It seems apparent that as a business grows, it has more resources and thus will offer better customer service. However, it’s shocking that big players like Delta Airways, Twitter and AT&T fare badly on the CSAT scale. In fact, whether it’s Bank of America’s (13th biggest company in the world) Twitter Fail or Comcast’s epicly horrid customer service, why exactly is it so hard for companies to provide good customer service as they grow?
Choosing to outsource your customer service is like an ostrich trying to escape reality by burying its head in the ground. Many businesses think outsourcing is a quick way to rid themselves of problems. Can’t manage your own customer service as the number of customers increase? Hire a company to do that for you! More often than not, this is a bad idea.
The problem with outsourcing is that no one knows your business better than you. Since customer service deals with complaints about your own products or services, the best way to address their concerns is through someone who is actually equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills.
Most offshore call centres employ advocates that have little knowledge of the company they are providing support for and they follow a scripted response which usually does nothing to help the customer. So if you’re considering outsourcing your customer service, you might want to think twice.
To people who run the business, customer service might be a top priority. However, as the message trickles down the hierarchy (a common problem in bigger companies) and into the ears of customer support agents, it may not be as clear. A simple message such as “customers should be our top priority” can have a variety of different interpretations if not communicated properly.
Great customer service can mean different things to different people and can be achieved in different ways. While some might perceive stellar customer service as being able to resolve a customer’s issues in the shortest time possible, others, like Zappos, don’t measure their success by such metrics.
It’s important to be clear about goal setting in a large company. But more importantly, spend some time properly defining these goals and communicating them to all your staff. This way, there’ll be less confusion.
As mentioned previously, there are different ways of defining good customer service. Just like how each individual is different, every customer demands something different from the company.
A business’s customer service strategy should be developed and revised to suit the needs of its unique set of customers (often using customer research and analytics). Outdated metrics like short call times or the ability to make a customer hang up without speaking to a manager are archaic sentiments that need to be changed. In its essence, customer service should be about resolving customer issues and making sure they are satisfied.
Understanding the needs of your consumers and evolving your customer service to meet their standards is the only way to provide them with an acceptable quality of service. Holding on to archaic policies and mentalities will do your business more harm than good. Some traditions are meant to be broken.
Every business starts small. Whether it’s a brilliant product, a stellar marketing strategy or just good luck, big businesses only become become big businesses because they’re doing things right.
However, being right also creates the risk of complacency. Being too caught up with your booming business can make you oblivious to imminent threats and issues because they’re hidden under high profit margins and optimistic growth rates.
Often, large businesses leave protocols or rules untouched for a long time because it worked before and they believe it’ll work in future. However, these regulations and strategies may become obsolete and inadequate in dealing with your customer issues, especially as you enter new markets
Don’t turn a blind eye to your customer service just because everything else in the company is running smoothly. Keeping your customers happy and satisfied is an ongoing process that requires your constant attention and review.
Sometimes, in the grand scheme of things, we tend to forget what a business is all about in the first place. We create products, we provide services. It may all seem very different in the beginning, but at the end, it’s all about the people. We want to make the lives of our customers easier and thus in turn, make them happier. Don’t lose sight of that goal when your business grows. It’s what differentiates a merely successful business from a great one.