In today’s age of social media and hyper-awareness across the Internet of Things (IoT), what people think of you is critically important. It takes just one bad review of your company, whether you’re a doctor, lawyer or HVAC technician, to have a lasting negative impact on your business. Because your business is subject to such public scrutiny, you need to ensure your reputation stays intact, a tall order given the current climate that allows people to damage your reputation online with the click of a button.
Customers are fickle. You could provide them with stellar service for years, then drop the ball once and be called out for it. According to Forbes, research shows it takes 12 positive experiences to repair the damage caused by a single unresolved negative one.
One way to stop negative comments and feedback from happening in the first place is to put a human face on interactions with customers. Despite the omnipresence of the Internet, most business interactions in the U.S. still take place over the telephone. Making the call experience a good one can lead to a positive reaction from customers.
That is one reason so many businesses engage a professional answering service to provide a live response to customers. Callers who are forced to leave impersonal voicemail messages or navigate confusing prompts get frustrated and may retaliate with negative feedback online. You cannot risk annoying your customers. Instead of giving them ammunition they can use to sully your reputation, make their experience as pleasant and as enjoyable as possible.
Studies show that simply meeting your caller’s needs quickly and promptly go a long way toward securing their loyalty. No need to offer over-the-top service or flashy promises. Customers just want to be treated like a human being, and get their issues addressed quickly. According to the Harvard Business Review, delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing the work they must do to get their problem solved does. The study goes on to show that when companies recognize this and follow through, they not only improve customer service, they reduce costs and cut back on customer churn.
Some tips to making this happen for your business:
- Go beyond resolving the current issue. Anticipate and address the next call. A large source of negative customer feedback is a result of having to call a provider back repeatedly to resolve the same problem or one that stems from the original issue. With phone agents who are trained in the intricacies of your business, you can head off any potential future issues by calmly and effectively addressing the first one.
- Bridge the empathy gap. The Harvard Business Review study found that 24% of repeat calls originated from emotional disconnects between customers and those answering the phones. Many callers feel that company representatives are not being truthful with them, just want to pass them off to the next person, or are being abrupt without understanding their situation. With proper instruction and training, phone agents can eliminate those negatives by employing empathy and legitimate concern for the caller’s query.
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