Customer Experience: How Angry Customers Can Actually Help Your Business
Fifty-four percent of consumers say they’ve had at least one bad customer service experience in the last month. Dealing with impatient, dissatisfied or angry customers is never easy, but if the contact center handles the situation well, you may be able to build a stronger relationship with the customer over the phone and create opportunities for your business. Additionally, unhappy customers bring attention to areas along the customer journey that need improvement so you can identify and make the necessary upgrades to alleviate customer pain points.
Many operations teams aren’t aware of how the individual pieces of technology contribute to the overall customer experience (CX). Therefore, it’s crucial to break down silos between different devices and data in order to gain visibility across the organization’s CX tools and applications. By listening to the customer to identify the source of their frustration, companies can solve customer service issues more rapidly.
Below are three simple ways CX teams can turn negative customer interactions into positive outcomes. When these steps are paired with CX testing and automation, businesses can achieve a seamless customer journey.
1. Positive Mindset
A positive demeanor helps to ease the customer's annoyed and frustrated feelings as you work to solve the issue as quickly as possible. Start by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes and make sure to maintain a positive mindset when conversing with them about the issues they’re experiencing. A calm mindset, along with a prompt resolution, can restore the trust of the customer and, in some cases, open the door for additional purchases. Many businesses face situations where customers aren't satisfied with their products or services, and sometimes that’s a hard pill to swallow. At Cyara, to achieve 95 percent percent customer retention, we greatly invested in our customer experience program and made sure to have a full team in place that's in charge of putting the customer first and brainstorming how better to meet their needs. This mindset of prioritizing the customer and seeing every challenge or piece or feedback as an opportunity has led to the acquisition of new customers as well.
2. Effective Listening Skills
Listening is a key part of building and repairing customer relationships. Successful listening isn’t just understanding the words or the information being communicated. It’s also trying your best to see from the customer’s perspective and showing empathy for their situation. To practice effective listening, you should be attentive, not interrupt, keep an open mind, and ask clarifying questions when necessary. If you carefully listen and analyze the problem the customer is experiencing, you may even recognize patterns from the calls you’ve received which can point to larger issues in the CX channel, such as poor voice quality, prompting errors, dropped calls and delays.
For example, a customer may have to hold for a long time, then decide to sign up to receive a call back when an agent is available and then are forced to hold for another 15 minutes after they're called back. As a result, by the time the call-center agent finally joins the call, the customer is already agitated and may have a short fuse. When the customer is unhappy, it’s most crucial to listen and take notes on all the issues they’ve encountered to report back to the operations team so they can reduce friction in the customer service process the next time. Even updating the call system to notify customers of estimated wait times helps to manage expectations and reduce additional frustration in the customer experience.
3. Follow Up Afterward
Once the situation has been resolved over the phone or via chat, be sure to follow up with the customer within the next few days to ensure that he or she is satisfied with the resolution. This step is the most critical in order to prevent the same roadblock from occurring again. Not only is it important to follow up afterward so the customer knows you care, but it’s also an ideal way to gather valuable feedback for future interactions. If by any chance the customer is still having the same issues, it's the perfect way to avoid another angry call by getting ahead of the situation.
Take Criticism and Improve Your Customer Journey
Earning and maintaining loyal customers has always been a challenge for businesses, and COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the way shopping is done and how businesses operate. In fact, 32 percent of customers have said they will stop doing business with a brand they loved after just one bad experience. Many retailers have been able to adapt to the “new normal” by now, and this year’s events have also created new opportunities with the e-commerce surge. With the right amount of patience and empathy, CX teams can not only improve a customer's poor experience and make it a great one, but also identify necessary upgrades and fixes on the back end of the customer journey. Mistakes happen, but when you do a thorough job rectifying them, you can turn them into a positive outcome for the customer and your business.
Alok Kulkarni is the CEO of Cyara, an automated customer experience assurance platform provider.
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