10 Customer Service Challenges and how to conquer them

Delivering perfect customer service has recently become a sort of obsession for businesses, and it’s justifiable since all it takes is one bad experience for a customer to swear off your business.  

With the increase of competition, customer service is the key differentiator and is more critical than ever. It can be challenging to deliver great products alongside exceptional customer service to different customers and matching their expectations. 

Your customer service team is at the forefront of your business. They largely influence customer experience. So set them up for success and make customer service your distinction. 

So, are you wondering which of the many customer service challenges you encounter makes you lose your customers?

Let’s take a look at the top 10 customer service challenges and how to resolve them. 

1. If customer service agents don’t carefully listen to or understand your customers

Listening is the beginning, middle, and end of customer service, you can never assume what your customers need. 

Often, companies overlook listening to their customers, resulting in agents not having accurate answers for the queries presented. Therefore, the first step to understanding your customers, what they expect, and how you need to help them is to listen to them. 

To address this issue, make it a priority to listen and understand what your customers need and expect from you. If you need, ask customers to clarify the problem they are facing to understand better how you can help them.

Apologizing for the customer’s issue with empathy helps customers feel like their inconvenience has been acknowledged and will be resolved.

2. Taking too long to respond

Customer service should be fast and prompt-solving a problem in minutes. 

At this point, they expect their problems to be resolved instantly or at least get the acknowledgement that their issues have been noted and people are working towards resolving them.

If it takes days for an answer to come back from customer services, it can lead to more damage than good. 

If your product is amazing, but your customers cannot resolve a doubt they might have, it takes away from the great experience you are capable of delivering.

The best way to fix this issue is to understand the most frequently asked questions and deploy a chatbot or knowledge base/support center addressing those.

This list of FAQs should be consistently updated with new questions or problems customers may be facing. New products may have new issues, so it’s important to take those into account when updating your list of FAQs. 

3. Inadequate Tools

The absence of the right tools can have a significant impact on your customer service process.

A recent study by Harvard Business Review found that reducing the amount of effort customers need to put in makes them more likely to return, it positively reflects on the amount they spend and drives the word-of-mouth strategy, which ultimately makes them more loyal.

Customers today expect to spend as little time as possible to contact your business and get a resolution. This means you have to focus on increasing the productivity of your support team, streamlining procedures and reducing unnecessary communication to resolve customer service queries as soon as possible.

Manually monitoring your different channels of communication can take up a significant amount of time and could even lead to some messages being overlooked. There is no way to maintain consistency in the brand tone and furthermore there is no approval process.  

The solution is to integrate omni-channel customer service tools that can help you monitor and manage inbound customer communications across all digital channels seamlessly.

It would be best to empower your customer service agents with the right tools to deliver faster resolutions. 

4. When the customer gets transferred from one department to another

Your customer service team needs to have all the information to prevent long wait times for customers and ensure that they don’t need to transfer the customer constantly. The more complex the process, the more put off the customers might get, the goal is to ensure customers put in the least amount of effort and time. 

The best way to address this issue is to make sure your agents are equipped with all the information they need to avoid transferring the customer. But there may be situations where it is required, in those cases, the best thing to do is to be honest and inform the customer why they need to be transferred to a different department. Providing customers with an estimated amount it will take for them to receive a solution can ensure customers don’t get impatient or frustrated.

5. Rude Customer service Agents

There may be situations where your customer service agent might get flustered and react rudely or snap at a customer. This is simply unacceptable, as the consequences of this behavior can significantly tarnish your company’s reputation. No matter how angry and rude the customer is, your agent needs to maintain a polite and empathetic tone. 

Having frequent training sessions to help agents deal with demanding customers can benefit them. Apart from training, businesses can also set up different methods that prevent agents from using foul language while messaging customers. On most customer service tools, there are a set of features to help companies to avoid rude messages being sent to customers. 

6. Customer service is not in line with your customer journey

Aligning customer service with your customer journey means understanding and delivering the information customers may need at each stage of their journey. Mapping out customer service workflows will help you identify bottlenecks or disruptions affecting customer experience. 

You may be an online retail brand with fantastic product descriptions and a seamless checkout process, but when customers want delivery updates and you have 3rd party partners doing delivery for you , your customer service agents are often clueless. 

Customer service agents need to have access to all the information to effectively help customers through their entire journey.

Map out your customer journey, and understand all the different stages at which customers might reach out for assistance. Your agents need to be equipped with the right tools and information to help your customers effectively; while mapping out possible issues customers might face, involve your agents as they would have first-hand experience with the type of issues customers are facing. 

7. When customers cannot contact a live agent 

AI and automation are excellent tools to engage, but there are some situations where only a live agent can effectively help a customer.

Conversational AI with ML can identify intent and help resolve complex issues with time but there are still many human functionalities that they cannot replicate. 

Customers may use language that the bot is not familiar with, and this could cause some annoyance to customers. It is best to have a human agent for the bot to fall back on in these situations. 

Unified platforms can enable smooth and quick customer service through chatbots with seamless fallback to human agents. The best customer service is provided with a man-machine collaboration. 

8. Managing angry customers 

At some point or another, your customer service agents are going to be exposed to angry customers. Customers could get angry for various reasons; it is your responsibility to find the solution they need. The challenge in this situation is to calm them down and reach a satisfying solution for customers. It is essential to make sure you try your best to calm the customer and turn around their brand perception. This may seem like a herculean task, but it is relatively simple. 

All it takes is to make your customers feel listened to, empathized with, and apologized to. And, of course, then providing a solution. Providing your customer service agents with situational training will make it easier for them to keep their nerve and stay calm in these situations.  

9. Lack of consistency across channels

If you are integrating multiple communication channels and customers are responded to differently, it can be frustrating. There are situations where a customer might message you on WhatsApp and then move to Email or contact you on Twitter DM and then again move to WhatsApp. 

In these situations, your agent cannot afford to miss out on either of the messages and the customers might lose their cool while explaining their issues on every touch point.

The best solution is to integrate software that unifies your customer service so that agents can manage all the customer interactions from one place. With the added benefit of having all the context, they need at their fingertips. 

Centralized platforms empower agents to view a customer’s messages across channels and have access to all past interactions with that individual attributed to that customer’s profile. This is a huge advantage and helps significantly reduce the time it takes for agents to resolve a case. 

10. Lack of customer centricity

It is easy to lose track of customer centricity when your business keeps growing exponentially. If you fail to keep customers at the center of your business, at some point, things may start to fall apart. There are many ways this can happen; it is possible that as your company grows, not all your employees are still on the same page. 

To prevent this from happening, you need to ensure strong and consistent communications across the company focusing on customer centricity to create a holistic experience for your customers. And rely on data to make decisions and have a clear path for where you want your customer service to reach. 

Conclusion

Focusing on these issues is crucial as they directly impact customer satisfaction; it also helps you identify any gaps in the service you provide. It may seem tricky to address all these issues and keep customers satisfied, but there would be no business at the end of the day without customers. 

With flexible customization Simplify360 ensure brands can centralize their customer service process and deliver a unique and consistent experience across all channels. We work toward bridging the gap between customer expectations and brands’ customer service. We help brands deliver the best possible customer experience while ensuring agents are happy and productive. 

Our clients have seen a significant increase in customer satisfaction after using our platform. By deploying our unique set of features our clients have conveniently maintained a streamlined workflow and adhered to SLAs.

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