After 50 + years our Answering Service has seen it all…

Giving your customers what they want isn’t always black and white.

But sometimes it is.

Businesses both large and small, turn to Answering Services to increase their poor customer service levels. If this is happening or about to happen to you, and you can’t figure out why, chances are you’re making one of the Big 5 Customer Service mistakes.

1. You’re Rushing.

We get it, you’re extremely busy. Between managing employees, paying invoices, scheduling calls and attempting to have a social life (Ha!), customer service is often put on the back burner.

What many of us don not realize is that when you don’t make customer service a priority you are not only upsetting your clients, you’re reducing the productivity of your staff who are dealing with the multiple irate phone calls and emails. Both will effect the bottom line and reduce growth.

If you are guilty of rushing the customer service process our tip to you is simple, slow down. Not focusing on quality customer service may seem like a time saver but trust us, not making it a priority creates way more headaches then it is worth.

2. You always have excuses.

“The shipment was late” “Weather is poor.” “My employee called in sick.

On the surface these seem like valid reasons, but when you look back at the past month there always seemed to be a valid reason why you couldn’t deliver 100% on your promises.

I think we can all see where I’m going with this tip. When something you can’t control does happen you will find yourself facing the wrath of a very upset customer.

If this is you then remember seven very important words.

Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. -Murphey’s Law

Admittedly, being prepared for everything isn’t always possible. However, if you begin preparing for the issues most likely to pop up customer service levels will increase dramatically.

3. You’re Distracted.

Similar to rushing, being distracted falls into the camp of too much on ones plate. You have so many tasks that require your attention today and when you do finally get around to speaking to an upset customer you find yourself reading emails or checking invoices at the same time.

I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this one too.

Multitasking while talking to a customer is asking for big trouble. You’re likely to miss important details such as she is actually a he, and her name is Beth not Bill. (One of our customers actually did this, eep!) 

If you are guilty of being a constant multi-tasker who often leaves tasks half completed then it’s time to get organized! Look at what you are attempting to do in a day! (You’re just one person!)

Perhaps it’s time to hire that account manager you’ve been thinking about for six months, or maybe it means turning to an Answering Service to help stream line the incoming calls. Allow a professional Answering Service to screen the multiple telemarketers who call you in a day. (Don’t worry, we don’t mind) Trust us, you will quickly appreciate the freedom that comes from knowing that when your phone rings it’s a potential or current customer, and you know not someone trying to sell you toner.

4. You’re not investing in customer service.

You and I both know that a corner stone in building your business is creating and maintaining a pristine reputation. Yes, easier said than done but it is possible. No really, I promise, it really is!

Investing in customer service doesn’t mean spending thousands of dollars a month on consultants who come in and tell you what you already know.

It means hiring a new employee if your business demands it, or hiring a Canadian Answering Service to streamline the calls your current employees are receiving. Sometimes it can be as simple as relying on the employees you currently have. Perhaps there are some small tasks that you can trust your right-hand man with?

Sometimes when we take a few hours to reflect we realize that the people around us can be an amazing resource and are more then willing to step up.

5. You’re trying to please everyone.

It happens at least once a month, a very particular customer calls you demanding a free upgrade that will cost you far more then the return you’re going to see on this project.


Quality customer service doesn’t mean you have to give away the farm

But in an effort to placate the customer you hastily agree. And it isn’t until after the fact that you realize you’ve pretty much given away the farm and are out hundreds of dollars in labour costs. *Sigh* And this project was supposed to be simple.

It happens to the best of us. We are so afraid to upset a customer that we never set limits. Big mistake! Believe it or not, you should always stick to set limits.

Sometimes nothing you can do will turn a situation around. In these rare no-win situations it’s often best to own up to the misunderstanding and offer a fair solution. If the customer is still upset and you have tried everything to make the situation better, don’t make a rash choice and give in right away.

Carefully look at the solution they are demanding. Is it worth it? Sometimes it really isn’t, other times it is.

Be ready to stand your ground when it is required and recognize that sometimes it’s best to cut your losses.

And there you have it, some of the biggest and most common customer service blunders. How many are you guilty of?