8 Common Customer Service Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Last Updated: April 6, 2021

“To err is human,” but Customer service mistakes are very dangerous. It is an essential part of any successful business. Negative customer experiences can greatly impact your business’ success.

According to a report by Forrester, poor customer experience causes consumers to abandon intended purchases, which translated to an estimated $62 billion in lost sales in the US in 2015 – an alarming 51% increase over the previous two years.

With great support comes a strong customer relationship. Nevertheless, it is valuable to know some of the most common customer service mistakes.

1. Not Providing Adequate Training For Your Agents

Many a time, the customer support agents are asked to refer the user manual or knowledge base articles on their own. It is a failure if your customer success team is unable to ask the right set of questions to understand customer’s needs or takes too much response time.

Providing customer service training is undoubtedly the best way. To keep your staff on their toes, provide proper and systematic training. It has to be an ongoing and dynamic activity. Help your team in their weaker areas. They can be provided with a record and a playbook tool so that they can identify their mistakes and work on them. This way, your team can proactively avoid customer service issues down the line.

In learning, you will teach, and in teaching, you will learn.

Phil collins

2. Not Being Proactive With Your Customers

This is one of the most common mistakes made by companies. Many dissatisfied customers remain, mum, until they are reached out. Customer churn is the result of this mistake. Sigh! To avoid it, your customer service department staff has to allocate time to perform root cause analysis and process analysis. They should proactively follow up with the customer instead of waiting for that phone bell to ring.

Your help desk software may have a self-service system like a knowledge base. Encourage your team to share the links to resources like the frequently asked questions, whitepapers, or setup videos with every response proactively. This provides your customers, the flexibility to assist themselves.

Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.

Steve jobs

3. Not Being Available for the Customers

This is THE pain point for your Customers! Your clients can be in different time zones, and they would want the issues to be resolved immediately. Customers should be able to reach out to you anytime. Customers lose trust, and your company’s reputation takes a hit when they are not able to contact you. Hiring adequate staff members and implementing Chatbot is a very useful solution to handle all the incoming Customer queries.

At times, customers would want to speak with you over the phone and set things right. Put your phone number on your website in an area that is easy to locate.

Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company.

Tony Hsieh

4. Not Listening to Your Customers

Listening to someone carefully is a great skill, and it has to be cultivated by your support team. It is a failure if your support agent responds with an answer that is not entirely relevant to the customer’s query. Your Support team has to be all ears for the customer and should not assume things on his/her own. The agent has to be fully attentive, take notes, and refrain from asking the customer to repeat the query.

Make sure you enable Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Survey in your help desk software and collect the feedback from your customers. This way, you get to know the quality of the customer service team’s responses.

Don’t just satisfy your customers, delight them.

Warren Buffet

5. Not Keeping Up to Your Promises

Your customers will start to frown when you over-promise and under-deliver. It will be a good experience for them if it is the other way around. Ideally, the product should do what you said it would do.

It is always better to have the customer informed about the delay in progress and also apologize to them if your team is not able to honor the commitment.

Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.

Walt Disney

6. Not providing quick support

Customers expect their queries to be answered quickly without too much waiting time. Long wait times do bother them. These waiting times are not just limited to phone support. It does happen in all modes of customer support. For example, an agent responding slowly during a live chat, a chatbot providing a delayed response, a delayed email update, live chat being transferred to multiple agents, poor quality of calls. These wait times hamper your customer’s experience. 

According to a report by Forrester, 41% of customers expect a response to an email in no less than six hours, but that only 36% of businesses studied actually responded within that timeframe.

Measure your Net Promoter Score ® (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score and get an idea of your support team’s performance quality and track average call time. Take the steps accordingly.

When it comes to people, customers expect the same quick response they are used to getting from electronic equipment and technology.

Shep Hyken

7. Not Providing Omnichannel Support

Customers approach you from various channels. It could be a phone conversation, a live chat, or social media. You cannot force a customer to use a specific channel. Companies with omnichannel support recorded a whopping 89% customer retention as compared to companies that didn’t offer omnichannel support, only recording 33% customer retention. 

Also, a knowledge base or a support forum can be created. Customers can solve issues on their own by referring them. Remember, your customers will be happy if you assist them on various channels. A happy customer can be the source of creating more potential customers for you.

If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.

Jeff Bezos

8. Not Maintaining your Customer’s Historical Data and Unifying your Documentation

Good customer service is not just limited to knowing the right answer. It is about discovering the perfect solution.

Your company might be providing an omnichannel support system. According to a recent study, 64% of people expect to receive real-time assistance no matter what channel they use, 37% expect to be able to contact the same customer service representative no matter what channel they use, and 87% think that brands need to work harder to create a seamless omnichannel experience for customers. There is a high possibility of your customers getting frustrated when a support agent is unable to access the past data of that customer they need during a call or a chat conversation. So, for providing excellent customer service, it is necessary to implement a tool that unifies your customer data.

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

William James

Be it small business or enterprise, HappyFox customer service software can help you resolve all your customer issues and provide great customer service.

Net Promoter® and NPS® are registered trademarks and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld.