In an ideal world, every customer service outsourcing interaction made between businesses and clients would result in glowing reviews and satisfied customers. But that is not always the case. In fact, there are countless bad customer service “horror stories” in circulation, and these stories tend to spread faster more than first-hand accounts of customer service practices done right.
You’ve probably had your own share of those kinds of stories, too. Whether it’s something you’ve experienced yourself, or a story recounted by a friend or acquaintance, there’s no dearth of poor customer service PR nightmares out there. And with social media magnifying these customer service missteps faster than before, it’s important to know what was done right by these companies and, even more importantly, what should be avoided.
Here are a few customer service mistakes that you should strive to steer clear of at all cost:
1. Not monitoring your social media sites
If your business has some social media presence (and in today’s market, really, who doesn’t?), make sure that you hire a dedicated employee or service to work behind the scenes. There should be an actual person monitoring your Twitter feed, Facebook page, e-commerce site, or any other web presence you have out there. And by monitoring, we mean not just gathering data or passively lurking around, but doing actual engagement with clients, and replying to mentions or inquiries as quickly as possible.
Speed is key here, because the faster you reply to clients, the more favorable your image becomes. While some businesses don’t have the capacity – nor are required – to reply to clients 24/7, if yours operates round the clock, then your social media and customer service front liners should operate round the clock, too.
2. Inappropriate use of automated replies
Using an automated response system can be a godsend when used properly. You can forward an automated email to acknowledge new subscribers, use it to let clients know via email that you’re unavailable at the moment, or set it up to send an automated reply thanking new twitter followers for the follow.
However it’s not always appropriate in some scenarios, especially if you’re dealing with tech-savvy followers who will eventually find out. This means that it might not be a good idea to set up an auto-responder for each and every twitter mention, with utter disregard for message content.
For example, a Twitter follower could be mentioning your Twitter handle to air out a grievance, and if your auto-responder gives out an upbeat message that doesn’t acknowledge the complaint, it might grate on your client’s nerves or worse, result an escalated customer complaint.
3. Badmouthing customers online
Insulting customers is never a good idea, regardless of what social media platform you use. There’s a reason stock phrases like “the customer is always right” and “the customer is king” have stood the test of time: they serve as excellent benchmarks on how to treat customers, and to ensure business success down the line.
Having said that, some customer grievances might not be warranted or seem downright unfair. But that doesn’t mean you should use your Facebook page to get back at a disgruntled customer. The best way to deal with customers who leave disparaging messages on your Facebook page, or who leave insults on your Twitter feed? Turn the other cheek. Don’t make it worse by responding with another insult. And then take the complaints offline. Apologize to your irate customers face to face or through a private message, and then deal with the complaint privately, without a public forum reading every exchange online.
It would require consistently exceptional service – the kind that truly goes above and beyond expectations – for a business to get the five-star customer rating that they so covet. Remember: it’s never a good idea to undermine your clients if you want to be a business success. Whether on social media, in your online platform, or at your customer service desk, the customer, truly, is king.
Communications between clients and businesses have become much easier through the development of social media networks. With our in-depth knowledge on the processes included in social media, you can earn not only successful transactions, but a more precise system of monitoring and managing of online campaigns, stronger brand loyalty, and generally an improved customer engagement, among others. Learn more!