Are you unknowingly sabotaging your customer service calls with these blunders?

customer service calls

I recently saw a YouTube video released by WCNC, a television channel in North Carolina, on  “ 3 mistakes people make when calling customer service”

Once I saw this video, I was reminded of my subway experience

When you walk into a subway, you must make many decisions to have your sandwich.

The type of bread – Italian, White, Wheat, Honey Oat, and Hearty Italian

Size of bread – 6 inch or a footlong bread

Vegetables – you have to be very specific, like “light lettuce,” because telling the worker that you want pepper doesn’t help because they carry green, mild, and jalapeno peppers.

Meat and cheese – they add to the cost.

Warming – would you like your sandwich placed in the oven and toasted or microwaved?

Order condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard, and sweet onion sauce, as nothing is put on automatically.

Ask for water, and you will get a free cup.

Here is the icing on the cake – it is your responsibility to be very polite and keep the subway employee happy, as a happy employee is expected to craft a better sub sandwich for you.

I felt similar when I saw this video about the mistakes you should avoid while calling customer service to get what you want.

Let us look at the three mistakes mentioned in the video.

The three mistakes to avoid.

No one eagerly picks up the phone to call customer services, but at times, it’s a necessary ordeal.

Amid the frustration of trying to get someone on the line, it’s crucial to recognize potential missteps.

According to the YouTube video by WCNC with insights from Lifehacker, here are three common mistakes to avoid when engaging with customer service.

#1 Keeping your cool

Calling in with frustrations is understandable – you’re seeking a solution to a problem

However, ‘coming in hot’ by venting frustration on the customer service representatives is counterproductive.

It’s essential to remember that these representatives are human beings doing their job.

Instead of letting frustration take the lead, approach the conversation with the idea that they are there to assist you.

Building a cooperative relationship increases the likelihood of finding a resolution that suits both parties.

#2 Preparation is key

Being unprepared can hinder the efficiency of the customer service interaction.

Gathering all relevant account information before making the call not only streamlines the process for the representative but also makes your own life easier.

Imagine a call where all the necessary details are readily available – it means a smoother experience for everyone involved.

In the era of instant information, taking a moment to prep can save time and ensure that your concerns are addressed promptly.

#3 Flexibility and compromise

When confronted with a problem, being open to various solutions is vital.

The scenario of wanting a refund but being offered credit illustrates the need for flexibility.

While holding a company accountable is crucial, recognizing alternative resolutions can lead to a quicker and more satisfactory outcome is essential.

Sometimes, taking the offered credit might be worth avoiding prolonged back-and-forth.

Striking a balance between standing your ground and exploring viable compromises ensures a more constructive resolution.

I found these suggestions very surprising, given that I advocate for improving how companies address customer service to enhance the customer experience.

In my mind, the behavior of customer service agents should contribute to the solution rather than being a source of the problem.

What implications do these hold for customer service?

It appears we’ve taken a step back in time, reminiscent of an era  three decades ago when customer service was deemed a luxury.

I recall a common saying from those days:

Customer service is free. For everything else, we charge.

Let’s delve into the first identified mistake – approaching customer service with frustration.

Most customers simply want their uses resolved. When a customer service representative empathizes with callers, customers are less likely to vent their frustrations.

Despite the prevalence of automation, customers still prefer engaging with a live agent, as it remains one of their most favored communication channels.

A prime example of customer-centric service is found in Zappos, a leader in the field, where extended phone calls are considered an opportunity to engage with customers deeply.

Moving on to the second mistake – being unprepared.

In today’s landscape, customers expect brands to have instant access to their information through phone numbers, customer IDs, or account numbers.

An omnichannel platform that integrates all customer interaction channels is essential for both customer and agent convenience.

A notable instance of proactive service is observed in my bank, recognizing me through my registered mobile number and seamlessly transferring my call to an agent, sparing me the frustrations of navigating through a labyrinthine IVR menu.

The third highlighted mistake – being unwilling to compromise.

This raises questions about the sincerity of such advice.

Refusing to own up to errors and putting customers at risk is not sustainable.

In the case of a refund, customers expect precisely that, not a mere credit.

Demanding customers to navigate their way out of an issue, essentially saying, “You chose us, so now figure it out,” is an insincere stance that risks customer loyalty.

Let me give you an example.

I recently subscribed to a carpentry service using an app and paid them in advance. The carpenter turned up and said that it was something they didn’t provide.

So, I asked for a refund of the money. The customer service gave me two options – they would credit it to their wallet, I could avail it when I booked my next service, or I could get it refunded to my bank account, which would take 48 hours.

It was smooth, and I opted for a wallet credit as I use them for various other services regularly.

The crux of exceptional customer service is consistently placing the customer’s needs above all else.

In the dynamic relationship between customer and employee experience, it’s imperative to equip agents with the tools and technology necessary for delivering optimal customer experiences.

Integrating improved technology and processes is critical to identifying and fulfilling the needs of customer service representatives, setting the stage for enhanced customer satisfaction.

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