Steve Jobs once said, “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
The next thing you know, it has become so ubiquitous consumers these days are so particular with quality that even ‘cheap’ should come with it.
Gone are the days when companies can get away with bad products when communication among their disappointed customers is limited in terms of transfer speed.
Today, with everyone almost connected to the internet and have social media accounts, it only takes a 135-character message (or emojis, lots of angry ones) to get their frustrations seen or heard across the entire web.
To make matters worse, if that customer has lots of following or has a significant social media clout (Say, Kim Kardashian or Taylor Swift), you wouldn’t want them tweeting about how bad your product or services is.
The thing with today’s market is they go straight to the company or brand itself, rather than its particular brand, to air their displeasure.
Remember when Samsung’s ill-fated Galaxy S4 launch in 2013 (it featured a Broadway-adorned theme; CNET dismissed it as ‘painful to watch with sexist caricatures of women’), and people were complaining about the handset being bloated, still being housed in plastic and stuffed with software gimmick?
Consequently, sales were abysmal, trailing behind the performance of its earlier iteration.
People pointed at Samsung the company, and not the S4, the smartphone unit, as the culprit. As it should be. After all, the brand is the manufacturer.
This just gets highlighted with people these days having an avenue to directly speak to the company.
And so, businesses today know that in order to get rave reviews from their customers, and hopefully get promoted in social media – always a bonus, they must deliver on every front.
Communication is so powerful that it can make or break people, brands and industries. It is the hallmark of our very existence and how we use it shapes our future.
Whether to inquire or complain, people who use the phone to make contact with the company, just want one thing: to be heard.
Companies who master the art of listening will always have the advantage, in a world where most calls get dropped and re-routed, if they improve on that one area where they can resolve any customer complaint within minutes.
But the art of answering service is anything but simple.
There could be a hundred scenarios why the customer called, and your company manual may not have covered most of these, putting pressure on the customer service representatives, whose only source of information is the manual.
This is one of the most rampant reasons why most calls get dropped or re-routed to other departments.
This is both frustrating and infuriating to customers.
You’re a customer, too. Once in your life, you’ve experienced how it felt like for your call to be tossed department to department, until you hang up.
If you doubt your answering service department needs a thorough and not just a push-over approach, quality-wise, here are three glaring signs you need to think otherwise:
Lacking-in-quality answering service training
When was the last time you dialed a toll-fee to connect with a company’s customer support, only to be greeted by a female-voiced robot explaining its line is receiving heavy traffic, giving you two options: (1) to wait as soon as the next customer representative gets available and (2) to call again later.
This happens when a business offer more than it can chew, or the queries are just not handled efficiently resulting to the long waiting time.
Different factors contribute to this: either the technology employed to receive (or make) calls are plain bad, or the people behind the answering service are insufficiently trained, not just handling customer queries, but also managing them.
A customer called about a malfunctioning cable box that seemed to lose signal when someone uses the phone (which came with the subscription).
The new episode of Game of Thrones is set to air in 15 minutes, but his mom is still not done talking on the phone.
Tempers were running high as the answering service representative seemed to struggle through the technicalities of the problem.
The funny thing is, this is not the first time your team has dealt with this problem.
So, what went wrong? You need a serious overhaul in the quality of your answering service training.
Low customer satisfaction rating
To get a better reception on how your business is faring with your customers, you have decided, apart from having an answering service department, to be present in social media channels.
No company is perfect.
Even the biggest and most popular ones have had their fair share of negative reviews and comments on their respective social channels.
But when your FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram are receiving unnatural amount of negative comments about your business’ customer service, you should start to worry.
Could it be your answering service line is too difficult to connect with (i.e. Long waiting time), or they’ve been having the same issues because nothing gets resolved?
Why are they not happy?
As a consumer, what do you do when you’ve exhausted all means to solve problems (i.e. Calling the answering service support) to have the best time with a product or service you bought? No, not smash it on the floor. You go look for another!
Imagine if every customer does this.
Even with a great product or service, when your answering service support performs poorly, it can make a dent in the overall reception of your brand.
This is one the toughest challenges for any business: keeping all departments in synch, in order to give its customers the best experience ever.
Because at the end of the day, it’s about how they feel about your product.
A great answering service training can open doors to many opportunities once applied in the real work setting.
It will be slow, but starting with improving how you communicate with the customers will gradually eclipse the association of having a poorly-trained customer service department, which has resulted to low customer satisfaction and eventually, dwindling sales.
Additionally, with a great answering service training, you will give customers something they can be proud of spreading word about, something that gets shared in social media, and something that will be marketed through word-of-mouth by family and friends.