Some weeks are frustrating aren’t they? I have been reviewing SaaS (software as a service) companies this week and was amazed at the different levels of customer service between the suppliers. With service in their industry name you would have thought that they would excel at customer service, but from my own experience it was non-existent in many cases, which prompted this post.
So with tongue in cheek, if you want to ensure that your potential, or even current customers, never buy from you (again) here are a few things to remember:
- Make your website load really slowly so that customers will have to wait in excited anticipation before appreciating the beauty and complexity of everything you have on offer.
FACT: According to Kissmetrics 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- Don’t make your website mobile friendly; that’s only for the younger generation and you’re sure your customers are older – although to be honest you don’t really know.
FACT: Mobile already accounts for 15% of global internet traffic
- Create loops within your website so the customer never actually gets to the information page they really want. Keep them looking, which increases your stats of time-on-site, and that looks great in your stat report.
FACT: Time on site does matter but only if customers are interested in the content. Adding pictures and videos is a better way to keep them engaged.
- Don’t provide contact information choices; make every potential client call you, especially if they live on the other side of the planet.
FACT: Forrester research reveals that “75% of consumers seeking customer service online turned to another channel when a firm’s website let them down.”
- Provide online chat but just automate a first response and then leave the client waiting for a live customer service person to come online.
FACT: 65% of American online shoppers have engaged in online chat
- Make your clients wait between their chat messages and your response, by having your customer care people respond to at least five people at the same time. This is great for helping them to get the names and issues mixed up too, and avoids them getting too personal.
FACT: According to Cisco 69% of U.S. consumers would provide more private information in exchange for more personalized service.
Don’t answer when your potential, or current, client calls; just put them on automatic hold. Or you can give them a recorded message with opening hours when they should call you, which will be a time that is acceptable to you, not when they need you.
FACT: 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration they could not talk to a real person.
- To keep your clients amused when they call you, provide multiple self-service key options, the more the better. When they finally get to the topic they want, play hold music, then interrupt at regular intervals so they think there is someone coming on the line and then just give a short message and start the hold music again. Never give an idea of how long they will have to wait; keeping them guessing is half the fun! Great for calming your customers’ nerves too.
FACT: By 2020, the customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human, according to Gartner.
- Never return the calls of clients who dared to leave a voice message for you; they’ll call you back if they really need you. If they don’t then they’ve probably solved their problem themselves and shouldn’t have called you for help in the first place!
FACT: Oracle research found that 49% of executives believe customers will switch brands due to a bad experience but 89% already have!
Never reply to emails within the same day, unless it is an automated response to say you will get back in the next 2-3 days.
FACT: 204 million emails are sent every minute, but that’s no excuse.
- Wait before responding to customer emails for at least 4 days and then make sure it is really friendly and explains that you’re waiting for their call.
FACT: Forrester found that 41% of consumers expect an e-mail response within six hours.
- Even better, reply to say that most answers can be found on your website and provide a helpful link to your FAQs. And never reference their email or mention a topic relevant to the content of it.
Monitor posts on social media and only respond when you need to point out why a person’s negative comments are wrong.
FACT: According to Edison Research 42 Percent of consumers complaining on Social Media expect a response within the hour.
- Don’t bother reading comments online; you know better than your customers what they need.
FACT: 24% of American adults have posted comments or reviews online about the product or services they buy.
- People use Twitter only for personal informatio; with only 140 characters, it can’t be relevant for businesses can it?
FACT: one million people view tweets related to customer service every week and more than 80% of those tweets are of a critical or negative nature.
If you got this far in the post then thanks for reading my rant. Many of the above actually happened to me this week when trying to buy a SaaS platform! It is sad that despite all the articles written and research conducted, so many companies still get customer service so terribly wrong.
Hopefully in reading this post you have garnered some new facts and figures about customer service and what today’s customers are expecting from us. Or perhaps you got some ideas on how you can improve your own service and responses to your customers.
Do you have your own fascinating facts about customers and what they expect in terms of service today? If so then please comment below and share them with everyone.
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