How to Handle the Top 10 Customer Service Complaints customer service complaints

How to Handle the Top 10 Customer Service Complaints

Customers today have higher expectations than ever. And customers with complaints reach twice as many people as customers who are satisfied. Especially with social media, it only takes a few minutes for unhappy customers to air their grievances and share negative feedback with thousands of people.

In a Forbes survey, more than 1,000 consumers were asked if they would remain loyal to a brand if they had a poor interaction with a customer service representative. A resounding 96% of consumers responded that they would switch brands if they received bad service.

Customer churn is consistently increasing due to high expectations, and loyal customers are becoming harder to find. Here’s how to handle the top 10 customer complaints about customer service and create an exceptional customer service experience.

1. I Can’t Talk To A Real Person

When a customer connects with your brand hoping to speak to a live customer service team representative (whether by phone, chat, email, or otherwise), they quickly become frustrated if they are forced to interact with an automated system.

Today’s computer-savvy customers have most likely searched for a solution themselves and failed. They reach out with more complex problems, and it doesn’t help to be redirected to your FAQ page when they are already aware of that information.

To avoid this customer complaint and potential customer churn, ensure your customer service phone number or live chat is featured prominently on your website. And don’t present your customer with countless menus to navigate before they can reach a representative.

As a contact center manager, it’s also crucial to ensure your customer service team is equipped with enough members to handle the current service load. Don’t force your customers to go through a poorly designed IVA or chatbot, as it could result in poor customer feedback and drive them into the arms of a competitor.

Related Article: Can Your WFM Solution Accurately Forecast In A Modern Digital Contact Center?

2. It Takes Too Many Calls To Resolve An Issue

First Contact Resolution (FCR) is the gold standard of customer service. If the experience is bad enough, many customers won’t give your company a second chance.

The first step toward attaining this level of service is deciding whether it’s a priority for you. If so, use First Interaction Resolution as your most important metric and train your staff to achieve it.

Establishing the staff and support you need to achieve First Interaction Resolution for the majority of your interactions — while still maintaining acceptable hold times and conversation length — will result in exceptional customer service.

Consider outsourcing some of the work to improve from your current service level. The investment in your customer service team will pay you back with customer satisfaction.

3. The Company Takes Too Long To Respond

Did you know 46% of all consumers expect companies to respond in four hours or less? And 12% of consumers expect a response within 15 minutes.

To resolve this issue and to keep customer satisfaction high, understand customer expectations by channel because they are very different. If the channel is email, send an acknowledgment email to show you’re aware of the problem and are working on it. This goes a long way even for complex customer complaints that will take several hours to resolve. There’s a lot to be gained from speedy responses, as customers are willing to spend more with businesses that are responsive to their inquiries.

Related eBook: Why Digital Matters: Connecting With Customers Beyond Voice

4. The Customer Service Representative Was Not Professional

Train your customer service team in soft skills, such as empathy and listening. Something as simple as “I’m sorry” or “Thank you for your patience” can go a long way in calming down an upset customer. Similarly, there’s a fine line between “pushy” and “helpful,” and that can make a big difference in how the customer experience is received.

Your staff should be sensitive to the customer’s needs and feelings and tailor their approach accordingly. Customer service representatives are people too and might need to decompress after an intense customer interaction. Allowing them to switch between channels gives them a chance to calm down so they can give each customer their best.

5. The Staff Couldn’t Do Much To Help Me

Companies with the best customer service reputations authorize staff to go above and beyond to please the customer. An excellent online knowledge base, containing all the information reps need to solve customer problems, will ensure they feel supported.

For the best results, agents should be empowered to offer some solutions without a manager’s approval. For instance, authority to approve refunds or replacements (under some circumstances) should be given to staff members in an effort to avoid longer customer wait times. In order to keep loyal customers and maintain positive customer feedback, solving the problem should be easy for your team.

Related Article: 15 Tips to Empower Call Center Agents to Create Top-Notch Customer Experiences

How to Handle the Top 10 Customer Service Complaints customer service complaints

6. My Agent Seemed Like A Novice

Of course, your rookie agents may not be able to solve issues with the expertise of a long-term team member. But every member of your customer service team needs thorough training in your products, policies, and programs.

If possible, training should cover separate customer issues according to their level of difficulty. Easy, common issues can go to new hires, while the more difficult problems can be routed to your superstar reps.

Make sure CX staff members know how to get help when they need it. More experienced reps can assist, or the supervisor can take over if necessary. And keep investing in ongoing training for everyone on your customer service team to keep skills sharp and broaden abilities.

7. I Received An Unrelated Copy/Paste Answer

In an increasingly digital world, customers look for the human touch. When a response is personal, little things can mean a lot.

Greet the customer by name when they call or email. Enter customer preferences into your CRM, along with relevant personal information. For example, your company can send a short “Happy Birthday” message, along with a discount on their favorite product.

When utilizing your CRM or customer database, try to add value to your customers’ lives. For instance, tailor your offers to match their interests instead of sending out the same email to everyone.

Related Article: 10 Best Rewards Programs for Loyal Customers

8. I Was Unable To Immediately Talk To A Human

If you offer too many levels in your automated system, you risk losing a customer altogether. Don’t make customers navigate multiple levels of automation before they reach a live representative.

If you use a voice-recognition system, make sure it works well. There are few things more irritating than repeating yourself to a computer. The same goes for digital connections: If the interaction begins with an automated chat, make it simple for customers to enter live chat if the digital prompts don’t answer their questions immediately.

9. I Keep Getting Transferred/Disconnected

Anyone who has experienced a disconnection will agree: Retelling your story and explaining your issue for a second time is frustrating. For that reason, it’s a good idea to get your customer’s phone number so you can call them back if you’re disconnected.

If they need to be transferred to another staff member or department, make sure to tell them what you’re doing and give them the direct number so they can call back if necessary. Similarly, if a live chat is disconnected, customers should be able to reach the same rep instead of having to explain the problem to someone new.

In a Zendesk survey, 71% of customers said they expect a company to share information so they don’t have to repeat themselves. Ensure that no matter what channel customers reach you on, they can shift seamlessly without having to repeat information.

Related Article: Creating Consistency Across Customer Service Channels

10. They Didn’t Respond To My Problem On Social Media

A social media presence is essential for any business today. For many people, social media is their go-to method for contacting companies, and they expect answers fast. In fact, from 2020 to 2021 alone, the volume of consumers who preferred using social messaging for customer service jumped by 110%.

Social media companies make it easy for customers to see whether they’re dealing with responsive companies, so it pays to keep service high in these channels. For instance, if you want a “very responsive to messages” badge on Facebook, your page needs to have responded to 90% of messages within 15 minutes for the last seven days.

A rapid response on social media ensures customers feel heard — and that’s what keeps them coming back. 

Maintain A Satisfied Customer Base

Negative feedback from customers can drive a company into the ground, but if you’re prepared you can come out ahead of the competition and reach success.

Regardless of how hard you try, there will always be unhappy customers — But that doesn’t mean they won’t remain loyal to your brand.

Even if they have a negative experience, there are ways you can ensure they remain loyal customers. For example, if you have their mailing address and zip code, you can send them an apology and offer a discount code for their next purchase.

Little things can truly go a long way in the customer service world, and minimizing customer complaints will result in less churn and more success!

For more information about best customer service practices, request a demo from Playvox.

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