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8 common mistakes in customer contact and how to avoid them

It's only human to make mistakes, but in the world of customer contact, they are life-threatening. We have collected 8 common mistakes in customer contact for you and will also tell you how to prevent them.

By Renée Müller

5.3 min read

13 July 2021

Mistakes in customer contact

Making mistakes is human, but in the world of customer contact, they are very dangerous. Customer contact is an essential part of a successful business and negative customer experiences have a major impact on your success. We collected 8 common mistakes in customer contact for you and tell you how to prevent them.

A bad customer experience costs money, it’s that simple. And a lot of money too: a Forrester report shows that in the US a few years ago, it even amounted to 62 billion dollars (!) in lost sales. Good support ensures a strong customer relationship, but we also know that it is not perfect everywhere. Do you recognise yourself in one of these common mistakes in customer contact?

1. Not providing your agents with proper training

Too often agents rely on the user manual or knowledge base. It’s a bad sign when your customer success team is not able to ask the right questions to a customer to find out what he needs, or takes too long to find a solution. With good agent training you tackle this. Keep them up to speed and provide regular training to refresh their knowledge. A training course is not something you do once: repeat it regularly and also make sure that your agents are continuously fed, because that keeps them motivated.

2. You are not proactive towards your customers

This is actually one of the most common mistakes in customer contact at companies. Many unsatisfied customers remain unsatisfied until they are contacted. The result? Customers who walk away. To prevent this, it is important that the customer department frees up time for problem analyses and process analyses. Make sure they proactively follow up on customers instead of just waiting for the phone to ring.

Build your own knowledge base and encourage your team to share links to documents such as FAQs, white papers or videos with your customers. This will also give your customers the opportunity to help themselves.

3. You’re not easy to reach for your customers

This is the main pain point of your customers. Your customers may be in different time zones, but they don’t care: they just want their problem solved as soon as possible. They need to be able to contact you at any time and they want an immediate answer. Is it hard to get in touch or even impossible? That will affect your reputation. Make sure you have enough manpower and consider implementing a chatbot to reduce the first response time.

Customers still like to call to get an immediate answer to their question. The number one annoyance is not being able to find a phone number. Even if it is 2021 and we communicate omnichannel: make sure customers can still call you. You will reap many benefits from this.

4. You don’t listen to your customers

Listening to someone is a great skill and your customer service team should be particularly good at it. Nothing is as bad as a support agent who comes up with an answer that doesn’t match the customer’s question at all. Agents should never fill in the blanks or make assumptions. They should actively listen, take notes and above all ask the customer to repeat the question.

Make sure you implement customer satisfaction surveys in your ticketing software and collect as much customer feedback as possible. This way you will know if the quality of your service team is up to standard.

5. You don’t keep your promises

Nobody likes to be disappointed and your customers are no different. One of the most important mistakes in customer contact is not keeping promises. Nothing is as annoying as expecting something from a company that is not kept. Try turning it around. Your product and service should do what it does, but what if it was something extra? It’s always better to let your customer know in time that there will be a delay and apologise if your team is not going to deliver. Pay your dues, that’s part of the job.

Don’t make any promises you can’t keep and remain realistic about what you tell your customers. That way, no one will be disappointed.

6. You’re not fast enough

Nobody has time anymore and customers want an immediate answer to their question. Long waits irritate them. And we’re not just talking about waiting on the phone, but all channels. If someone starts a chat, he or she wants an answer within a minute. So whether you’re dealing with a slow agent or a poorly tuned chatbot: that’s just not on. Chats that are redirected to multiple agents, poor quality calls and slow response times to e-mails: you destroy more than you can imagine.

According to a Forrester report, 41% of customers expect a response to an email within six hours, but only 36% of the companies surveyed actually respond. Measure your NPS and CSAT and make sure you know where you can do better in your team. Keep track of the average response time and take steps when it is not to your liking.

7. You are not (yet) omnichannel present

The time that your customer only sought contact with you by phone is long gone. Nowadays they approach you from all channels. It can be by phone, but also through live chat, email or social media. It just depends on what your customer is in the mood for and you really cannot force your customer to use a certain channel. Companies who use omnichannel customer contact reduce their retention by up to 89%!

8. You don’t keep track of your customer data and history

Good customer service is not just about knowing the right answer. It’s about finding the perfect solution.

According to a recent survey, 64% of people expect to get real-time help no matter what channel they use, 37% expect to be able to contact the same customer service no matter what channel they use, and 87% think brands need to work harder to create a seamless omnichannel experience for customers. Chances are, your customers will be frustrated when an agent can’t access the previous data they need from that customer during a phone call or chat. So, to provide excellent customer service, you need to implement a tool that unifies your customer data.

Do you need such a tool? Then ask for a demo of Steam-connect. It literally has everything you need to give your customer a sublime customer experience.

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