Maintaining good customer service is a constant process.
While it may never be perfect, it’s important to try and keep as many customers satisfied as possible. To do so, you need to be aware of the warning signs of customer service issues. When you’re aware of the signs, you’ll be better prepared to take action.
Your Customers are Complaining
If your customers are not happy with your customer service, you’ll likely start receiving some complaints. However, one complaint does not an issue make. If you start getting multiple complaints, though, take notice – especially if they are about similar issues.
Since unhappy customers are unlikely to actually file complaints, having even a few could be indicative of an issue worth investigating.
Your Customers Aren’t Satisfied
The best way to get a real idea of what your customers think of your service is to ask them.
Performing regular customer satisfaction surveys will not only give you an idea of satisfaction levels, but they will also tell you what areas might need improvement. Asking customers to complete a customer satisfaction survey every time they interact with your customer service department can give you trend information over time so that you can keep a weekly pulse on your customer satisfaction levels, making it easier to track when issues need to be addressed.
For instance, if satisfaction levels have decreased after a change in customer service practices, you can reasonably conclude that you should change methods.
Your Customers are Leaving
Customers that aren’t happy with a company’s customer service tend not to do business with that company again. So if your overall sales numbers are falling, it could be a warning sign of customer service issues and it might be worth checking up on the customer service experience in particular.
You Value Customer Acquisition Over Retention
However, even if your overall sales are fine, you could have customer service issues if most of your customers are first-timers. Companies with good customer service tend to have more repeat customers. So, if your company can’t seem to keep customers coming back, that’s likely due, at least in part, to poor service.
You Value Speed Over Quality
Responding to customers and resolving issues quickly is important when it comes to customer service. But actually getting them satisfactory resolutions is more important. If you value speed so much that your actual service suffers, it could translate into an issue.
Your Employees Aren’t Satisfied
In addition to regular customer satisfaction surveys, you should also run surveys to measure the satisfaction of your employees. If your employees are not happy with their roles, they aren’t likely to provide the best service.
Your Employees Aren’t Informed
One way to improve employee satisfaction, and thus customer satisfaction, is by keeping your employees in the know.
Once you get the results of your customer surveys, share the results with your employees. Work with your employees to determine what items need to change to help increase their satisfaction levels. When they see that you are working to help improve their experience, they will feel more secure and happier in their own roles, which will affect how they treat the customers they are serving.
You Don’t Receive Referrals
When customers are truly happy with your service, they tend to recommend your company to others. If you aren’t already keeping track of customer referrals, it can provide a benchmark for how your business is doing.
If you’re finding your average referrals drop, customer service should be among the areas of your business that you investigate.
You Don’t See Customer Service as a Marketing Channel
Most businesses at least acknowledge that customer service is important. But if you don’t see it as a part of your marketing strategy, you could be doing a disservice to your company. Having great service can be a key contributor to customer retention, customer referrals, and a great overall company reputation.
You’re Not Constantly Improving
No matter how great you think your service is, it can always get better. When was the last time you looked at your customer service and how it could be improved with new technology to make customer service representatives’ jobs easier, training for your customer service staff, or even reviewing the customer service process and gathering feedback from customers and employees on how it could be improved?
If it’s been awhile, your customer service might be suffering and in need of some attention. Make feedback from customers and employees alike a regular process, and specifically ask for ideas for improvement.
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