Top 10 Customer Service Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

It feels great having your own department that is responsible for communication with customers. The wrong marketing or sales strategy surely costs a lot, but inadequate customer service costs you even more. A recent  PWC study has found that 73% of customers claimed that quality customer experience has the strongest impact on their brand loyalty.

And that shouldn’t be a surprising fact! You would probably  choose a company that uses an advanced customer service helpdesk and has a kind staff rather than a company that doesn’t invest enough in treating their customers nicely.

To create a community of brand ambassadors and boost positive word-of-mouth, you should completely avoid certain customer service mistakes. They can destroy your company reputation and reduce your bottom-line significantly. There are reasons why customer service expereinces failure, and you should know them.

Here are the top 10 customer service mistakes that you should explicitly avoid. Scroll down!

1. The wrong recruitment

Hiring an unqualified customer service representative can have negative effects on customer experience. If your agent is not a people person who finds communication and other social interactions very difficult, chatting can be very frustrating for them and your customers. They are not suitable for any of the customer service channels.

Whether they use a customer service helpdesk, video or phone calls, they won’t be able to deliver customer solutions accurately and rapidly. The lack of conversation skills hinders the opportunity to meet customers needs. Thus, if you want to find your customer service superstar, check if your candidates possess the key traits such as friendliness, optimism, empathy, a team-oriented spirit, and conscientiousness.

2. Poor leadership

Customer service agents are the reflection of a company’s leadership. Thus, you as a leader should set the example of perfect customer service. If you teach your employees to be enthusiastic and kind, you need to act in the same way or you risk sounding fake and losing their trust. You can imagine how it would impact your team’s overall efficiency  and especially your customer satisfaction score.

Your task is to nurture the company’s principles by valuing each of your employees and showing your appreciation for their achievements. There  is no better tool to reinforce customer service standards than weekly or monthly team meetings.

3.One-and-done training

We live in a time when life-long learning is becoming the norm. Market fluctuations and changes in human behavior are quick, constantly developing new customer service trends that you need to follow. Staying competitive these days is so much harder, thus having just onboarding customer service training is not enough.

Having comprehensive customer support requires comprehensive training! Because of this, you should consider having periodic training, reinforcements, and reviews of current accomplishments to enable your customer personnel to keep up with the frequently changing customer needs and the new generation of tech tools, such as helpdesk software. To maintain and improve your team’s customer service skill set, you can work on updates to manuals on products, services, and technology that will guarantee consistent high-level service delivery.

4. Arguing with customers

Remember to never ever argue with your customers and, of course, highlight this rule to your agents. Sometimes it is really hard because a customer is certainly not right; however, it is still your customer and you want to keep them as your customer! There are the golden rules on how to respond to angry customers in a way that will save you a lot of time and nerves and help you finalize the request in your favor. The main rule is to acknowledge their issue and validate their frustrations,  as they invested some time in pointing it out to you. In some cases even customers are right!

5. Forgetting about the power of language

Poor communication is not only wrong for resolving current issues. It can also lead to multiple new issues due to misunderstandings that can arise and even appear as a sign of disrespect. There is no worse customer service mistake than the unnecessary or accidental one.

Thus, double-check the tone you would like to use. There are two types of languages you can incorporate within your team practices. One is verbal language such as the phrases you will use and personalization. Customers prefer knowing that you know them personally, thus use their names in messages. Next, make the conversation as gentle and kind as possible.

Your agents should sound professional but also take a friendly approach in order to convey your brand message successfully. If you have a tone that is specific to your brand you should add that to your training manual, too.

In addition, make sure that your agents’ working areas are spotless if they are going to be taking video calls. This is a type of non-verbal language that speaks more than a thousand words. It is enough for the customer to see an untidy desk or hear a lot of noise in the background to make them think that you’re wasting their time.

6. Making customers wait too long

Due to multiple tech advancements, such as AI chatbot, today's customers are spoiled by always receiving fast responses. They expect a quick answer now more than ever. Everyone wants an instant solution to their problem. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, but answering in a timely manner is! Fortunately, there’s a trick to avoiding the big customer service mistake of not responding quickly enough.

Now you can automate answers to let your customers know that you are working on resolving their issue and appreciate their time and effort. You can even highlight how long it will take you to provide a solution or what the next steps are and your customer will feel relieved and appreciated.

This is extremely important as NewVoiceMedia found that the top reason customers switched companies is because they felt unappreciated. It is a good idea to check your surveys and see what affects the downtime the most and focus your efforts on improving that segment of the request process.

7. Not utilizing AI solutions

Quality never goes out of style! As mentioned above, your potential customers assume that successful companies have installed the latest AI enhancements, such as the AI chatbot or Live Chat, and thus are constantly available for them.

a) AI Chatbot

It is estimated that if you don’t deploy an AI chatbot, you risk being left behind by your competitors who are making  it as easy and convenient for customers to contact them as possible. Now your buyers can send a voicemail, video, or type a question in a chatbot search box on your website.

True, you can answer that question at any time. But if you can have a 24/7 smart AI assistant to do that for you, why wouldn’t you? Your customers get a fast response and you get a reliable customer support rep that is so much cheaper than others. Sounds like you can totally win the business game here, right? With the AI chatbot, you can have fewer expenses and better service!

You only need to teach it the core of your business offer and clear solutions and it will learn by utilizing machine learning algorithms to apply the solutions in any situation you expect it to do. Today an AI chatbot that stands out can answer 50%-90% of the customer questions. For instance, Carin can answer even tough questions like, ,”Where is my order?” if it is connected with efficient external APIs. Provide an instant answer to your customers and they will love to come back!

b) Live Chat

AI miracles don’t stop at AI chatbots. This is harder to do, but now you can automate even Live Chat answers while not ruining the appearance of human interaction. An effective Live Chat helps you greet your customers and offers contextually relevant content from your knowledge base, making the whole conversation a lot faster and equally polite, if not more. What do you think about this customer service helpdesk solution?

8. Absence of knowledge base

Self-service is in! The same way tech titans have it, you should too. Almost all the respected global companies have installed exhaustive knowledge bases that serve their customers at any time, creating a trend that is here to stay. Customers are tired of waiting in line, and they prefer finding the answer by themselves.

The latest research has shown that today people prefer using a knowledge base to calling customer service reps, especially younger generations. Moreover, it is found that 89% of millennials try to find an answer on a search engine before calling customer service agents. Thus, if they are your target group you certainly need a thorough knowledge base portal!

9. Lack of online presence

Be everywhere that your customers are. Besides showcasing your brand integrity with all digital communication channels on your website, you should consider having social media profiles that help your customers find you, too. But more important is to enable them to reach you from any device they may use on a daily basis. Thus, it is crucial to have a multi-device customer service helpdesk that is suitable for desktop, tablet, and mobile phones. Digital natives won’t forgive you your unavailability on mobile devices as they use them every hour – sometimes it seems like even all the time!

10. Not having a recovery plan

Ultimately, a customer service crisis may occur. It could be a customer service rep’s mistake  or it could even be a product failure. To minimize the loss in such a situation, it is wise to establish a recovery plan that will help you restore customer satisfaction and rebuild customer loyalty. In these cases, it is essential to react fast. And it can’t be done faster than by following certain standards that are available to everyone.

Some basics for the pan to get you started are:

  • Apologize
  • Review the complaint
  • Resolve the issue
  • Follow up

Now inform everyone about your newfound knowledge of the top 10 customer service mistakes! And remember, if you need any help you can ask the Helpy team for assistance.

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