Customer support mistakes can happen even when call center agents have the best of intentions. A host of things can contribute to customer support mistakes. Poor customer feedback signals the need for call center agent onboarding, targeted training for current employees, and ongoing monitoring. Having the wrong digital tools might also be contributing to customer support mistakes.
When your customers voice their dissatisfaction, it’s important to recognize the signs early and determine what’s causing their unhappiness. Luckily, technology can help — the future of good customer support lies in digital transformation.
We’ve identified 10 of the most common customer support mistakes and how you can use training, technology, and best practices for customer support, so your call center runs optimally.
The 10 Most Common Customer Support Mistakes
Salespeople and marketers work hard to fill their quotas and bring new customers in the door. The role of good customer service is to continue building on the initial relationship to make it better and stronger. With every step along the customer journey, employees can make mistakes. An occasional mistake typically won’t cause you to lose a customer. In any industry, certain types of mistakes are common, and you can learn much from them.
Here’s a look at 10 of the most common customer support mistakes:
1. Not using active listening skills. Customer support agents quickly get to know a lot of the common complaints. In their desire to resolve customer problems early, they may be tempted to jump in with solutions before they give the customer a chance to fully express what they need.
2. Guessing at an answer. When a customer support agent doesn’t know the answer to a customer’s question, they may choose to give the customer the answer they want to hear or repeat something they’ve heard another customer support agent say. The next time the customer calls, they’ll get a different answer which will frustrate and confuse them.
3. Not being proactive enough in assessing customer needs and addressing their complaints. Every call that comes into your call center is unique and different. While many of the issues your call center agents receive are similar, they’re not necessarily going to be able to resolve every issue right away, but they should know what steps to take to ensure that the customer is satisfied in the end.
4. Relying too heavily on scripts. Scripts are a good tool for training customer service agents. The right wording helps to train them in what to say and how to say it to get valuable information from customers. After the initial phrase or two, customer service agents need to rely on their skills to find the right words to personalize the customer support conversation.
5. Over-promising results and underdelivering them. Customers might be hanging onto every word that a customer support agent says. When customers are told they won’t have to wait on hold very long, it’s frustrating when the customer support agent doesn’t give them periodic updates about when the problem will be resolved.
6. Not answering calls quickly. Customers that call in and have to wait a long time for someone to answer the call or for the call to be sent to voicemail get the message that you’re too busy to help them. It sends a message that you don’t care enough to staff your call center appropriately for the call volume.
7. Transferring customers around too many times. Customer support agents can’t always resolve customer issues, but they should be aware of the right workflows to get customers to the right person to help them as quickly as possible.
8. Not utilizing the right communication channels. Today’s customers still like to use the phone, but they also like to use self-service tools, chat, email, and texting. Skilled customer support agents learn which communication channels are the most effective for the circumstance.
9. Not reviewing the call history while talking to customers. This is a major frustration for customers because it causes them to have to repeat the same problem over and over again.
10. Not providing adequate follow-up. When there are delays in manufacturing or shipping, customers will have a better customer experience when customer support agents can give them regular updates on progress. It’s also important for customer support agents to let customers know if they’re not able to honor their original commitment at the earliest opportunity.
What Can Cause Customer Service Mistakes?
Customer support mistakes can be very damaging to your company, especially when one mistake leads to another. It’s crucial to emphasize to your customer support agents that your customers have many choices to make when choosing the companies they patronize. The risk of switching to a competitor is high.
Call center managers can avoid common customer service mistakes by taking stock of their root causes.
It’s a mistake for call center managers to view call agent training as a “one-and-done” event. Call center agents need to continually improve their listening skills and learn how to ask the right questions to better understand your customers’ needs. Regular and ongoing training is necessary to help them become skilled at resolving problems and improving the customer experience with every call.
Even when call center agents are well-trained and highly experienced, new problems can creep up at any time, causing a situation where they just don’t know what to do. Open communication between call center managers and their agents will help you identify new issues early before they become a major concern and result in customer churn. It’s also important to have good communication and collaboration between call center agents because their peers may be experiencing some of the same problems.
Having too many or too few digital tools leads to inefficiency, and it frustrates your call center agents. Not having the right tools to serve the customer disrupts workflows and negatively impacts the customer experience. Often, your customer support agents provide the best feedback about the types of digital tools that help them the most. What’s worse is the wrong tools might actually be a hindrance to productivity.
The Importance of Training Your Customer Support Team
Regular, systematic customer support training is important to your call center agents, your customers, and your business. The right training should be inspiring and dynamic, as well as help your customer support team strengthen their skills.
Your customer support agents benefit by ongoing training in these ways:
Inspires higher motivation and engagement
Improves customer support skills
Primes them to answer calls with confidence and professionalism
Promotes a culture of positivity
Your business will also benefit by:
Preventing customer support mistakes
Alerting you to new or ongoing problems early so you can take action
Building customer loyalty
Increasing customer satisfaction
Undoubtedly, you have emphasized to your customer support agents about the importance of enhancing the customer experience. In the interest of quality training, it’s important to cultivate a culture of collaboration that strives for excellence.
Leveraging Technology to Improve Customer Support
Technology opens up a host of new tools for customer support call centers. Innovation in digital transformation continues to evolve. As you evaluate the right technology to improve customer support, it’s important to think about how it will impact the customer journey before and after they buy. The right technology gives your customer support agents meaningful tools, that when used appropriately, will enhance their interactions with your customers and lead to brand loyalty.
See the following checklist of some effective ways to leverage technology to improve customer support:
Distributed teams and remote teams provide a way to be available to your customers in all time-zones and in all geographical locations. A cloud phone system and software integrations keep teams connected and give visibility into call center activities.
Set up self-service options so customers can access information without having to phone the call center. Software solutions like Freshdesk allow you to set up an automated knowledge base for frequently asked questions.
Implement tools to support omnichannel communication. Intercom assists your support agents by allowing them to switch between email and live chat customer support. It’s a multi-functional app that also supports self-service tools. Textline offers the capability for customer support agents to text with your customers.
A cloud-based phone system gives you insight about increases or decreases in call volume at various times during your business hours. Call center analytics will help you to appropriately scale your call center so that customers aren’t waiting too long for calls to be answered.
Use automated survey tools like Typeform and Nicereply to evaluate and score customer satisfaction using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score. Feedback from customers is essential for learning more about the quality of the service your customer support teams are providing. Take swift action on issues that surveys bring to the surface.
Use interactive voice response (IVR), call routing, and call extensions to route calls to the most appropriate customer support agent from the first ring.
Customer Support Best Practices
Today’s customers are proactive, well-researched, and better informed because of easy access to the internet. They have a strong voice and know how to make themselves heard. As a result, they’ve raised the bar on what they expect from the companies they choose to do business with.
Modern customer support best practices involve all employees that participate in the customer journey. When you think of best practices for customer support, consider how each employee and department contributes to customer success.
The following list of best practices for customer support teams will give you a foundation to build on:
Establish a plan for regular, on-going training for customer support agents and follow through with it.
Leverage call center analytics and digital tools to set goals for customer support agents and offer objective feedback.
Use a cloud-based phone system that offers a robust set of voice features.
Integrate your VoIP phone system with your CRM system.
Carefully choose the right software integrations to support the purpose of your call center whether it’s sales or service oriented.
Use automated surveys to gauge and score customer satisfaction.
Implement self-service options and knowledge bases to serve customers better and reduce call volume.
Implement digital tools to provide your customers with an omnichannel communication experience.
Leverage call ticketing and call assignment tools to enhance customer support collaboration with teams.
Leverage technology to bring all of your digital tools into a single source, forming a convenient and functional all-in-one resource for customer support agents.
Break down internal silos by sharing targets and goals with all employees that participate in the customer journey.
Set your customer support agents up with the tools they need and don’t overload them with digital tools that they don’t need or use.
Overall, by design, Aircall works with software integrations like the ones listed in the Aircall App Marketplace to bring out the best in voice features and digital tools by unifying information into a single source of data that’s handy and accessible for customer support agents. These tools form the foundation for the best in digital transformation for today, as well as innovation for the future.
Published on January 2, 2024.