I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, customer service is very important for successful marketing. The companies that do customer service right are the ones that correctly identify it as a point of differentiation and spend time optimizing it.
Sadly, those companies are still in the minority. Most of us still do a terrible job at customer service.
Here are 5 of the most common customer service mistakes we’re still making:
- Complexity – we make it too hard for customers to get the answers to their questions, forcing them to jump through hoops or search far and wide for an email or phone number. The last thing you want when you have a customer who needs help is to frustrate them even more by making it hard to get in touch.
- Ignorance – we assume that our products and services are so good that customer service is not a priority. These companies simply have not acknowledged the basic fact that without strong customer service, you can’t succeed in a competitive marketplace.
- Complacency – we know we need customer service but we don’t want to invest the money to make it better, so we don’t monitor, analyze, report, and coach. We just let it flounder, knowing it’s not good enough but not caring enough to make it better.
- Disempowerment – we don’t give our customer service representatives the tools they need to make customers happy. Instead, their main job is simply to be the sounding board for angry customers, trying to save as many relationships as they can simply by talking people down.
- Disassociation – we silo our customer service department instead of fully integrating into other key areas of the organization. Sales and marketing, product managers and engineers, and top executives can all learn a lot by working directly with customer service – who are on the front lines and the only ones who can give real, honest feedback about how customers view the company.