In the age of social media, customers have a platform to vent their frustrations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customer expectations are higher than ever, so it’s no surprise that people are quick to complain when things go wrong. This might sound like a nightmare scenario for anyone working concerned with customer service but rather than despair, we should treat these complaints as opportunities to learn and improve. Customer feedback is one of the most useful tools we have for highlighting service issues and identifying actionable insights to correct them. In this article, we’ll take a look at some typical consumer affairs complaints—and show you how to effectively resolve them.
Customer service complaints come in many shapes and sizes, but some common complaints pop up more frequently than others. Tackling these problems will go a long way to improving customer satisfaction and attracting more positive reviews, so we’ve outlined the best ways to resolve each of these frequent complaints.
No, that’s not the title of a low-budget sci-fi movie. As technology becomes more advanced, it may be tempting to rely on automated services to handle the workload, but this can lead to one of the most common customer service complaints, not being able to talk to a real person. When a customer cannot connect to a real human being, particularly for more complex problems, they may feel like they aren’t being valued. Though self-service options like FAQs and tutorial videos can be useful, they aren’t an appropriate substitute in every situation. Make sure you have accessible options for phone and live chat and enough customer service agents to keep queue times low.
Being transferred from agent to agent, or even redirected to a different department entirely, can be an extremely frustrating experience. While it is true that transfers are unavoidable in some cases—resolving the problem may require multiple inputs—it’s best to limit the number of transfers to avoid irritating the customer. Make sure that customers are being directed to the correct department upon first contact, and that the agents they speak to are trained to a high standard and equipped to handle any issue.
Nobody likes to be kept waiting and this is particularly true in customer service. The quicker a customer can connect to an agent and receive the information they need, the more satisfied they will be with the interaction and the more likely they are to give positive feedback. If you are receiving this complaint regularly, it’s important to keep an eye on relevant metrics like queue times and peak volume. Again, make sure that your agents are knowledgeable enough to resolve issues quickly and this will naturally make them more productive, increasing the volume your contact center can handle and reducing wait times.
We all have our good days and our bad days, but for customer service agents it’s important to try and remain polite and always engaged. Customers are very perceptive, and if an agent’s tone or language seems off, they will notice it and be left with the impression that the agent doesn’t care about them or their problem. Being hypercritical of an agent in this scenario won’t help, but it can be treated as a learning moment. Use the data to show agents where they are performing well and where they may need to improve, then provide them with the tools for growth.
Of course, in an ideal world, your product or service would be flawless and never break or present any issues. However, in the real world, issues will arise with every product or service from time to time. This is why agents must be able to remedy these efficiently when speaking to a customer. Agents should know the product inside out and be capable of troubleshooting any potential issue. Quickly deciding the ideal solution, be it a replacement, a remote fix, or even a refund, is the key to supplying excellent customer service.
Customer complaints are part and parcel of working in a contact center, so it’s vital that agents are ready to handle any complaints that come their way. While we have outlined the fixes for specific complaints above, there are some general best practices which apply to most customer service complaints.
Pay attention to what your customer is really saying. It might be tempting to stick to a script or go through the motions, but customers are perceptive enough to catch you out if you’re not paying attention.
Nobody likes to be kept waiting, be prompt with your responses. Recognize the issue, figure out the best way to resolve it, and act within an acceptable timeframe. If a customer is kept waiting, they will grow even more frustrated, increasing the chances of further negative feedback.
The customer service game is always evolving, and your agents should be too. Make sure you are supplying tailored training on a regular basis, targeting problem areas which have been identified through data collection and analysis.
Sometimes the customer just wants to vent and be heard, so make sure that you acknowledge their difficulties. Empathy and emotional intelligence will allow agents to step into the customer’s shoes and understand where they are coming from.
Nobody wants to receive negative customer feedback but it’s an unavoidable reality of working in a contact center. Particularly in the age of social media, where there are more channels than ever available for frustrated customers to vent, it’s inevitable that you will receive complaints from time to time. This is why it’s important to treat these complaints as opportunities for improvement and growth. Identify the most common complaints you receive, identify the appropriate solutions, and get to work. Through data analysis and agent training, a quality assurance platform like Scorebuddy can bring your customer service to the next level and drastically reduce customer complaints. Request a demo today to learn how Scorebuddy could work for you.