It’s everyone's, but especially entrepreneurs or startups worst nightmare: To be the front-and-center of a customer service nightmare. And if it’s not navigated successfully, it could be the death of your entrepreneurial endeavor.
But here’s the kicker: You can avoid them, all together, by learning from past faux pas done by others. There’s no need for the bad bits of entrepreneurial history to repeat itself, after all.
Keen on learning more about some critical customer service nightmares you should learn something from? Here are a few of the most cringe-worthy, nail-in-the-coffin customer service missteps you should try not to repeat.
Being Known for Having a Customer Service that Comes With a Bad Attitude
This is one of the biggest fears ever startup founder or entrepreneur dreads: Being known for having customer service that’s marked with a bad attitude.
Why? Well, if we’ve learned anything from the internet, it’s that things can spread quickly and take on a mind of their own. In fact, a one-star drop on either Google Reviews or Yelp can cost a company thousands in revenue.
On a smaller scale, customers are far less likely to engage with a brand if they’ve even had only one bad experience from. Suffice to say you want to flip the proverbial script on this hellacious dream, at all costs.
Solution: One reason why certain customer service branches for brands get a bad reputation is that they put their company ahead of the consumer, no matter what. And while there’s merit to doing this, it’s crucial your CS (Customer Service) reps try to be flexible and understanding. Leave a little wiggle room for individualization into the customer service strategy, because everyone—the company, the customer service reps, and the customers themselves—will come out ahead.
Being Known for Having a Lazy, Unresponsive Customer Service Team
No one likes working or dealing with people who, frankly, are just listless and lazy. And if you have a whole branch of your company that exudes those characteristics, you’re in for a bumpy ride.
Research and studies show that consumers, ranging from all demographics and market niches, loathe customer service tardiness, which can cost you a pretty penny, too. Just a few hours between responses on social media can leave a lingering bad taste; customer service emails that aren’t responded back to two days after being posted is frowned upon by those who sent them, in the first place. And, alas, as these unread and yet-responded emails and messages will, inevitably, pile-up, leaving you with a brimming inbox and lackluster brand perception.
Unfortunately, because so many entrepreneurs are overwhelmed themselves or working with understaffed teams, this is one of the first nightmares that may come to fruition.
Solution: LIke many things in life, the overarching solution to this problem is simple: Stay organized, be punctual. To make sure your customer service is as responsive as it is punctual, funnel all requests into one inbox. For larger or more complex customer issues, use project management tools to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Or, if the customer service work is too strenuous, opt to hire a customer service agency (like ours) to help foster that part of your business.
Being Known for Having Non-Existent Customer Service Branch
Interestingly enough, when most startups begin budgeting for business-wide doings, customer service is one of the first operations to get cut. In some extreme cases, a customer service team is completely dissolved, in favor of dishing-out the responsibility to another full-timer on different teams—then all hell breaks loose.
Customers know when startups extrapolate duties that otherwise should be delegated to a dedicated customer service teams. Often times, email signatures left by those responsible to these customer-related responses say that they have completely different roles.
Odds are your customers will be a bit miffed if they find out Karen from finance has been tasked with handling all customer service requests. That, and it makes your company look a bit, shall we say, in the weeds—which doesn't exactly boast well of customer confidence.
Solution: Ideally, you should scale your customer service team slowly and appropriately. During the beginning phases of your startup endeavor, the influx of customer service request could very well be handled by a single part-timer. But, as your venture grows, so should your customer service team. You should never even think about dissolving it to funnel funds and staff, elsewhere—because you’ll end-up smackdab in the middle of this nightmare.
Being Known for Treating Your Employees, Including CS Reps, Poorly
As the saying goes: Treat your employees as good as you would your customers. In this day and age of connectivity, consumers are well aware of how well the employees—which includes your customer service agents—are being treated at companies they do business with.
In fact, “conscious consumerism” is on the rise, meaning that customers are using their money more, well, consciously. Buying goods from companies they both connect with and feel uphold their values. Many times, a “marketing fail” or, in this case, a bad reputation regarding employee treatment, can skew droves of people from doing business with that company. If you’re working as a small-scale startup, poorly treating your employees can also create a toxic work culture, one that might affect how your customer service agents respond to queries.
And if we know nothing else: A company, be it a small startup or large corporation, that suffers from scandals or is viewed negatively by the public will, inevitably, fail.
Solution: Again, this customer service nightmare is completely avoidable—if you treat your customer service employees well. Listen to their needs, make diligent actions to address them, reward them for strides their making; give them the recognition they deserve and let them know they’re valued. (And yes: Pay them appropriately.) Or, if you can’t spend the time and man (or woman) power to treat your customer service branch efficiently, consider pinging the help of a CS agency to help with consumer relations.
Doing any of these meaningful things will ensure your endeavor stays in good standing by both those who work for you and the greater public.
Here’s How SheHelps Can Turn Those Nightmares into Daydreams
If it isn’t abundantly clear by now, help centers play a crucial role in both sustaining and increasing customer satisfaction, all while helping you avoid future miss steps. At SheHelps, we’ve created a complete customer help center service that can be used, no matter where you are in the world.
SheHelp's services offer a host of B2C support benefits that can help any business improve on their customer satisfaction ratings. Our agents and managers are given ample time, in some cases as long as two weeks, to fully understand your product or service so that they can hone in how to conduct their roles more effectively.
Given how our case studies show we can better businesses customer satisfaction across the board, we invite you to drop us a line to see how we help leave your customer base grinning from ear to ear.
Want to learn more about our services and products, as well as how each can play a role in growing your business? Feel free to get in contact with us, today!