Customers would rather get a tooth pulled than call a support line
As technology converges and start-ups grow, businesses and consumers have more choices than ever. Smart executives know that the customer experience is what is going to win in today’s crowded marketplace.
But you’ve got this, right? You’ve mapped the customer journey and you’ve analyzed the customer experience (CX). Customer support is the pride and joy of your company. Your execs think that customers are thrilled with your service.
But are they?
According to a recent survey commissioned by Insightly and conducted by Zogby Analytics, there is a disconnect between what consumers say and what companies believe.
Only 6% of consumers say a company’s customer support always exceeds expectations but 35% of business decision makers believe that their company always exceeds customers’ expectations.
There’s a CX disconnect
Maybe your CX team isn’t killing it? Check out these stats:
About a third of Americans (31%) would rather wait in line at the DMV than try to resolve an issue with a company or service. They would also learn a TikTok dance with their kid (18%), get a tooth pulled (14%), or stay with their in-laws for a month (10%).
Why would anyone choose these awful alternatives to simply placing a call with customer service? According to the study, they say they fear being ignored (30%), having to repeat oneself to multiple departments (30%) and length of time to get the issue identified (27%).
How does your customer support process work? Would your customers ever feel ignored during the process, get stuck in ‘a phone tree of frustration,’ or spend an unreasonable amount of time on the phone?
When was the last time you tested it? Listened to calls? Sent in a social media message to see the response?
It’s always a good time to examine your processes and look for incremental improvements.
Appreciating your customer support team
Don’t ever underestimate what it takes to answer support calls. You need a deep understanding of your product and your customers, plus a whole lot of empathy. These team members start each day knowing that every time they pick up a call, they may be dealing with an irate person.
Business decision makers on the same Insightly survey don’t seem to have the personality to perform the functions that their support teams do.
For example, 44 percent of business decision makers surveyed said they’d rather enter data in a spreadsheet than deal with a call from an angry customer, while three in 10 said they would do almost anything other than take an angry call, like sit on an 8-hour Zoom call (13%) or sit next to a crying baby on a cross-country flight (15%).
How do we show this team how awesome they truly are? First off, put National Customer Service Week on your calendar. It’s typically the first week in October. Use this as an opportunity to recognize your team’s hard work. But don’t wait for a special occasion; check in on the team and ensure they have the leadership, tools, and bandwidth to make every engagement a successful one.
CX shows up on the bottom line
There is good news here, too. Unlike the external threats to your business like emerging competitors, market forces, economic downturns and the like, customer experience is something you fully control.
Data from the same study reveals just how powerful this can be.
When customers are unhappy, businesses worry that they will complain to customer service (23%), complain on social media (56%) or, even worse, choose a different provider (21%).
However, when happy, American consumers are most likely to tell all their friends (27%), tell the company (25%), write a comment on review sites (23%) and post about it on social media (15%).
These actions should sound familiar since they are all characteristics of brand advocates. According to Entrepreneur.com, brand advocates are super fans and brand loyalists who engage with the brand because they truly love it and will take action if asked.
If you reframe calls and outreach to customer service as an opportunity to create brand advocates, you start a cycle that fills the top of your funnel with new leads.
Feed the top of the funnel with successful CX
After seeing these statistics, what are some action steps that leaders like you can take today?
- Examine closed tickets. Don’t just read them. Look at the time stamps. Look at the length of the calls. Listen to the calls if possible. How can each interaction be studied and improved the next time?
- Reframe your mindset on support. Every time the phone rings or an email is submitted is an opportunity to create a positive experience and produce a brand advocate. Think about the things that people said they would rather do than talk to you (e.g. learning a TikTok dance), and then elevate their experience by delighting them.
- Some people will never be happy. Ensure you have ‘no blame culture’ from the top. Frame those negative customer interactions as learning experiences for the team without blaming team members, product, sales, etc.
- Encourage leadership to personally call random customers regularly and check-in to see how they are doing. They could potentially intercept a problem before it snowballs, but they will also gain an understanding of what’s going on daily on the front lines.
Manage relationships with Insightly Service
Your customer service team needs a powerful tool to meet the needs of your customer base. Wouldn’t it be ideal if your tool for customer service was part of the same suite of products as your CRM and marketing automation platform? So the sales, marketing and customer service teams are aligned on a single, powerful platform?
Built on Insightly’s platform, Insightly Service is a customer service and support ticketing product designed to work seamlessly across the business applications that companies are already using. With Insightly Service, critical data is shared across departments and in real-time, so that all customer-facing teams are aligned and empowered to have more relevant conversations that drive customer satisfaction and success.
Insightly Service can be bundled with the entire Insightly suite of customer relationship management applications and is also available for purchase as a standalone customer service and support product.