Customers turn to self-service support options 67 percent of the time, but they will become frustrated if they can't find the information they need. Your first line of support didn't help the customer, so now he's even more frustrated. Customers can react in a few ways - they can go to another company out of frustration, they can reach out to your direct customer support lines, or they can complain about their problems or experiences on social media. Reaching the customer during this critical time makes the difference between a lost customer and a loyal one.
Causes of Customer Frustration
Forty percent of customers reach out to customer support because they can't find answers within the self-service support option, according to HelpGizmo. No matter how thorough your self-service database is, it won't answer every possible question to a customer's satisfaction. It may not cover complex questions about advanced uses, or customers may need hands-on assistance with their issues.
Listening to the Customer
Customers can experience a variety of pain points, from issues using self service, an inability to use their newly purchased products, or not understanding the proper process for returning a defective or broken product. Quickly identifying pain points once the customer is in contact with customer support is essential so the support representative can give the best resolution in the shortest time.
Reaching Customers Before They Leave
What do you do about the 60 percent of customers who won't reach out to customer support for help? Create a proactive support system revolving around catching frustrated customers before they leave the website. Live chat windows triggered by a customer spending a significant amount of time in the self-service section is an excellent way to make first contact. Sometimes customers need to know you value their time enough to reach out first when they're having a bad time.
Turning a Negative Experience Into a Positive Encounter
You can turn a negative customer experience into a positive encounter with the right reaction. Listening closely to the customer gives customer support an idea of the customer's pain points. One of the biggest priorities outside resolution is calming the customer. Let customers know you acknowledge, understand and empathize with them. After a dissatisfying time going through self-service support, the human touch goes a long way.
Customer service may not resolve the customer's problem on the first touch, but keeping the customer in the loop helps reduce the frustration level. Reduce or eliminate transferring the customer from department to department. If customers have to repeat their issues over and over again, they're reminded of the negative experience, and their frustration levels build. Have tools in place so customer support can handle a majority of issues that come its way without switching to another department.
Follow up with customers after you have resolved their issues. Sometimes an issue happens again, or customers encounter another problem and don't have the time or inclination to reach out. When you contact customers directly, you show you value them. Going above and beyond with the customer experience, especially with negative customers, helps you turn the customer's attention from the negative to the positive.
A negative customer experience doesn't mean the customer will never give your company another chance. When you connect with a frustrated customer and fix the problem, you create a valuable bond. Sometimes your best brand ambassadors are customers who were one step away from never purchasing from your company again.