Dear Customer Service Department of Most Businesses,
It’s time for a #realtalk. There are many things to love about your company, but your customer service is not one of them. I would say “it’s not you, it’s me,” but, it’s how you treat me. Communication is like Let’s just say that your social skills could use some work.
Kidding aside, customer service is no joke for a company’s financial prospects. A 2009 study found that customer service quality “is significantly associated with contemporary and future financial performance” as well as higher profitability. In other words, happy customers = big $$$ = happy company. Many companies are wising up and making customer service a priority as opposed to an afterthought, yet the latest service disasteris never far away.
Someone needs to be upfront about these company bad habits. Because, let’s face it, customer service has room to grow in the U.S.
- I’m getting friendly with your robots and automated messages.
Once upon a time I thought that I might be able to speak to someone from your company. Like, an actual person. But that time was many “press one for services,” “please hold”s, and “enter your account info”s ago. I’m dialing and hanging up on your robot answering service more than I ever did to an ex.
- I’m on hold. I’m still on hold. I will be on hold for the foreseeable future.
I gear up to call your company by finding a comfy spot on the couch, a plate of food, maybe a pile of knitting just in case…because it’s going to take a while. Getting through to someone who can help me is like finishing a marathon. A marathon which involves terrible elevator music and plenty of false hope. Sure, you may say that “my call is very important to you,” but actions speak louder than words, businessperson.
- It takes you three days to respond to emails.
I’ve heard of waiting to call after a first date, but a company playing coy? Let’s give up the games and cut to the chase, especially if it’s a pressing issue or one that could be easily fixed. Playing the waiting game is no fun. Anyway, if I emailed you, it’s probably because I already tried calling/chatting/sending carrier a pigeon and dashed off an email in frustration.
- Your chat is always offline.
You have a business to run and probably many important things to do, but it seems like you’re never there for me when I need you. “Live chat” isn’t much help when it’s never “live.” Believe me, I wish that problems only occurred between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., too.
- Your reps are based in another country.
You probably thought that I didn’t notice. When you transfer me to a foreign call center, it shows me that I’m just not worth your time. Outsourcing may seem like the way to save a couple of coins, but you’re cutting in on customer satisfaction. Haven’t you heard that customer service is the new marketing?
- I keep getting shuffled from one person to the next.
Look, I’m a person, not a ping pong ball. It’s not that I don’t love meeting every representative you have, but…instead of five people handing a five step problem, it would be great if one person could take care of it. I don’t know if your employees are under-trained or have a serious lack of confidence, there must be a way cut this process way down.
- Your reps sound like they hate their job.
I get it–listening to people complain all day is not a piece of cake. But when I feel like I’ve ruined a rep’s day with my call or chat, it makes me not want to pick up the phone. Or communicate with your company ever again. If your reps are not positive and enthusiastic about your product or service, I’m not going to be either. Bring customer service to center stage by letting the job satisfaction of your employees do the talking.
I know what you’re thinking: sure, you’re guilty of some of these faux pas, but customer service hasto fall by the wayside because of x, y and z. The bright side? HelpSquad will take your customer service concerns off of your hands for a sweet price which won’t dent the budget. It staffs your live chat with highly trained, U.S.-based squad members who are ready and waiting to assist your customers in real time. Service which is prompt, friendly, and intelligent? I like the sound of that.