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Is Your Company Guilty of These Customer Service Crimes?

There are few businesses who provide a perfect customer experience. Have a look at these common customer service crimes to see if your company is guilty.

Image of police lights and crime scene tape for customer service crimes

When people commit crimes they are fined, go to jail, or sentenced to community service. When businesses commit customer service crimes there are also bad consequences. Not only do companies risk losing customers who are treated poorly, but those same customers will spread word about their bad experiences that will likely cause others to stay away.

Thankfully, if businesses become aware of gaps in their customer support then they can take steps to fix the problems, clense themselves of customer service crimes, and improve retention. Here are several common customer services crimes that your company may be guilty of…

Being unfriendly

This one seems so easy to get right, but it’s surprising how many companies have services reps out there that are unfriendly towards their customers. Even if you get all other aspects of the customer experience right, your clients are going to walk away with a bad taste in their mouth if they have been treated with rudeness. People have a choice who they do business with and it won’t be you if you don’t show them professional, friendly, courteous service.

Lack of availability

Customers have needs around the clock. If you aren’t available to help them when they come calling, then they’ll find another business who is. Even regular business hours aren’t enough to cut it these days. With so many ways to be available to help your customers at any time, it’s a crime not to be ready to assist when they are in need. Offering live chat support on your website or partnering with an answering service to handle your calls after hours and on weekends are two easy ways for your company to be available 24/7.

Inconsistency across channels

Maybe you’re good about responding to customer calls, but it takes a couple days to get around to emails from customers, and your social media accounts are rarely monitored. It’s not good to make customers guess which method for contacting you is best. Make sure you list your contact info clearly at your office, online, on your business cards and anywhere else your logo makes an appearance. But don’t stop there. Make it clear to customers when they should expect a response. You should also set a company policy of how quickly you’ll respond to any and all customer communication.

Over-promising and under-delivering

If you tell your customer that you’ll have a solution for them by the end of the day and then contact them the next day with the problem fixed, then you’ve still committed a customer service crime. Or say you tell a customer you’ll have their order shipped to them by the end of the week, but only half of their order arrives by then and the other half doesn’t get there until Monday. Guilty again. Don’t promise your customers something and fall short. They will not be happy. Instead, let your customers know when they should expect their issue to be resolved, leave yourself a little wiggle room, and then complete the task before that deadline. Under-promising and over-delivering is a much better formula for customer success.

Failure to bring closure

Communicate early and often. Customers who are left wondering if their issue will ever be solved often start thinking about your competitors. Leave no customer support ticket unresolved. Even if you don’t have a quick solution or it’s taking longer than expected to get it taken care of, let your customer know where you are in the process, what is being done, and when they can expect a solution. Keep them updated. And as a good rule of thumb, always make sure your response is the final piece of a thread with your customers.

Underwhelming appreciation

A simple thank you is incredibly powerful. Not letting your customers know that you appreciate their business is a silly mistake. Everything from straight up telling them thank you to offering a little customer appreciation discount has a positive impact. You don’t have to find exhorbitant ways to show them you’re thankful, but just make sure you do express that feeling in an appreciative manner every chance you get.

The craziest thing about these common customer service crimes is that businesses have been committing them and customers have been complaining about them forever. So why don’t more companies commit to improving their customer experience? There is no good answer for that, but perhaps more will begin to take note and make the effort. Those who do are bound to find success in business.

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