Technology has given rise to many changes in how business startups handle their customer service. Some recent statistics show that technology is playing a larger role in handling customer satisfaction, and many small business owners have come to realize how social media can affect the way prospective clients view their companies via user reviews. If you are managing a new business startup, there are several common customer service errors you can avoid that may reduce negative reviews and boost your company’s reputation.
1. Inconsistent Staff Training
An uneven customer service experience can cause some clients to become frustrated over time, especially when they speak to staff that has experienced uneven training. Training gaps can cause a variety of problems that include a lack of knowledge about the product or service, an inability to answer questions fully, and inexperience with using a proper business tone and language. Clients that experience these issues may either complain publicly or simply go to your competitor for the services they require.
Training gaps can be repaired by creating a customer service operation manual for your business. Using this manual to train all your employees can help create a more consistent experience for your customers. You can also use the manual to help your employees brush up their phone skills or refer to it when they are unsure about how to handle an individual problem.
2. Taking Too Long To Resolve Problems
While resolving your client’s problems instantly is not always possible, doing so as quickly as possible can avoid a public customer relations nightmare. Dragging your feet on failed shipments or damaged merchandise may only make the issue worse, especially if the customer has never made a purchase from you previously. First impressions can be important, especially when it comes to building a startup, so it is wise to address any customer service issues right away.
If a customer presents you with a problem, there are a few steps you can take to ensure it does not grow beyond your control. First, respond quickly. Even if you cannot resolve the issue right away, letting the customer know he or she has been heard may go a long way toward making them feel better. Next, work with them to solve the problem and see where a shipment or order may have gone wrong. If the error was made at your end, resolve it and offer a sincere apology.
Customers usually enjoy it when companies make them feel important, and when they cannot reach your customer service department, they may assume their business is not a priority for you and might go elsewhere. While you cannot be present for your business every moment of the day, it is important to ensure that your customer service department is doing everything it can to keep clients happy.
One way to give clients instant access to your business is to add a chat feature to your company website. During business hours, have trained employees monitor the service so they can help out clients who need to have their questions answered that same day. This can result in positive social media feedback and client gain, especially when the customer tags your business in a tweet.
4. Arguing With Customers on Social Media
This is one of the most common errors a small business can make, and it happens often. When a client is unhappy and takes their grievance to social media because they cannot get satisfaction from a company’s customer service department, the business owner or social media manager may reply in a disrespectful or argumentative tone, which starts a war of words everyone can see. As a result, the company loses a customer and tarnishes its reputation by publicly arguing with the customer.
If a client should take an issue to social media and tag you in the post, take a moment to ask yourself why he or she has taken this course of action. Were they unable to reach your company in other ways? Have you taken too long to resolve a simple problem? Once you understand, it can be easier to try to soothe ruffled feathers and keep the issue private.
5. Failing to Invest in Customer Service Upkeep
You may feel comfortable about the customer service technology you use but staying in a rut may cost you clients in the long run. Instead, it is wise to keep your finger on the pulse of technology that could improve how you communicate with your customers. Some successful entrepreneurs, such as Chris Sacca, invested in communications technology and social media platforms to increase his company’s presence online, and with great success.
The way you communicate with and treat your customers can make or break your startup company. The proper training of employees, quick access to customer service agents, and a friendly and open social media presence may all be pathways to the success and growth of your small business.