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Know What Makes Your Customers Angry

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on August 31, 2010

We’ve all been there as consumers: Getting so riled up by poor service that we explode and vow to never do business with a company again.

But what really makes consumer’s blood boil? We wanted to know, so we asked more than 1,500 consumers what really makes them tick. Their top three responses:

• Speaking with multiple agents and starting over every time.

• Dealing with rude or inexperienced representatives or service technicians.

• Being kept on hold for long periods of time or unable to use self-service options successfully.

In a questionable economy, losing customers is not an option. Here are some tips on how to avoid the mistakes highlighted above.

1. Deliver a consistent experience across all service channels. There’s nothing worse for a customer than being bounced around, getting the same information repeatedly, and receiving different levels of service in the different channels (including call centers, websites, and retail stores). This can be fixed. Track the customer’s behavior across all channels. This gives you the visibility to pinpoint where service breakdowns occur and where you need to focus on change.

2. Align service channels and resources (including agents) with customer needs. Understand what your customers are actually trying to do and which service mix works best for each of their unique needs. This ensures that the interactions requiring live agent assistance are being directed to a real technician. In addition, your training, coaching, and mentorship programs must support the needs of both your customers and your agents.

3. Promote self-service. Customers appreciate having more control over their experience with self-service options via the Web or automated interactive voice response systems. Poorly designed self-service deters future adoption and usage. Understand the transactions that make the most sense for self-service, and then design and monitor customer behavior. Implementing self-service will save the customer time—and your bottom line.

Taking these three steps will make your customers’ lives easier, increase loyalty, and reduce churn. In this market, you need to do all three.

Marco Pacelli

Reader Comments


September 2, 2010 2:07 PM

Playing music or using voiced messages on hold have been shown to be effective, but it is not a do-it-yourself job. Your callers can tell if your hold messages are professional or amateur. Often a custom on hold messaging service can be quite affordable. Google "music on hold" and choose the Easy on hold option.

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