The high expectations of your customers can be a double-edged sword. You want them to expect more of your product or service because, in their mind, it can set you apart from the rest of the competition. But when those expectations aren’t met, they’re more likely to become frustrated, increasing the chances that they’ll take their business elsewhere.
Even companies completely dedicated to providing great experiences will have to contend with customer issues. If your company’s current processes can’t properly address a barrage of customer grievances (and you’ll know that stress test when it happens), it could be time to reevaluate how prepared you are for when things get rough.
Here are three great ways to combat customer frustrations:
1. Provide support across multiple channels: Not every customer will reach out via email when something’s wrong. Some will call, open a chat window, or leave a comment on your social media page. It’s a safe bet that they’ll reach out in the way that’s most convenient for them. Not only that, the same customer might use several different channels, depending on the situation.
In a recent Gateway survey of customers and support professionals titled Uncover the true value of your customer support organization, 47% of the respondents stated they wanted to be helped across multiple support channels. Providing multiple pathways towards a resolution instills confidence in your customers, since they’ll know a support channel is always available.
Of course, different channels will require different approaches, but each channel should retain the same consistent level of high-quality support. Providing multi-channel support, unified under a centralized solution, will help ensures consistent support for all customers on every channel.
2. Always aim for speedy resolution times: 33% of the respondents on the Gateway survey noted that a major source of their frustration was “unacceptable resolution times”. This one seems like a no-brainer as an instigator of customer frustration, but fixing this is easier said than done. Customers that know they’re engaging with a slow support team will already be frustrated, since they won’t be looking forward to the experience.
Staying diligent about fast resolution times can help to better establish trust with your customers. Even if the outcome wasn’t exactly what the customer was expecting, handling it quickly can mitigate their frustrations and provide an overall satisfying experience. It’s all about having a good reputation: knowing that a support team provides speedy results builds trust and encourages customers to stay engaged in the resolution process.
Service level agreements (SLAs) enable managers to keep track of performance metrics, such as resolution time, to help them understand which agents might need further training to provide quicker service, or even if certain types of issues need to be automatically escalated.
3. Make things simple for your support professionals: As you can probably imagine, frustrated support agents aren’t a great choice for handling frustrated customers. The surveyed support professionals in the Gateway report found that:
- 45% of support professionals think their current systems are too hard to use or integrate
- 38% said conflicting priorities and strategies prevent them from providing competent support
- 36% complained of having too much on their plate, resulting in inadequate resolution times and processes
How can you make sure a support team stays encouraged and well apt to handle customer needs? When you empower agents to interact with customers how and when they choose, they can mitigate their own frustrations to swiftly alleviate the frustrations thrown their way.
Customer service doesn’t have to be painful for your customers. In fact, it has the potential to turn frustrated customers into loyal ones. Learn more about common roadblocks that prevent companies from providing great support, and how avoiding them can lead to loyal customers.
Read the Gatepoint Research report: Uncover the true value of your customer support organization