The true cost of poor customer service
As last month’s twinkling trees and delightful decorations now seem something of a distant memory, customer expectations show absolutely no signs of slowing down as we welcome another new year.
Here at TCCS, we recently had a rather riveting discussion about just how much frontline agents truly appreciate the importance of going the extra mile for every single customer.
Reflecting on our own experiences, we firmly believe that agents can’t possibly maximize and exert their potential if they aren’t mindful of the crippling implications of poor customer service.
There’s no time for turkey talk. Let’s get started!
What do customers expect?
One of the most common complaints of the modern customer is the inability to receive a seamless, satisfactory experience. Receiving such a quality service is a basic promise that customers expect from the organizations they choose to do business with. When they encounter roadblocks, they’re left with no alternative but to spend unnecessary time seeking answers to their queries.
Whether it’s patiently waiting on hold for 30 minutes, getting lost a sea of generic website links to simply pay a bill online, or writing a formal email when numerous Tweets are ignored, customers will very quickly question one’s offering, based solely on the service they receive.
Let’s briefly consider just three of the many inevitable implications of consistently poor service efforts.
#1. Customers and prospects will take their business elsewhere
Let’s be realistic. Would you continually pay for a product that’s offered with the promise of quality service, but the complete opposite is delivered?
A bad reputation based on first-hand customer experiences immediately suggests to both customers and prospects a collective, shared frustration with the quality of service being delivered. If ignoring customers and not respecting their requirements one day creates a positive impression, we’ll eat both our hat and yours.
Remember, a poor service stigma lays the planks required for customers to jump ship into the welcoming arms of competitors.
What’s an organization without a concrete customer base? That’s right, dead in the water!
#2. Customers use social media too
With the chains and shackles of sole telephone support snapped in recent years, customers are no longer restricted to seeking assistance or exclusively expressing their opinions with a phone to their ear.
It’s ancient history to note that every customer generally share their negative experiences with up to ten people. Getting down with the times, vocal customer venting has been amplified louder than a Motörhead concert, with thanks to the power of social media.
As of the third quarter of 2015, Twitter and Facebook averaged at 307 million and 1.44 billion monthly active users, respectively. Quite the eye opener in comparison to telling a handful of friends about a particularly poor experience you’ve received, huh?
You’re not a living, breathing extra from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Those voices coming through your headsets are not mental whispers. Those messages on your screen are not a mind-boggling illusion. Behind every interaction is a receptive human being with clear-cut expectations of a professional, dedicated service.
Your efforts as a frontline agent are more public than ever before.
#3. Every single, poor interaction jeopardizes your job
Waiiiit, we’re not poking holes in your performance. We simply believe that poor service efforts are much more costly than the monetary value that effectively funds your pay slip.
We’re not disputing that you could be one of the best agents on the floor. Nevertheless, it’s important to recognize that other agents may ignore, misinterpret and frustrate customers that undoubtedly question their commitment to your organization.
By appreciating the true impact of customer service and it’s parallel impact on loyalty and satisfaction, agents can focus on maintaining lasting relations with positive, very vocal advocates. While the center you’re based at may seem physically disconnected from the daily mechanics of your associated store, warehouse and website, today’s customers make buying decisions with service offering high on their list of requirements.
Effective, collective service is the backbone of your offering.
Your efforts as an agent are crucial
It’s an all too familiar circumstance that organizations become immersed in the process of reeling in new customers. From enticing discounts to flashy ad campaigns, we’re promised the sun, moon and stars as customers. That being said, we equally expect what we’re promised from the very moment we complete any necessary signup procedures.
Irrespective of center complexity or projected, expected offering, every single customer has a significant value that goes beyond their next purchase. Without your focused efforts and dedication on the frontline, customer impressions of the organization you represent will directly impact and jeopardize revenues, career structures and future center developments. Customers aren’t trusting the every word of your QA team or Supervisor. They trust you and only you to assist them in a time of need.
Remember, customers will always be more vocal and far-reaching than any fine-tuned PR campaign.
It's up to you to get 'em talking!