Making customers jump through hoops to get problems resolved ruins the customer experience
So I bought a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes – the red bottom stilettos. I put them on and oh, did they look good! My calf muscles just popped in these shoes. Without even realizing it, I walked with a little “switch” in my hips. I could totally see myself taking the keynote stage in these shoes with the lipstick-red sole, wearing one of my little black dresses.
As I “test-walked” in my new shoes, I realized they hurt my feet! My stride was pained. I was cute but nowhere close to comfortable. There’s no way I could deliver a keynote in these shoes! I can have sexy red-soled shoes, yes. But what good are sexy shoes if I’m in pain?
Here’s what my red bottom stilettos, now on a UPS truck back to New York, have to do with your customer experience: What good is it to have delightful employees, if customers have to work too hard to get help?
Friendly and delightful employees are great, yes. But what your customers really want is a smooth, easy experience. Here are 3 ways to give your customers what they really want: help.
1. Make solving customers’ problems priority 1
If a customer speaks with a wonderfully friendly employee, but the customer had to make 4 calls, send an email and also use support chat to get her problem resolved, she still had to go through lots of hoops.
A delightful employee does not make up for the multiple calls, email and delays the customer had to go through. Your customers don’t want to talk to nice friendly employees. Well, they do, but more than that, what your customers really want is their problems solved.
2. Make sure you’re focusing on what matters to your customers
Every call center I’ve worked with scores agents on metrics, like call handling time and average speed of answer. An Australian call center in the telecommunications industry stopped scoring agents on productivity metrics like these and began focusing on meeting customers’ needs. Call handle time increased some, but repeat calls fell by an astounding 58%.
Trust me, your customers would rather hold for a few more seconds than have to make repeat calls to get their problems solved. Make sure you measure what really matters to your customers.
3. Fix what frustrates your customers
A company called me to deliver customer service training. After listening to a random sample of phone calls between customer service employees and customers, I realized the problem wasn’t a lack of soft skills. The problem was the company was too darn hard to do business with.
Over and over again I could hear the frustration in the voices of customers as they explained the same scenario: “I submitted this online and never heard back,” “This is my fourth call,” “Just let me speak to a supervisor.”
The first thing I did in my work for this company was to track the points of customer frustration: When customers had to switch from the web to reaching out by telephone; when there was a lengthy delay in problem resolution when customers found a step in the process just too tedious.
As a result, we modified or eliminated 14 policies; resulting in drops in call volume and significant money savings.
It’s great to have friendly customer service employees. Rude employees will negatively impact your customer experience and drive customers away.
But what your customers really want is for their problems to be resolved – quickly and easily. Focus on solving customers’ problems and removing frustration points. When you do, customer satisfaction will go up, repeat calls will go down, employees will be happier, and customers will reward you with loyalty.
Customer Service eLearning!
Customer Service eLearning to Help Your Employees Speak with Friendliness and Empathy, and to Handle Difficult Customers with More Ease – with Progress Reports, Quizzes and SCORM option.
- Walmart called my eLearning the “the gold standard” (that made my day!), and John Hancock said, “The first thing that struck us was how engaging each module was….you are asked to actively participate in each module, and there are action items you take away.” (This also made my day!)
- I’ve gathered up all of the best training from my live, full-day customer service workshops…The ones I deliver to companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Frito-Lay and Vera Bradley – and neatly packaged it in a comprehensive, affordable and extremely effective new customer service eLearning package that’s a fraction of the cost of classroom training.
- If you can make a FaceBook post or tweet, you can manage this training! It’s super easy! Choose an Administrator at your company, and that person can add users to your account, assign courses and run progress reports with 2 clicks of the mouse!
I’d love for you to watch my short explainer video. 🙂