Customer service operations are arguably the foundation of any business. In many cases, the health and success of a company can be measured by its customer service team and the number of satisfied customer interactions—it’s why you see things like Net Promoter Scores gaining in popularity.
If you’re going to stay competitive in your industry and implement best practices, customer service should be one of the first areas of your business you audit. It’s critical that your customer service team delivers the best possible experience to your customers.
How do you know if they are? You need to be aware of the best practices in customer service and some warning signs to watch out for on your customer service team. This article covers five warning signs and the best customer service practices to counteract them.
Warning Sign 1: Increased Customer Complaints
If you’ve noticed an increase in customer complaints, likely something isn’t right with your customer service team.
You can monitor increased customer complaints by implementing quality assurance systems into your customer service workflow. Allow customers to complete surveys on their experience with your customer service agents so you can swiftly and accurately address issues.
Best Practices in Customer Service: Active Listening and Clear Communication
To mitigate an increase in customer complaints and dissatisfaction, you need to ensure your customer service agents are trained to actively listen to customers, empathize with them, and ensure their concerns are genuinely being resolved.
Warning Sign 2: High Turnover Rates
High turnover rates aren’t good for any business, especially for the customer service team. Turnover rates on your customer service team can cause inconsistencies in the quality of service your business offers customers while also causing the loss of valuable skills and expertise.
Best Practices in Customer Service: Provide Adequate Training and Growth Opportunities
Some common reasons employees leave their jobs, aside from management and workplace culture, include inadequate training or growth opportunities.
You can help mitigate turnover rates on your customer service team by investing in training programs that help your team feel armed to manage customer interactions while also giving them clear career paths for advancement.
Warning Sign 3: Technological Illiteracy
As those who grew up with technology become the primary customer demographic, customers expect a certain level of flexibility with customer service.
For example, rather than jumping on a phone call, customers may prefer a live chat option. If your customer service team is struggling to meet the demands for technological literacy, you should consider it a warning sign.
Best Practices in Customer Service: Implement Technology and Training
To stay competitive with other companies offering modern customer service solutions, you should implement technology and comprehensive training so each customer service agent feels confident handling omnichannel interactions.
Warning Sign 4: Poor First Contact Resolution Metrics
First contact resolution describes a scenario in which your customer team can solve customer issues during the initial interaction effectively.
If your company has low FCR rates, customer issues are not being resolved efficiently, which can increase your team’s workload and slow down the customer service process. This issue can increase customer frustration and derail the success of your customer service team.
Best Practices in Customer Service: Implement a Knowledge Management System
By implementing a knowledge management system, your customer service team has access to a wealth of information that allows them to quickly and efficiently resolve customer issues.
By training your team to use knowledge management systems efficiently and document solutions, you empower each team member to improve their FCR rates and overall customer experience success.
Warning Sign 5: Slow Response and Long Hold Times
If your customer service team isn’t responding to customers quickly and efficiently, your company’s reputation could be at risk. Slow responses and long holds further frustrate customers and reduce your company’s credibility and customer loyalty rates.
Best Practices in Customer Service: Outsource to a Blended Call Center
To mitigate the risks of slow responses and long hold times, you should audit the current customer service workflow to identify any inefficiencies causing delays in response times.
You may discover that your customer service team is either understaffed, undertrained or has too great a workload to manage the demands of their job appropriately.
In this case, best practices in customer service delivery may indicate it’s time to outsource your customer service needs to a blended call center.
Solution to Warning Signs: Best Practices in Customer Services
When you start wondering about the efficacy of your customer service team and notice warning signs, there’s still time to recalibrate and get back on track. Implementing some of the best practices in customer service operations listed can help you and your team stay efficient and competitive while yielding high customer satisfaction rates.