By Olivia Cole, Published November 1, 2014
This time of year, being scared is generally a good thing. Haunted houses, scary movies, ghost tours: a good fright is what everyone is after…unless you’re running a business. The last thing you want to do is scare your customers, no matter what time of the year it is, but the unfortunate truth is that many of us are doing things that are giving our customers nightmares and scaring them off. Poor customer service is high on the list of things that chase customers away, so here are some ways to keep them running toward you instead.
Customer Nightmare: Not Having A Phone Number On Your Website
Did you know that 61% of shoppers believe that it’s important for businesses to give them a phone number to call? What’s more, 33% would be less likely to use and refer brands that don’t offer a phone number. 57% of those that couldn’t speak to a real person say it has impacted their decision to buy. The truth is, customers simply don’t trust you without a phone number. It’s a sign of reliability and dependability. A phone number on your website separates the heroes from the perceived villains in this particular horror flick, so don’t be the good guy that everyone thinks is the bad guy.
Customer Nightmare: Eternal Hold Times
From a customer’s perspective, waiting on hold for a long time is the equivalent of a slow death—but it can actually mean a quick death for your business relationship if long hold times are the norm of your business. You may think your hold times aren’t so bad—but are they? Our recent benchmarking analysis showed that 15% of callers hang up right around 40 seconds of holding. Every second past that mark means you are risking losing a possible customer. Furthermore, a study by Accenture showed that 90% of customers are “increasingly frustrated” by long hold times. A frustrated customer is just one step away from not being a customer at all.
Customer Nightmare: Repeating Themselves Over And Over
The same study by Accenture showed that 89% of customers are “increasingly frustrated” by having to repeat their issue to multiple representatives. This is a major failure of customer service organizations, which is baffling when one considers how easy the solution is. Sophisticated call tracking and call management tools are cheap and easy to implement, and enable customer service reps to view caller information before answering the call—why are businesses not using them? If you’re scaring customers away when a solution is so simple, maybe you really are a monster.
Customer Nightmare: Never Hearing Back
Many customers fill out a form online when they want more information—especially in the absence of a phone number. But according to InsideSales, 55% of top companies don’t respond to web leads…despite the fact that 71% of online shoppers expect assistance within five minutes. Five minutes. Maybe that number scares you: it shouldn’t. Fast lead response is easy; you just have to care enough to make it happen.
One last stat: in 2013, 62% of global consumers switched service providers due to poor customer service experiences, up 4% from 2012. In a world of options, one scare will send a customer fleeing to the business that makes them feel safe. Want to stop terrifying your customers with poor customer service? Download this free white paper, Beyond the Cloud: The Next Generation of Virtual Call Centers.