Many companies are learning the hard way that how they treat customers impacts their bottom line. Poor help desk/customer service cost U.S. businesses more than $75 billion in 2018, an increase of $13 billion since 2016, according to Forbes. These losses are from customers switching their loyalties—and money—to another company. Reasons customers gave for leaving include rude or unhelpful staff, being unable to speak with a company representative and being on hold too long.
Full Automation Is Unrealistic
Limiting your help desk to online options only is unrealistic. The Northridge Group, a consulting company specializing in customer service, offers insights in a recent report. Respondents to a survey reported several issues with online self-help features, including the following:
- 65 percent had trouble using websites
- 69 percent struggled to navigate automated systems
- 62 percent contacted a company several times to resolve a problem
- Nearly 10 percent said their issue was never resolved
An unhappy customer can also impact your reputation by writing a poor review online, which is then accessible to everyone. Businesses must learn to provide excellent customer service, which includes these key components: employee empowerment, use of technology/data and company culture.
Help desk representatives are your company’s “face,” and may be the only personal contact a consumer has with you. They have the responsibility of relating to customers and sympathizing with their issues. In other words, your reps need to care about the consumer and they need to show it. A rep who takes ownership of a problem and works hard to resolve it shows that customer how much you value them. It also gives them a reason to do business with you again.
Your reps must have the tools to resolve problems, including access to consumer data, the authority to make decisions and the ability to provide a quick resolution. For customers who prefer to place orders, make payments or get help online, your website should offer these options, along with the ability to call or message a rep if they hit a snag. Technology also allows you to track performance and make quick adjustments to ensure customer satisfaction.
Related: How to keep repeat customers
Your reps need to know not only proper office procedures and how to use your software, but also how to treat customers. It starts at the top, with your company culture. Some businesses spell it out in training manuals and during training sessions, including coaching in using specific words and phrases. But it can’t be just lip service. Your reps know when a company cares by the way you refer to customers and where you put your resources. Their attitudes will mirror yours.
The Value of Customer Relations
For proof of the value of good customer relations, delve into your marketing research to define a customer’s average lifetime value. This amount is what you lose when a consumer switches loyalty. Next, add it to the cost of acquiring a new customer to counterbalance the loss.
In the end, it’s cheaper to keep customers happy than to find new ones. Learn more about how Cayzu can help you provide great customer service, including cloud help desk options.