15 Customer Service Traps That Derail Growth

It’s never been more challenging to manage the balance between customers' desire for excellent service and businesses' need for more insight-driven action. Since customers control the pursestrings of businesses, companies need to build the trust that customers will get worthwhile benefits for partnering with them.

A symbiotic relationship is thus established between a brand and its customer. The brand provides solutions and value to the customer, and the customer provides revenue and growth to the brand. What sustains the relationship? Meaningful engagement along with prompt and efficient service nurtures customer relationships.

Let’s try and answer a few questions.

If we ask which attributes make you feel loyal to a brand? 
The most probable replies will be – price, customer service, product or service offerings and their durability, convenience of purchase or use, brand reputation, or personalization.

What could be the top three reasons for choosing as well as remaining loyal to certain service providers? 
The probable answers will be – great customer service, convenience, or low prices.

Now, if you were asked, after how many bad customer service experiences would you consider switching to a competitor? It’s all right if you don’t wish to answer that. The global statistic gives a pretty good idea about it anyways. A recent study by Zippia says that 72 percent of customers switch to a competitor after one bad experience with a brand.

Also read: How to Ensure Complete Customer Success With Customer Education

Customer experience today is a real differentiator for companies and has the ability to drive corporate profits, but still, far too many companies aren’t giving it the attention it deserves. Companies can use customer service as a game changer for the business. Done right, it can be a real
“profit-generating source.”

Customer Service Traps in Contact Centers

In this article, we’ll talk about a few traps companies are falling in. We’ll begin by listing a few traps that negatively impact CX and derail business growth.

According to the State of Customer Journey Management and CX Measurement Report, the top customer service traps are:

1. Lack of personalized experiences
2. Employees not knowing customer goals
3. Failure of the organization to recognize and proactively intervene when a customer is unhappy
4. Customers not receiving timely and relevant communications
5. The business neglects to collect or action on feedback
6. Lack of effective customer self-service channels
7. Long wait or hold times to reach customer service executives

In a contact center, customer service traps can snowball from mere service friction into reasons for customer disloyalty and ultimately churn. Gartner says that contact centers are guilty of these mistakes that disengage customers:

8. Over-sourcing of information Repeatedly asking the customer for their contact details and other personal information which ought to be in the helpdesk system.

9. Forced switching of channels In the absence of a multi-channel messaging and communication system, customer service teams repeatedly make the customer switch channels.

10. Transferring customers during the call When customers get transferred from one department to another needlessly, it triggers extreme customer reactions. Getting transferred from one department to another and the call dropping during the transfer process antagonizes customers and is one of the chief reasons for brand disloyalty and churn.

11. Incidences of repeat contacts Repeat Contacts are instances when a single customer gets in touch with the service and support team multiple times. Measuring repeat contacts helps agents get more context about the customer whose call they are about to receive next. Conversely, if the customer service executive fails to understand why a customer is repeatedly trying to contact the service center, then it creates a massive trap that’s bound to derail the brand’s growth.

12. The hassle factor A hassle factor is anything that gets into the customer's way of achieving their goal. Not getting timely, emphatic help is a hassle factor. A few other contributors to the hassle factor are the lack of personalized, competent, convenient, and proactive support from customer service teams.

13. Generic service This is the biggest customer service trap a brand falls into while trying to ensure uniformity and evenness in service delivery. If your customer service approach is to treat each customer like a commodity, you'll quickly turn your business into a commodity: easily forgotten, easily replaced.

Here are some other traps that are various forms of the dreaded generic service that customers so despise. Believe us when we say that each of these traps is worse than the previous one.

14. Ineptness or outright errors Ineptness or outright errors in providing what the customer requested. There can be rudeness. There can even be, sad to say, discrimination. Instances of customers not being recognized for who they are and not being valued are not rare. Being considered one of the many generic, interchangeable customers is a criminal mistake brand can do.

15. Complex policies and processes Imagine this, you have an emergency, and you are trying to reach a destination. Would you like it if you were made to cross a hurdle track with frequent interruptions while you are trying to find a solution to your problem? If you don’t want such a scenario happening to you, why should your customers face it then?

Most successful businesses recognize the importance of providing outstanding customer service. Courteous and empathetic interaction with a trained customer service representative can mean the difference between losing or retaining a customer.

Also read: Power of Artificial Intelligence — Transforming Customer Service at Scale

Some Additional Customer Service Traps

Here are a few other customer service traps brands should be aware of. Building customer loyalty can be tricky for both online and retail sellers. There are plenty of guides and best practices to help you reach your goal but beware of the pitfalls.

Limited product information: Most online shoppers say they have abandoned a purchase because of poor product information.

Too many options: Shoppers sometimes get overwhelmed by the number of options provided by online marketplaces. This leads to cart abandonment. Lack of support during shopping can seriously affect your brand image and impede your growth.

Lack of personalization: Most online shoppers rue the lack of personalized in-store experiences provided by a live sales associate.

Lack of trust: There are all types of customers. Many customers mean varying degrees of trust in the brand and associates. When customers don’t trust sales associates, it could be for many reasons. Either the agent does not have adequate product knowledge or idea of the customer’s problem. Or, the agent is trying to oversell by taking advantage of the customer’s gullibility. Whatever the case, if the customer finds a chink, they will refuse to trust you, and from then it’s game over for you.

Also Read: A Profitable Business is a Customer-Centric Business. Here’s Why!

Failing to Map Customer Journeys Can Be a Massive Trap

Not mapping your customer journey and assuming everything is a recipe for disaster. If you don’t map your customer's journey and assume everything, you are digging your own grave.

During the customer journey, asking yourself the following questions is best.

  1. During the awareness and interest stage, ask yourself, “How did the customer find us?”
  2. During the decision and agreement stage, ask yourself, “What do customers consider when they select us as the service provider?”
  3. During service delivery and collecting feedback, ask yourself, “How do customers interact with us daily?” and “How do we deal with unexpected events?”
  4. During repeat purchase and relationship strengthening, ask yourself, “How do I best manage our ongoing relationship?”

When you answer these questions, you are better equipped to handle challenges, address gaps in service delivery, commission marketing, and advertising campaigns, increase your brand visibility, reinforce your brand message and ultimately strengthen your relationship with customers.

Conversely, not following the above-mentioned instructions can land your business in serious trouble. In the worst cases, you may have tipped yourself beyond the point of recovery.

Let ThinkOwl Take Your Customer Success Teams Higher!

Diligently working towards ensuring your customer happiness and satisfaction is sure to propel your business to greater heights. Use the latest technology and intersperse it with AI to deliver a premium service experience.

Use an AI-powered helpdesk software like ThinkOwl that’s powerful and smart, automates most manual tasks, eliminates pitfalls, and increases your team’s productivity.

To know more about how ThinkOwl can help your business deliver a smile on your customers’ faces, sign up for a 30-day free trial.

Like it? Share it.