Do you feel confident in the performance of your customer support department? Do they resolve issues with customers quickly and have minimal complaints? Occasionally, you will receive an unhappy customer that can’t be pleased, but are these incidents few and far between?
What about your competitor? If your competitor isn’t pleasing customers and their customers come knocking at your door, you get a fresh opportunity to win them over at the expense of your competitor’s poor business practices. Are you taking the time to see what your competition did wrong to avoid making the same mistakes?
One way to answer these questions is to have new customers fill out feedback forms and surveys–but sometimes companies have to dig a little deeper to see what people are saying about the competition. Rather than making mistakes or losing customers, learn from your competition to ensure your customer support is doing a great job.
Resolving the issue
For many companies, more than half of customers feel like their issue wasn’t really resolved. An unhappy customer won’t usually tell you they are unhappy, but they will tell everyone else online by encouraging others to avoid your company. You’ll end up with bad reviews of your company on social media, forums, and independent review sites.
This is where you can find out what you’re doing wrong and how much of an impact it’s having. In addition, you can look at what people are saying about your competition to see where they failed at resolving a customer problem. If you learn that a company failed to resolve a problem, didn’t respond to a complaint, or wouldn’t make any special accommodations for a customer, you know exactly where you can get ahead of the curve with your customer support department.
In almost half of cases, the customer simply felt that their customer service interaction was with a rude or unhelpful staff member. Another common complaint is that customers simply feel unappreciated when seeking help. Look online at reviews about rude interactions, unhelpful customer support departments, or complaints about customer value. When customers feel valued and respected (or when they see that a customer support representative is willing to assist until the problem is resolved) they will continue working with the company in the future. They’ll have the reassurance of knowing that if an issue comes up they can find the treatment they deserve.
Why customers simply leave a competitor
Leaving a company can be a big decision, so you should determine exactly why new customers are leaving your competition and coming to you. Acquiring a new customer is an expensive process, even more expensive than retaining an old one. Make sure you’re not losing customers who have already chosen you by doing everything in your power to avoid making the same mistakes your competition made.
By understanding the complaints against your competitor, you also receive an additional bonus to avoiding the same mistakes–You can get an understanding of your customer’s expectations.
Being more available
Sometimes customers leave a competitor because it’s just too hard to reach them. Sometimes calling on the phone isn’t convenient and it’s important to have other ways to reach support. Be sure to get a leg up on your competition by offering contact through social media, web chat, email, and other channels.
Some businesses avoid social media because they don’t want to risk having negative feedback on a public channel, but it normally turns into a great opportunity to show your whole audience how well you solve problems. Offering a website with a FAQ page and community forum may also help save your customer time; their answer may already be available right on your site.
Always be innovating
Sometimes your competitor just isn’t doing anything new and their customers want to work with someone who is more innovative. Be a company that is always coming up with a better way to do things, a new product, or new improvements on your current products.
While you are looking up what customers are saying about your competition, be sure to see what people are saying about you. Do your best to improve your customer satisfaction ratings and to avoid making the mistakes your competition has made.