If you don’t make it easy for the customer to do business with you, they won’t
By Randi Busse
A hassle-free customer-service experience can go a long way in keeping customers happy. What are you doing to avoid the customer-service maze?
No matter how great your offerings are, there will undoubtedly be times when a customer needs to contact you with a question, concern, complaint or any other type of inquiry. It’s not the type of call we like to receive, but it’s a reality for which we need to prepare.
If someone needs to reach your organization, make it easy for them. Let them get back to business as usual and turn any issues into a thing of the past.
How can we avoid the customer-service maze? It’s simple — and a little planning can prevent many customer headaches.
Prominently display your contact information on your website. This includes phone numbers, email addresses and social media accounts (that you actively monitor). A website without contact information says, “We don’t want to hear from you.”
Avoid confusing phone menus. If you use an automated menu, provide a simple option for getting to a real person. (Some big companies are so notorious for complicated phone processes with lengthy wait times that there are now apps to help you find shortcuts to speak to a person faster. Helpful — but wouldn’t it be better just to simplify these systems instead?)
Provide help — even when it’s not your department. Being transferred from person to person can become a nightmare of your customer repeating herself while getting nowhere. Encourage communication between your employees so that when the inevitable hand-off occurs, a customer won’t feel like they’re starting at the beginning again. And please don’t “dump and run.” Provide any information the customer has provided to the employee to whom you will be transferring them.
Train employees to provide solutions. Customers just seek answers, regardless of how friendly and polite your employees sound. So along with that positive attitude, ensure your employees can take actionable steps. Because let’s face it, even if they don’t know the answer, they’re most likely more equipped to find one than a customer is.
Serve your customers where they are. Depending on what your company offers, you likely have a wide variety of customers with different communication habits. While reliable phone support is often a safe bet, these days text and web applications are often a preferred means of communication for many customers. Make these options available and as helpful as a trusty phone call if viable.
Making the customer-service experience hassle-free can go a long way in strengthening the relationship with your customers. Consider what contact with your organization looks like from the outside. When companies don’t make it easy to do business with them, customers will find another company that will.