Customer service should have the customer’s best interest at heart, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Some customers routinely avoid calling customer service because they have had bad customer experiences in the past. Plenty of people agree that in general, “customer service stinks,” but it doesn’t have to.
The top customer service complaints can give us a peek into the reasons customers avoid calling customer service. If you want to improve customer satisfaction and retention, it’s imperative that you know these reasons and go out of your way to ensure you’re providing an above-average customer service experience.
3 Reasons Customers Avoid Calling Customer Service
Nancy Friedman, “The Telephone Doctor,” did some research and surveyed customers across several industries to find out what the top customer service complaints are. Put another way, these complaints are the reasons customers avoid calling customer service.
Reason 1: Rude representatives
Rude representatives are a stereotype for a reason. Customer service is a difficult field to work in, and after months or years of handling callers that range from angry and abusive to flirty or talkative can take its toll on even the most qualified customer service representatives, making them auto-pilot to rudeness on the phone or in person.
That’s not okay.
If your representatives are rude to customers, you can bet that many of them will never call back and will stop doing business with you. One of the best ways to avoid rude representatives is ongoing staff training. Stress the importance of a calm, professional, friendly demeanor and make it clear that rudeness won’t be tolerated. Your team is here to serve customers, not snub them.
Reason 2: Repeated transfers
Being transferred repeatedly was the second top customer service complaint. Not only do repeated transfers frustrate customers and make them avoid calling customer service in the first place, but they also result in staff confusion, lost information, and improper solutions.
Each time a customer is transferred, they usually find themselves repeating the same information they told the last representative. After doing this 2 or 3 times, the customer is sufficiently frustrated and ready to hang up. That doesn’t bode well for business or customer retention.
Reason 3: Incompetence
Improper training or hiring unqualified staff results in one of the top reasons customers avoid calling customer service – incompetence (perceived or real). Friedman noted that the most common way customers phrased this frustration was “No one knew what to do.”
Your representatives won’t have the right answers or solutions every time a customer calls, but they should absolutely know who does at your company. Train your staff to never say “I don’t know.” Instead, talk about your departments, who they can go to with questions, who is in charge of handling different tasks, etc.
Make sure your staff know where to look for solutions when they don’t have them. Have them say something like, “I’m not sure at the moment – our customer success manager will definitely have that information, though. Can you hold for 1 minute while I get that information from her?”