Would you rather clean the toilet than call customer service?
That’s exactly what we asked more than 1,000 consumers for our 2022 annual customer service report. The answer: 42% of customers would prefer to clean a toilet!
Is calling customer support so bad that cleaning the toilet is more desirable? That’s if you’ve wasted your time on hold, listening to horrible music, talking to people who don’t seem to care about you, having trouble hearing or understanding the customer support agent, being transferred over and over, saying the same story over and over… I could go on, but you get the idea.
It’s important to note that not all customer support calls go through this. In fact, very few do, but when you experience the dreaded customer service call debacle, it stands out, is remembered, and shakes your confidence for the next time you need to call customer service – so much so that you might rather clean the toilet than make the call.
I recently wrote about this topic in my weekly Forbes column and included 10 tips on how to improve customer support calls. Here are several of my favorites from the list:
1. Be friendly and knowledgeable: As part of our research, we also asked what would keep a customer coming back, and the top two answers were about friendly, knowledgeable people. How difficult is it? Be nice and have the answers – or at least know where to find the answers.
2. Consistency creates trust: You want customers to have the same positive experience every time they call. You want them to use the word still followed by a positive affirmation when they refer to your customer service. For example, the customer might say, “They are always friendly and knowledgeable.” Again, how hard is it?
3. Shorten the hold time: Customers don’t like to wait on hold, no matter how good the “hold the music” is. It is unrealistic to never force a customer to wait, so at least invest in technology that informs the customer of the length of the wait with the option of being called back.
4. Get it right the first time: The goal is for the customer to call only once, similar to first call resolution. Customers get frustrated when they have to call back for the same issue. It destroys trust.
5. Practice proactive customer service: After talking to the client and reviewing their records, is there a question the client hasn’t asked – and doesn’t even know how to ask – that you can proactively answer? This is a powerful way to build trust with your customers.
If that sounds like common sense, it is. And if you’ve been following me, then you know one of my favorite sayings is, “Common sense is not always so common.” That said, watch this list and share it with your team. Don’t create an experience so frustrating that a customer would say, “I’d rather clean toilets than call you for customer service!” »
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. For more information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs, visit www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
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