Heard
There is a reason why most good customer service departments begin conversations with customers by saying, “Good morning, how can I help you today?”
By doing this, a customer service rep opens up the floor and allows a customer to fully explain the issue or problem they’re having with a product or service. A good rep will usually sit back for 30 seconds or so and allow the customer to speak without interruption.
During that time, the customer can go off on an angry rant about a product malfunctioning. Or they can calmly explain how a service they purchased wasn’t what they were expecting. Either way, they have the opportunity to speak their minds before the customer service rep responds.
Customers enjoy this because they feel like they’re being heard and their complaints are being taken into serious consideration. It’s why companies should give customers their space when they call and allow them to talk freely about their reason for calling.
5. They Want to Figure Out a Solution to Their Problem Quickly
There are some problems that a customer service rep can fix in a matter of just seconds. If, for example, a customer wants to change the address on their account, it’s a quick fix.
However, there are other problems that could take more time to figure out. For instance, if a customer believes they bought a faulty product that isn’t working right, a customer service rep may need to spend several minutes asking the customer questions about it before moving on.
Customers want this part of the process to be over and done with quickly. Although they might understand why you can’t issue an immediate refund to them, they don’t want to be shuffled back and forth between departments while your company tries to figure out how to handle their problem.
Put proper protocol in place for different problems and follow it to ensure your customer service reps are able to respond to customer complaints quickly. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to take care of almost any problem that pops up.
6. They Don’t Want to Be Blamed for a Problem
While speaking with a customer and trying to get to the bottom of a problem, a customer service rep may suggest that the customer was to blame for the issue. The rep may ask a customer if they misused a product or expected too much out of a service.
In the end, a rep may find that a customer was, in fact, to blame for the problem. But in the beginning, the rep should work hard to find out other factors that may have led to the issue. They should avoid casting blame on a customer too early in the process.
No one likes to be blamed for something they didn’t do. And it’s even worse when you shelled out money for a product or service and are now being blamed for a problem that took place with it.
Instead of blaming customers for a problem, work with them to identify what caused the issue. They may later admit that they played a role in the problem without necessarily realising it.
But whatever the case, people don’t enjoy calling customer service and playing the blame game. You can pretty chalk a customer up as a loss if a rep gets into it with them on the phone and accuses them of being to blame for a problem.
7. They Want to Be Treated With Respect at All Times
Customers can, at times, be very disrespectful to customer service reps. It’s not out of the ordinary for an angry customer to call a customer service department and use profanity while speaking with a rep.
Despite this, people expect to be treated with respect by customer service reps at all times. It starts with a warm greeting at the beginning, and it should continue until the very end of a call.
You’ll be amazed by what a great response you’ll get from customers when you stay positive and friendly with them during a customer service call. Even angry customers will change their tone once they realise they’re speaking with a person who has their best interests at heart.
8. They Want to Be Asked If They Need Help With Anything Else
“Do you need help with anything else today?” is one of the best questions that a customer service rep can ask a person at the end of a customer service call.
Although the question might not be enough to make an angry customer happy, it’ll make most other customers satisfied with their customer service experience. It’ll show that the rep cares enough to help the customer further if they need it.
Most of the time, customers will say, “No, thank you,” when they’re asked if they have any other questions or need other assistance. But on the off chance that there is something else they need, they’ll feel comfortable making another request. And they’ll be glad you asked them the question in the first place.
Those companies that aren’t asking to provide their customers with more help aren’t providing the best customer service experience they can. All customers really want is to know that you’re there for them, and asking if you can help them with anything else is a simple way to show that you are.
9. They Want to Avoid Having to Call Back Again
Most people don’t want to call a customer service hotline once. So calling twice? That’s completely out of the question in many cases.
When people call and speak with a customer service rep, they don’t want to be told that the person they need to talk to is out of the office. They also don’t want to be told that there’s nothing the rep can do at this time to help them out with a problem.
The rep should be qualified to talk to a customer about any products or services offered by a company. If they, for whatever reason, need help, there should be a manager nearby who can step in and talk over the call.
The rep should also be able to track down any missing information a customer might need to proceed with finding a solution to a problem. For example, if a customer needs a serial number or a part number and they don’t have it handy, a customer service rep should be able to look it up for them.
A customer who has to hang up and call a customer service line later is going to be a frustrated and potentially angry customer. Reps should be trained to avoid letting it get to that point.
10. They Want to Provide Feedback at the End
If a customer service rep does a great job on a call and answers all of a customer’s questions or complaints accordingly, the customer usually has no problem providing feedback. They’re often happy to do it.
Customers who are upset with the way a customer service experience went down are also typically happy to provide feedback of their own. They want to let a company know how they should have handled their specific problem.
Companies should have a way of capturing feedback so that they can improve their customer service operation. That might involve asking a customer to stay on the line to answer a few automated questions. Or it might involve asking them to fill out a survey sent via email later.
Regardless of how they do it, companies should take customers up on their offers to provide feedback. It’s a way to make customer service more effective and let companies know what they can do to get better at it.
Improve the Customer Service Experience Your Company Provides
Is your company setting your customers up with the best customer service experience possible?
There are probably ways you could improve. You might want to consider training your customer service reps more effectively or even setting up an outsourced call centre.
Check out our blog to find out more ways to enhance the customer service experience you are providing for your customers each and every day.