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CAUSES OF BAD CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Katerina Vinokhodova
UseDesk Co-Owner
Nobody wants to have unhappy customers but why do so many people complain about poor service? 80% of companies believe they deliver superior customer service, and only 8% of their customers agree with this statement. We are going to summarize the main root causes of bad customer service.
Long Response Time
Navigating through a complicated IVR, and then getting on hold for several minutes to have an employee to respond is humiliating, to say the least. Your call is very important for us – are you kidding? When it comes to emails, the situation is not better – sometimes it feels like the emails go into the space of the global Internet network and just disappear in the dark never reaching the addressee.
Why?
  • Not enough agents to deliver customer support is one of the biggest issues. Companies save money and limit costs on staffing but lose the customers that never got an answer to the phone calls or emails. This is fatal for small companies. Some time ago, the giant corporations could afford having a poor customer service but, now, they cannot ignore the fact that the trend of high-quality service and care for the customer evolves.
  • No customer support software is used. When the calls/emails distribution system's set up is inaccurate, the calls/emails go in one queue without sorting and prioritization.
  • Poor communications between the departments. It is not only the customer support team who is involved in finding a solution to a customer's problems. The process of forwarding a customer's request from one department to another should be clearly defined; otherwise, the customer is at risk of not getting a response at all
Lack of Assistance
Explaining the problem again and again to different people is not very enjoyable. The customer is switched from one agent to the second one, from second – to third one. As a result, no one really helped, but they offered to submit a claim with the main office. The less agents involved in the case, the happier the customer.
Why?
  • Agent does not have experience. Working in customer support usually is considered as a starting position – often it does not require a previous experience or education, clear speaking and ability to use PC are just enough. As a result, the customer sees the support team as a team of people "randomly taken from street." I believe, when hiring a new agent, instead of a meaningless interview questions like - "Where do you see yourself in 2 years from now?", it is better to ask the following:
    1) write a text from dictation, or, better a short essay;
    2) resolve a hypothetical problem.
  • Poor training. In large companies, it is a common standard to provide 1-2 weeks of training before going into battlefield. But even they make these fatal mistakes:
    1) give too much of theory and not enough practice tasks
    2) important things are left for "home studying"
    3) no psychological training
  • Lack of freedom of action. The agent of the first line of support, generally, "does not solve anything". He has a script to follow, and he will not go apart of it even if he is at risk of dying. In this scenario, support service stop being "support" really. When a customer understands that his non-standard problem will not be solved, he gets angry and concludes that an agent is "a stupid bastard."
Agents Don't Care or Being Rude
- Here's your certificate, please take it. Oh, wait, it is a lunchtime…
- But you've already held it in your hands.
- Lunch!
- You have it in your arms.
- Mister, I am closing the window now.
Why?
Lack of motivation. I worked in support services for three different companies, and none of them would let me know what my role and value are. We were told: the customer is important, we do everything for the customers, we are a customer-focused company. We were required to follow a script under a fear of getting the low scores or having the premium cut. Nobody ever told us: guys, you are professionals, and you are doing a great job, improve your skills and be the best ones so that everyone would want to reach your level. Say it loud and clear that the customer support work is not a regular job, it's a mission, and only fulfilled individuals can offer something to others – the employees should understand their role in the company.

Things that demotivate are: lack of evaluation criteria, monotonous repetitive work, no room to express yourself, lack of prospects, and no additional trainings. Even if there is no opportunity for career growth within the company, you still can provide a professional growth. Offer them free Russian or English classes – help them learn how to use commas finally; or psychology trainings - to understand people better and learn how to work with different types of customers. Professional development motivates and increases self-satisfaction, and a happy employee will make your customers happy.

Going from understating the causes to their solutions, we have created a tool that enhances the customer support work and reduces a gap between the companies and their customers. Try UseDesk.
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