The effectiveness of a company’s customer service can have serious effects on their brand, reputation, sales, and profit. Bad customer service can make small problems seem worse, mask underlying problems, and blow up into PR nightmares. You may have a great product or service, but if your customer service is constantly plagued by mistakes and problems, you’ll lose current customers and fail to attract new buyers. On the other hand, excellent customer service can generate repeat business and referrals. With so much riding on it, a company needs to get customer service right. But there are a few misconceptions out there about customer service that can make it more difficult to establish and maintain a great customer service department. Let’s debunk some common customer service myths. Myth: The Customer is Always Right Reality: The customer is not always right, but customers should always be heard. Acknowledge the concern, communicate clearly, understand their perspective, and avoid getting defensive. Myth: Solving the Problem Will Satisfy the Customer Reality: Just solving the problem doesn’t necessary result in customer satisfaction. The happiest customers have their problems solved in one call, but less than 70% of moderately happy customers saw a resolution in the first call. Problem resolution is not the only factor in customer satisfaction. Things like listening skills, empathy, and knowledge have an effect too. A customer can be happy even if their problem wasn’t resolved, and a complainer may not be satisfied after getting a solution. They’ll likely be frustrated if it takes a lot of time. Myth: More Time Means More Satisfaction Reality: Customers want their issues resolved quickly. They don’t care how much time an agent spends solving a problem, they just want it fixed now. Communication is key in sufficiently addressing a complaint. Invest the adequate amount of time on a complaint, but don’t linger. Inefficient methods and processes can also slow resolution times. Calculate how long each type of call should take, and agents should attempt to stick to this metric. Myth: No Complaints Mean No Problems Reality: Some people think that if no one is complaining, then everything is fine. More than 70% of customers with an issue don’t contact the company. Great customer service is proactive; it means following up with customers about their experience. Create a company culture that puts the employees first and lets them put the customer first. A positive work environment helps employees create happy customers. Empowered, happy employees maintain excellent customers service. Myth: Customer Experience is All about the Agent Reality: Some assume that their customers’ experience is entirely controlled by the customer service agent. Increasing rapport and decreasing anger are important skills but they cannot transform bad customer service calls into great ones. More impactful failures such as lack of knowledge or slow systems should be the focus. Improve your training program rather than concentrating on individual agents. Boost their knowledge base, problem-solving skills, and confidence. Also, evaluate response times, production systems, and delivery processes. Myth: Focus on the Loudest Complaints Reality: A small percentage of customers actually call to complain. Companies should address the concerns of persistently unhappy customers, but the focus should be kept in perspective. It’s unwise to spend a disproportionate amount of effort attempting to satisfy people who will likely never be satisfied. Focus instead on improving and streamlining the overall processes that caused the problem. If complainers comprise only 5 to 10% of your customers, it’s likely just the fringe and should not require more attention than keeping loyal customers happy. Myth: Satisfaction Equals Loyalty Reality: This is not always correct. Some satisfied customers are passive. Great customer service and top ranked agents, as well as excellent products, helps create loyal customers. Soft agent skills like building rapport can elevate satisfied customers to loyal, repeat shoppers who recommend you to friends, family, and followers. Strong brand loyalty is inspired by exceeding expectations. Identify how and when good customer service becomes great and achieves the highest levels of satisfaction. A strong philosophy that empowers employees more than specific tactics is the foundation of great customer service. Provide guidelines, create a positive environment, and empower employees to solve problems. If they’ve been properly trained, customer service agents will handle issues, recover from setbacks, learn from their mistakes, and put the customers first. This look at customer service myths has made clear the importance of strong training programs. The Meditec Customer Service Representative program prepares learners for entry-level employment as customer service representatives. Enroll today!