It Is not uncommon for any business to have a few customers that can be overdemanding or difficult to work with. However, the way you deal with a customers complaints can make all the difference in the world and have little to no impact on company’s bottom line.
Here at American Lumber, we have a history of taking care of our customers and doing whatever we can to meet their needs. As customer needs change it is important to keep assessing how you handle customer service issues with your customers.
These are a few common customer service mistakes that we have found important to avoid.
Not listening to your customers. Sometimes companies don’t pay close attention to what customers have to tell them. They assume they understand the issue being raised, while actually missing out on the circumstances behind a complaint—or, in some cases, a customer’s genuine desire to simply be heard. Customer service staff should be trained in the art of active listening.
Unmotivated or under trained staff. Businesses can do better about training employees in the proper type of customer service skills they need. This can include encouraging a certain degree of autonomy among customer-facing staff, enabling them to make “exceptions” to company policy if circumstances demand it. Another key element of quality service is honing the ability to offer solutions to problems the customer faces, rather than emphasizing any errors the customer may have made in the use of your product or service.
Getting involved in online disputes. Customers have a powerful tool for voicing their displeasure in the form of social media. Of course, a business will feel tempted to quarrel with these complaints in the same online forum. But that can prove to be a serious customer service mistake. Instead, take the opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism.
Automated responses. Technology makes it easy to automate your customer service response lines, but it’s not always a good idea to rely upon automation. The less direct contact you have with customers, the greater the likelihood they’ll be dissatisfied with your business. As much as possible, provide a variety of different communication modes, as some customers prefer online chat while others want to talk to a person over the phone.
At American Lumber, this means everyone from the forester speaking to a landowner about some the hardwoods on their property, to the hardwood lumber buyer, all the way through to the office receptionist, is committed to customer service. They all share a role in helping our customers
Have any customer service advice that has made a difference for your business? We would love to hear your ideas!