3 Ways to Prevent Poor Customer Service

customer serviceWhat’s the true cost of poor customer service? If you’re looking for some equation to help determine how much you’re losing by poor customer service – good luck.  In fact – if anyone spouts out a magic equation that gives you the answer to how much you’re losing via negative impacts of poor customer – I call BS. Businesses (and customers) are like snowflakes – everyone is different.

This isn’t 1985 anymore, folks.  The sharing of information (and complaints) occurs at a much faster pace than it was 30-years ago – or even 3 years ago.  People flock to Twitter, Facebook and other social media – to share poor customer experiences sometimes more often than great customer experiences. Great customer service matters. It matters to your repeat business, it matters to your brand loyalty, and it matters to your bottom line!

Now, though no two customers or organizations are the same, the negative impacts of poor customer service can be similar. For every customer you lose due to poor customer service, you also lose new customers they could have referred to you, damage to your reputation and brand loyalty. This will further negatively impact your performance and profits. Do the math based on your business model. What are some ways to prevent poor customer service?

To fix the problem – you must first understand some of the causes.

  • Poor processes
  • Poor communication
  • Lack of attention (or caring) for customers’ needs.

So what about some solutions. Begin by asking yourself these 3 questions:

  • Do you know what you’re doing? Is your team equipped to fully resolve your customer’s issues? Are they trained on how to deliver an excellent customer experience? Are they trained on what processes to follow to resolve any customer service related issues? Who to get involved and what to do when they encounter a situation they may not know how to resolve? A customer gets annoyed when they think they’re dealing with someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.
  • Are you communicating?  Do you “Ask. Listen. Deliver?” Is your team properly communicating the details required to resolve issues the customer may be experiencing? Are they taking the time to listen to customer needs and concerns and respond accordingly? Communication with the customer is imperative to great customer service and increased brand loyalty. A customer gets annoyed when they feel like they’re being ignored.
  • Are you responsive? How long do your customers wait for a response to an inquiry?  Are they even getting a response? Do you have processes to respond to and satisfy various types of customers? Poor internal process and communication practices can lead to slow responsiveness to customer needs and concerns. A customer gets annoyed when they feel their time is being wasted.

Poor customer service leads to loss of new customers, damage to reputation, increased employee turnover, and reduction in revenues. Customer acquisition isn’t cheap – customer retention is a better way to go. So though businesses (and customers) are like snowflakes – everyone is different – asking yourself these difficult questions and taking actions on the answers is a helpful common starting point for improvement.

About Scott Span, MSOD: is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions – an Organizational Improvement & Strategy firm.  He helps clients in facilitating sustainable growth by connecting and maximizing  people –> performance –> profit™, creating organizations that are more responsive, productive and profitable.

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