Let’s be honest; all of us have had a bad customer service experience. A vendor failed to call us back in time, they messed up on our order, or we have been transferred to someone who can’t actually help us. Companies are made up of humans, so its natural for them to make mistakes, but most vendors fail to go above and beyond to remedy their failures.
In this latest installment of our blog series, Customer Service: The Lost Art, we will explore why the art of customer service has become so elusive. Before continuing on this journey, be sure to check out the first post in our series where you can take an interactive quiz to measure your current vendor’s customer service.
In an effort to increase efficiency, many companies have replaced human interactions with automated responses, or have underestimated the importance of effective training. With social media generating instant connections, engaging meaningfully with clients has become equally as important as the products sold. Listed below are the top 5 reasons vendors fail at connecting with their clients.
1. Automated Phone Systems
As soon as a customer hears a recorded voice saying “Press 1 to hear more options,” there is an instant feeling of frustration that impedes their willingness to relate to that company. This is fine for banks or services that are less hands on, but for an EHR company who provides ongoing support for problems that affect patients, staff, and entire practices, failure to connect to your customer in a tangible way limits their ability to properly communicate with that company.
2. Lack of Knowledge
People want their customer service providers to have a deep knowledge of how their products work. Once the client finally gets to talk to a live person after pressing every number on their keypad, speaking with someone who is uninformed on their issue further deters the service provider and client from connecting in a way that can resolve issues efficiently.
3. Long Response Time
One study found that customers expect a response within six hours; yet only 36% actual deliver a response within that time. With over 80% of American adults utilizing social media, customers expect quick responses. Failing to respond within at least two days greatly hurts vendors’ chances of engaging with their clients who are accustomed to the fast paced world of modern communication.
4. Lack of Options
Customers like having multiple options so they can feel in control of their service experience. When your vendor only lets you submit a support ticket, without the option of emailing or calling, it can feel as though your issue is not prioritized. 61% of customers want to talk to customer service on the phone and 60% prefer email. Failure to include multiple channels in service options blocks vendors from effectively connecting with over half their client base.
5. Lack of Commitment
Quality, outstanding, and platinum-level service is more than just answering a question or resolving a problem with a product. TSI Healthcare’s Senior Vice President of Client & Professionals Donnie Williams lives by Teddy Roosevelt’s motto, “A customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” If the customer support only functions as an answering support system, it is no different than the search engine the client used before they called you. The human element can separate one company from another. At the end of the day, what matters is implementation and ongoing support.