Small Business Brief

Customer Service

How to Improve Your Business’ Interaction with Customers

What are the biggest indicators of success when interacting with customers? It is not the things you do right. It is the mistakes you “don’t” make, and you will be pleased to learn that even the biggest companies are prone to making the worst mistakes when they are undertaking interaction with customers.

In this article are a range of mistakes you need to avoid, rules you should follow, and tips to help improve your interactions with customers.

Rule Number One – Don’t Blame Your Supporters

We are living in an age where the bigger the company is, the more they think they can blame their supporters and buyers for “not” liking their product. Look at how Creative Assembly told their hardened fans, “If you don’t like us adding women into history, don’t buy the game.” Like they could mess around with history and then push fans away when they complain about it.

When Bethesda Game Studios released Fallout 76 and there was a massive fan backlash, the developers blamed the customers for wanting too much and refused to give refunds. How dare the creators of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” call fans “man babies”, “chauvinists”, and “women haters” because they complained that the movie was terrible, even though the same fans loved Leia, who was a strong woman and a fan favorite of the first three movies.

What do they all have in common? They try to defend their awful decisions by blaming the customers. Your primary customer support rule should be to never blame the customer.

Offer Solutions and Not Reasons During Interaction with Customers

You could probably save a king’s ransom in staff hours if your customer support staff got to the point and didn’t try to appease customers with reasons and instead got to the point of a solution. Instead of saying, “Sorry for that, our systems have been down, blah blah.” Your customer support says, “Yes, we will fix that right away, here’s what you need to do.”

Not only does it lower the amount of wasted time in your company, but it appeases the customer because they have a hard time arguing with people who are getting on with the job and fixing the problem.

Think about telling your staff never to apologize. When somebody gives a problem, the customer support worker’s first instant is to say sorry and then start in on a solution. Instead, your staff should jump to, “Right, lets….” and lead into a solution right away. Not only does this save time, but it also muddies the water as to where blame should sit, since playing the blame game is always a mistake (especially if you are to blame).

Only Offer Multiple Avenues of Contact If You Can Support Them All

Some companies that go out of their way to offer phone support, a call-back function, email support, chat support, and Facebook messenger support. Then, when the customers start making contact, the company doesn’t have the staff to cover all the points of contact.

If email support is all you can offer, then only offer email support. People would rather wait half a day for a reply via email than wait 20 minutes for a chat-support worker to respond. Unless you can offer the best possible customer support via your chosen medium, you shouldn’t be trying to branch out into other types of support.

Plug the Gaps in Your System

You may not have the resources to offer a full support system, but you can plug a few gaps in your customer support with a few clever shortcuts. For example, you could layer your email support so that the first few messages your customers sent are responded to with automated emails where each of the emails offers numerous solutions. This is especially important if people have to contact you to retrieve passwords and such.

Your phone support can use on hold recording services to keep your customers on the line. This is especially important if you do not have many support workers and you do not want people to start hanging up on you.

How Are You, Have a Wonderful Day

Have you tried buying a piece of expensive software or bought a new website recently? If so, you have probably talked on live chat customer support services at least ten times over the last month. What is the most annoying thing besides waiting times?

It is that inane “hey, how are you?” or whatever redundant opening they have. And, it is the “have a great day, please review me,” or whatever pointless conversation they pad their time with. If you are trying to avoid irritating people and wasting their time, perhaps you should stop allowing your staff to communicate redundant, pointless, and lame pleasantries. Keep that stuff for face-to-face. When it comes to online chat, get to the point!

Get Your Paying Customers to Refer Others to Your Company

There are many ways to get your customers to refer your company, and besides the obvious sales benefits, there is also a psychological benefit. When people first look towards buying from you, they are naturally skeptical and overly suspicious. They need to be won over, but this is not the case if their friends have already bought from you.

Customers coming from referrals are more trusting and feel more at ease. As a result, their customer experience is vastly improved, especially when buying high-end or expensive items. All you have to do is live up to your promises because if you do not, then the fallout is more intense since the customer feels doubly betrayed.

Keep Testing Your Support and Your Website

Your interaction with customers starts at the first point of contact, which may well be your website. You need to keep testing your website to see if it does exactly what it is supposed to. This is not just about fixing broken links, it is about making sure that titles are not cut off on mobile devices, or that your images load, or that your adverts are not woefully out of date.

The key is to keep testing your website and your support system and keep having your friends, family, and co-workers test them too to see how things can be improved.

The best advice is from people with experience, from people with genuine hard-earned knowledge and skills. Read more posts from genuine experts right here on our site.