Think about the last time you contacted a company—were you calling to
offer a compliment or thank the company for their excellent service?
Chances are that wasn’t your motivation. More likely you called
customer service to complain about something that was wrong.
Customers typically pick up the phone when they need to resolve an
issue. And frequently, that’s after they’ve tried to find the answer
on their own with no success. Depending on how long they have spent
searching, you can imagine patience may be running low by the time
they call, making that engagement especially challenging.
In fact, two-thirds of customers who encounter customer service
problems experience feelings of rage, according to a 2017
survey by Customer Care Measurement and Consulting. Rage seems to
be on the rise in other ways: Some customers will even go to “rage
rooms” where they can blow off steam by demolishing breakable
items, electronics, or objects of their choice.
While no one can break or throw anything on a negative
customer-service call, the outcome of a bad experience can be far more
detrimental than broken glass. It can do serious damage to customer
loyalty and brand perception if customers tell others about their experience.
Staying ahead of the game with a proactive strategy for combating
customer rage will help you turn customers into raving fans. Here are
a few useful rules of thumb:
Be proactive. The best problem to have is one that’s already
solved. Improve your customer experience by addressing issues before
your customers are even aware of them. Monitor the health of
customers’ products and services. Act on trend data, or real-time
data from connected devices, to better anticipate needs or spot
problems as they’re happening. If you find an issue and fix it
before your customer even knows they have it, they’ll never need to
pick up the phone.
Another strategy is to take steps to
anticipate customer needs so when they do reach out, you’re already
a step ahead. If you sell or manufacture consumer products, you can
also take stock of your onboarding content for first-time users. Is
it complete? Is it easy to find on the web? Can you push it to them
proactively when they buy? Proper planning ensures customers can
find exactly what they need, when they need it. And that makes
Improve self-service outcomes. Customers prefer self-service,
but only when it works. To improve outcomes, offer connected
experiences to your website that manage processes end to end.
Simplify routine inquiries with automation, machine learning, and
virtual agents. If customers can’t find the answers they’re looking
for, reduce their frustration by letting them escalate to a live
agent with a simple click or tap.
technology can also work in the background to open a new case, route
the question to the person with the right skill set to solve the
problem, create additional workflow tasks as needed, and manage
tasks to completion. You can also make sure the customer feels like
they’re in complete control by letting them view and respond to open
cases, check service notices, or get updates on product or service
status anytime, anywhere, on any device. Giving customers control
positively impacts their perception of your company and brand.
Personalize, personalize, personalize. When stress is high
and time is short, customers have zero patience for slogging through
irrelevant information to answer questions or resolve issues.
Personalized self-serve portals are a great way to make sure your
customers keep their cool.
Start by making it easy for
them to view and track their orders, products or subscriptions,
history, or account details online. Shortcut their search for
answers by proactively recommending articles based on the products
or services they own, how recently they were purchased, or whether
those products currently have service issues. Up your game by
highlighting recent community postings related to their products or
areas of interest.
The faster your customers find the
answers they’re looking for, the happier they will be. The happier
they are, the more likely they are to share that with others. In
of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more
Solve the problem. Unsolved problems are one of the key
reasons for customer dissatisfaction. In the same Customer Care
Measurement and Consulting study, only 17 percent of the customers
who experienced rage were satisfied with the actions taken to solve
their most serious problems. Bouncing from one agent to another and
being asked to re-explain things was a key stressor. Lack of issue
resolution was the other.
Modern technology can help
you reduce this type of frustration dramatically by intelligently
routing and categorizing cases and then tracking them to completion.
You can also automate the prioritization and assignment of incoming
customer service requests to quickly connect customers with the
right agent to solve their problem. When further work is needed to
resolve the issue, experts are engaged from across the whole
organization, ensuring a positive outcome.
By applying modern customer service technology, companies
can eliminate customer rage and turn every customer experience instead
into one that builds raving fans. By providing end-to-end service,
delivering quick and easy answers for routine issues, personalizing
the delivery of timely, relevant information to your customers, and
connecting them more quickly to the right agents and answers, you can
ensure a seamless experience for customers that genuinely turns them
into raving fans.
To learn more, download The Road to Transforming the Customer Service
Experience ebook, which details how to remove roadblocks and
transform the customer journey into an exceptional customer experience.