Wrath – Are You Annoying Your Customers?
Customer satisfaction is the key to the long-term success of all business. One of the easiest ways to annoy and frustrate your customers is to make it difficult for them to contact you. Despite the growth of the web, text chat and email many people still prefer to speak to someone if they have a question or, even more so, if they want to make a complaint.
Some companies don’t even provide a contact number on their web sites. This is usually done to save having to staff a help desk or contact centre. It’s all about saving money; that says a lot about their commitment to their customers.
Assuming you do provide a number, is it the right one for them? Do they call you regularly from their mobiles? If so using 0800 or 0845 numbers can deter them from making the call as these numbers are expensive. Even worse, do you profiteer by using 0844 or 0871 numbers? Companies supplying residential customers can no longer use these for post sales support
Once your customer has made the call, how easy do you make for them to talk to someone? Do you use options such as ‘press 1’, ‘press 2’ etc. to route calls to various departments? If so, did you know that this will cause some customers to abandon the call? At best they’ll get irritated at having to listen to a number of options only to end up being told to go to the web site. It is interesting to note that First Direct, which always scores highly on customer service surveys, does not use this method. Instead it routes every call to a real person.
Do you even know how many customers abandon their calls because of long answer times? As a general rule, people start to get irritated after only 10 seconds or 4 rings. That could result in losing a customer forever. As could the fact that you have chosen to invest in messages stressing how important their call is to you, rather than putting the money into systems that will route calls directly to a real person.
Finally do you have a plan to enable your customers get in touch if you cannot get to your office or shop due to bad weather or transport problems. Lack of such planning can also lead to frustrated customers and lost orders.
In summary, it should be easy for customers to reach you at zero or little cost to them. You should measure your answering speed. Using the right numbers and solutions can solve all these problems. If you don’t sort them out your customers will be calling your competitors. An easy way to check the experience is to call your own company posing as a customer – that can tell you a lot.
If you are struggling in any of these areas and would like some free advice contact Equinox on 0208 912 0845