From walking the extra mile to the customer is always right: The customer service world is full of truisms. Unfortunately, many of these are myths whose business suitability is questionable. This comes as no surprise: There’s hardly any other business discipline like the great art of making customers happy where discussions are led more emotional and less rational.
However, there is not always a valid business strategy behind every neat slogan and every seemingly obvious truth. Sometimes customer service can be complicated and simplified statements do not do justice to the complexity of business. We take a look at four common customer service myths and check how rich in content they are.
1. If Only Few Customers Complain, Most Are Happy
Even if hardly any of your customers complain about your products or your customer service, that’s no good reason to pat yourself on the back. A small number of complaints is worrying, because it only allows two conclusions: Your customers complain on channels that your company doesn’t keep an eye on e.g. web forums, social media, or with friends and family.
Or your brand means so little to your customers that they can’t even be bothered to communicate their displeasure to you. In any case, both scenarios are not a good starting point for your company to enhance customer experience using the feedback of your customers. Invite your customers to share their experience with you. This way, your customer service always keeps track of your customers’ feedback, can react to negative experiences, analyze trends and ensure the potential for improvement remains transparent.
How important it is to encourage your customers to give feedback was demonstrated in a study we wrote about in this blog post: Only 5 percent of customers complain after a negative experience, so you do not even know about the other 95 percent! However, it is precisely their feedback that you need to help drive your business forward.
2. A Satisfied Customer Is a Loyal Customer
Many executives struggle with pinpointing the difference between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty and the importance of each to your business. Simply put, customer satisfaction refers to a moment, such as making a phone call to your call center, visiting your website or a service center. If you meet customer expectations at that moment, then your customer is satisfied – but they are still far from being loyal.
Customer loyalty results from the sum of positive experiences between your customers and your business over the period of your relationship. If you want to learn more about the idea of delivering an end-to-end customer experience, we recommend you to read this blog post before you continue here. While satisfaction levels at one moment have a comparably minor effect on loyalty, just a single moment can destroy the overall experience.
On average, it takes 12 positive experiences to compensate for a single negative experience. For your customer service, this means: Do not automatically assume that a satisfied customer at one moment will be loyal to your company in the long run. On the other hand, be aware of the impact of negative experiences on the overall experience. Keep a close eye on these and respond quickly and competently as soon as something goes wrong.
3. If the Problem Is Solved, the Customer Is Happy
In order to deliver a truly great customer service experience, your business not only has to solve your customers’ problems, it also needs to give your customers an all-round good feeling. This means your customer service is a highly emotional affair. Let’s be honest: Very few customers contact your support hotline or one of your service centers to tell you how great your company is. It is primarily about one thing: problems.
This way, your customer service becomes a lifeline for your brand. If a customer has a problem, your brand has broken part of its promise and has diminished trust in your brand. The task of customer service is now to restore that trust through smooth and competent support. It goes without saying that you have to actually solve your customers’ problems. This is a matter of course for your customers and just one side of the customer service coin.
The other side of the coin concerns the experience you create for your customers and how they feel about it. You should think of any customer service interaction as a sequence of micro-interactions, and each of these micro-interactions is significant – from the environment, the tone of your customer service staff to the reachability and speed. It’s all about the interplay of all components, and from our own experience we can say how challenging this task is. Why not take a look at our customers Motorola and Samsung as an example of how complex, but also how fulfilling, customer service can be?
4. More Time in Service Leads to Happier Customers
Your time is precious and therefore it would be easy to assume that your customers appreciate it when you spend lots of time with them in customer service. However, the opposite is true. In this blog post, read why your customer service only has 10 minutes to make your customers happy.
The challenge is to spend just as much time as is necessary to provide a competent solution to your customer’s problem, and, at the same time, reduce the hassle for your customer. Your customers should never feel like they have to invest more time than necessary to solve the problem due to inefficient processes or insufficiently trained service staff.
At the same time, it would be wrong to incentivize your service staff too much based on the average handling time for customer inquiries. Be sensitive to your customer’s time and especially avoid unnecessary follow-up interactions. In this blog, read why you should ideally solve your customers’ problem at the first attempt. This is particularly true for our industry: If a smartphone or electronic device is broken, only very few customers understand long waiting and repair times. Dependency on a functioning device is huge and therefore people require rapid help in such an emergency – precisely because your customers’ time is just as valuable as your own.