In this digital age, we are faced with intense competition. The customer experience is often found to be a primary differentiator, regardless of industry, which is why great customer service is so fundamentally important to companies today. Research supports this, showing that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed positive customer experience.
When we fail to meet customer expectations, they are able to move on and purchase their goods and services from a competitor quite easily. Furthermore, companies that conduct business operations online – includes sales and returns – have a higher risk of losing customers due to a poor customer experience just because they are engaging with customers more. The more we engage with our customers, the more opportunity there is to fail from a customer service standpoint.
Here’s how to avoid a major customer service fail and keep from losing valuable customers.
Be More Accessible
We need to make it easier for customers to get in touch when they have a customer service question. Higher levels of accessibility improve customer retention. Online customer service portals help with this. They are online 24/7 and are easy for customers to use. Customers can login and submit a support case, access FAQs, request returns, track shipments, and more. Self-service portals even allow customers to login and access or change their account details.
Another important component of accessibility is the contact page. We need to be transparent with customers about how to reach us. Placing a phone number and email on the header and/or footer of a website is a great practice. It makes your company more accessible and improves your rankings on search engines too (bonus!).
Enabling live chat is another way to improve accessibility. We use Zendesk. Their chat service allows messages when team members are offline, so there is never an ‘off’ time.
Leverage Customer Information
Our customers provide us with a great deal of information. We should be using this information to avoid major customer service fails whenever possible. We have the ability to cater customer service outreach, automate surveys, texts, and so much more.
When a customer is dissatisfied with a purchase for any reason, we have found that free return shipping is a great way to smooth things over and encourage exchanges or repeat purchases. Since the cost of customer acquisition is often much higher than the cost of retaining customers, offering a pre-paid shipping labels for returns is well worth the cost.
Optimize the Returns Process
Most customer service fails come from poor customer engagement. Poor customer engagement that results from returns mishaps is the worst form of this. Not only have you lost a customer but also the potential for new customers within their network. We have found that optimizing the returns process is perhaps one of the best ways to avoid a major customer service fail.
It can be very frustrating to deal with returns when your systems are disorganized. We were dealing with this constantly before developing a solution that was built specifically for returns management. SupportSync provides a detailed snapshot of your customers to make returns easy and customer service a breeze. We’ve simplified the process to make it easier on you and better for your customers – from returns management to case tracking, integrated shipping tools, and more.