3 Strategies for Turning an Angry Customer into a Happy One.

28 / Jan / 2014

By Cheyserr de la Cruz

When looking at an artistic and creative tree drawing on paper, have you ever thought of how ironic it is that a tree can be drawn on the very thing from which the paper itself is constructed? Doesn’t it seem more logical to minimize the use of paper so more trees can be produced in real life rather than on paper?

That same tree saving concept applies to customer service. Customer service departments are set up and designed with one purpose, to assist and make customers happy. However, 68% of consumers report that they are dissatisfied with recent customer service dialogue, which is 8% higher than the previous survey.

Recent statistics have proven that the concept of customer satisfaction can be tricky. Just as we as people have different tastes in music, food and clothes, one way of making a customer happy is probably not the same approach that should be taken with another. Take for example, one customer may be delighted that you provide for them a step by step process on how to use their product, yet the more savvy customers view this process as a waste of time. So what is the difference between customer happiness, and customer satisfaction? Customer satisfaction is achieved when expectations are met. Customer happiness is achieved when service exceeds expectations. Customer churn, or turnover, happens when service falls short of expectations. Right now, contact centers are continually falling short when it comes to meeting customer expectations, according to the customers themselves. It should not be this way. Especially now with the availability of technological advancements which allow call centers to use and develop software which provides solutions to these issues.

What causes customers/clients to be angry or dissatisfied? The most common triggers of customer dissatisfaction are:

  • 60%- speaking to a rude representative
  • 52%- speaking to an incompetent customer service representative
  • 48%- not being able to speak to a live person
  • 38%- being put on hold for too long

Turning an unsatisfied customer into a happy one requires three easy steps which are described below:

1. Make your call center agents or customer service representatives your assets instead of frustrated robots.
Customer service representatives become rude to a client or customer for a myriad of reasons. Constantly being nagged by a supervisor to reach an unrealistic average handling time is demoralizing and shows in performance. Agents who are forced to read scripted lines even after customers have complained that they sound scripted and robotic is frustrating. Also, not being properly trained and/or given enough information about the product to satisfy a customer can make an agent/customer interaction difficult and awkward.

Give your agents some leeway to use their own knowledge based on their experience and their interaction with your customers. Trust that they can handle them. Train them properly, and completely. Providing them the up-to-date and correct information they need will be a confidence booster as they receive calls. Recognize and acknowledge their hard-work and make them believe that their efforts are appreciated. Provide room for errors but teach them to be accountable for their mistakes. Engage your customer service representatives and they will be your brand advocates who rally for you, your brand, and your company.

Customers who experienced difficulty with your product or service are calling because they want to talk to real people, not to automated machines or robots. They want a one-on-one human interaction, and to feel like your company genuinely cares about their service experience.

2. Grab every opportunity to become a Customer Service Hero!
We’ve all heard stories of happy customer experiences. Like customers who were given free meals when they least expected it, or a customer who tweeted that he got a discounted room on a hotel after another hotel turned him down. Probably you’ve read stories like this online because they usually become viral. I remember last month when I was shocked to see emails from different sites I subscribed to greeting me a happy birthday. I re-tweeted those brands even if I wasn’t following them because I felt like they had made an effort to reach me on a more personal level, even though I am fully aware that it was just a machine sending me an email because my file is saved in their system. That simple gesture made me happy as a customer. Give discounts, free gift certificates on holidays, an additional trial period on their subscription. Simple gestures make your customers happy, and customers are more likely to remember you when posting on a social media site which then becomes free advertising for you.

Not with every customer interaction are you given the opportunity to be your customer’s hero. Yet even in service failures like late refunds or defective products, you can create hero moments. Just resolve the issue right away and apologize. Make up for the inconvenience and a failure evolves into a success story.

3. Invest in call center software
Contact centers need modern, up-to-date technology. Technology which provides real-time data, enables you to see and predict call volume, provides information on which agents need assistance right away, and allows you to make an impact even if you’re not on the premise? This software needs to have the ability to enable you to make better decisions concerning workforce numbers so you don’t have to waste customer time by waiting on hold… “for the next available representative.”

ClearView is a revolutionary work force optimization solution engineered by call centers for call centers. ClearView drives successful execution, by aggregating performance data from disparate systems, and acting on the data with proven business improvement processes. By delivering real-time performance dashboards from the executive level down to the agent level, ClearView increases accountability and creates a culture of continuous development essential to reaching business objectives.

Every company wants to leave a strong and lasting positive impression with each customer/client. Turn your customer service department into a positive environment and remove the feeling that your customer service department is simply just a branch of your business where customers can vent out their problems. Make customer service a philosophy, an attitude which will differentiate you from your competitors. Turn your contact centers into cost-effective centers which advocate and embody customer engagement.customer-service

No trees were sacrificed during the production or completion of this article. However, a lot of electrons we’re inconvenienced.