Topic: Retail Sales

Why Your Customers Would Rather Have To Speak In Public Than Call Your Customer Service Line

By Bob Phibbs

how handle customer complaints on phoneIn any business, customer service should be job number 1.

Don't get me wrong, creating profit is important and putting your everything into consistently delivering an exceptional experience are goals but without satisfied customers, none of the rest matters.

One of the areas many businesses fall down is their post-purchase customer service.

If customer service is delivered like most call centers or larger retailers, then chances are your customers would rather speak in public or be put through some other far more miserable fate than call your service number or your store. Here are 5 reasons why.

5 Reasons Why your customers would rather speak in public than call your customer service number.

Lagging hold times

When people are made to wait for anything, that’s bad. But when your customers, who have already invested money in your product are made to wait to find the answers that your product manual wasn’t bright enough to include or your sales team weren’t prescient enough to address, that can infuriate customers. And lead to returns.

Apathy

One of the worst caricatures of a bad customer service person on the phone is a gum chomping, I-don’t-care-about-your-issue, distracted individual. If your people that answer your phones in real life are not much different, you might as well not have anyone answering customers' calls. Answering the phone is as much "showtime" as greeting a customer.

Defense/Offense

As a representative of your business it is your employee's job to represent the good name of your company, not speaking their mind back to customers who are upset.

All employees are your customer service representatives; they don't work for you to make themselves feel superior. While no customer service rep deserves to be treated inhumanely there is a line employees must walk between standing up for themselves in a legitimate fashion and just turning a snide attitude towards someone who is unhappy with your product or service.

Parroted response

Nothing makes a disgruntled human being even more disgruntled than being treated like the furthest thing from a human being.

Have you ever called a customer service center with a legitimate question about a product when the representative begins reading off their script? Sure you have!

Being read to says to the customer that no matter what their issue is, no matter how distinct and original their problem was, and no matter the time they took out of their day to call your 800 number or store to try and rectify the problem, the answer lies in a few generic words from a script.

Words which were written well before that customer and your product ever had been introduced.

No satisfaction

All of these different problems customers have with your customer service representatives gets back to the primary issue of customer satisfaction. The reason customers would rather not take the time and effort and call your customer service line is because they have never gotten any satisfaction; whether from you or other retailers.

If your customers don’t want to call and deal with your customer service reps,then the question remains, why even say you have customer service in the first place?

If you’re going to have a customer service line where your customers can call in and seek help after their purchase or even when you allow someone to answer your phone in your retail store, then you have got to give them the necessary training and leeway how to deal with these people in a real way to give the satisfaction your customers seek. They can't stop the conversation until your customers' questions have been answered. That means...

If you pick up the phone and a customer has questions or problems after purchase:

  • Let them know you are the right person to talk to, identify yourself by name without the customer having to ask.
  • If you are not the person, tell them the name of the person who is and either transfer or take all the information down telling the customer when to expect a return call and what to do if they aren't called within X # of hours.
  • Follow these four easy steps to handle a customer complaint.

As much as I'm not a fan of how Amazon is taking over the world, the reality is, their customer service lines are raved about across social media as uniformly helpful, personal, no-hassle and raving-fan-making.

An attitude of service is a new revelation for customer service everywhere; may your customers rejoice!

To discover how to create raving fans from your delivery of an exceptional experience, grab a copy of The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business (Wiley.) If you buy it from my store, you'll get it autographed for free.

The 5 Shifts Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Are Making to Generate Up to 20% Higher Profits Every Month

Are you a hungry brick-and-mortar store owner who’s ready for a fresh, people-obsessed strategy? This training is for you if you want to grow your business using a powerful customer experience formula proven to make your cash register chirp.

I'm ready to win