You might have a lot of experience in delivering great customer service, but it doesn’t mean you are delivering a great customer service experience.
Hollywood flick The Good, The Bad and The Ugly tells the story of three gunslingers who compete for a gold fortune amidst the American Civil War. The phrase is commonly used to describe the best and worst of something, among others which could have been improved but were not. Today, we’re talking about the good, bad, and ugly side of customer service experience.
Customer service is pretty big in the modern digital age. We all engage with companies on a regular basis, and some things just don’t turn out the way you wanted them to. Now, combine this problem with modern technological innovation and multi-platform usage and you have the perfect recipe for customers with high demands.
Satisfying their needs and wants is the only thing that companies want to achieve, along with providing a good overall end-to-end customer experience. With the growth of technology, customers are beginning to use multiple channels when interacting with a brand. This makes it important for companies to provide an exceptional customer service experience when dealing with customers.
According to Marketing Week, 15 years ago, the average consumer typically used two touch-points when buying an item and only 7% regularly used more than four. Today consumers use an average of almost six touch points, with 50% regularly using more than four.
If I asked you to describe your previous customer service experience with a brand, what would your answer be? You would probably give an account of a positive customer experience or negative customer experience. This is exactly what makes up customer service experience – the way companies handle their customers.
Define: What is Customer Service Experience?
What is considered customer service experience? You won’t find many definitions of customer service experience. However, the truth is, it is very loosely defined and used by a variety of people in different industry. However, one thing is certain – it involves a fair amount of customer service. Let me explain.
Customer service experience is simply defined as the art of managing customers, and meeting or exceeding their wants and needs when they contact customer service. It can be used to describe someone asking about an item on a menu when ordering fast food at a drive-thru, or someone asking a salesman about a product at an electronics store. It is the service experience provided to customers at various points of contact with the organization.
Is there any difference between Customer Service Experience & Customer Experience? What about the difference between Customer Service Experience & Customer Service?
You probably already know the difference between customer service and customer experience. Customer service is part of the overall customer experience, and is reactive (unlike customer experience which is proactive).
Customer Service, Customer Service Experience, and Customer Experience are similar in the way that they all refer to dealing with customers and satisfying their needs and wants. Customer service experience is the overall experience of the customer when he deals with customer service and customer support, whereas customer experience is the sum of all interactions across all touch points with a brand.
5 Essentials of Customer Service Experience
There are 5 essentials to providing a good customer service experience:
- The right timing
- The right service
- The right processes
- The right people
- The right training
Customer Service Experience Challenges
Companies face a variety of customer service challenges in their quest to provide an exceptional level of customer service. Not only do they have to deliver an amazing end-to-end customer service experience, they also have to do it on multiple channels. Here are some customer service experience challenges faced by companies:
- Retaining customers and stopping churn
- Minimizing CES, or customer effort score
- Leverage customer intelligence to better engage customers
- Turn agents into brand ambassadors
- Eliminate interaction silos to decrease customer frustration
Why You Shouldn’t Provide Bad Customer Service
There are many reasons you should not be providing a bad level of customer service:
- It forces the customer to tell his friends and family about your company in a negative manner.
- The customer might go on a social media rampage.
- It spoils your chances of having a second chance at gaining their trust
- It might force the customer to switch to your competitor
The Good Experience: Good Customer Service Experience
When you have a good customer experience, it really speaks for itself. A good customer service experience is when the customer is satisfied with the company’s level of customer service.
Good Customer Service Experience Examples
Here are some examples of good customer experience:
- When the company solves your problem in a timely manner
- When the customer does not have to put in a lot of effort to get his problem solved
- When the company adequately compensates the customer if requested.
- When the customer service representative knows, understands, and effectively solves the customer’s problem on time.
The Bad Experience: Bad Customer Service Experience
Being a customer, how would you handle a bad customer service experience? It’s really not that hard to define poor customer service experience. But, when we do experience a negative customer service experience, it can result in distress and frustration for anybody.
A bad customer service experience results when a customer is dissatisfied with the company he’s seeking assistance from. Bad customer experiences have adverse effects on business, such as reduced satisfaction, decreased customer loyalty, increased frustration, and higher customer churn.
Bad Customer Service Experience Examples
You probably experience bad customer service all the time – so many companies just don’t get it right. Here are some examples of a bad customer experience:
- In case of a query that requires a customer service executive to make an in-house call and he doesn’t reach on time. This causes frustration because the customer might have been waiting for the executive for a long time, or might have cancelled his plans just to get his product / service fixed.
- When a customer requests for assistance over the phone, and he has to wait ridiculously long periods of time just to talk to an agent.
- When the customer service agent asks for more information to verify your profile.
- Having to explain the same information to multiple customer service agents
- A customer orders a product from an online ecommerce store, has a problem with it, and finds out he has to mail the product back himself.
- The company takes too long to fix the problem.
- Unreasonable payments and unexplained surcharges
- Misinformation, or the agent provides wrong or inaccurate information
- When the customer has to do more work in order to solve his problem.
- When the agent follows a scripted response to provide customer service
The Worst Experience: The Worst Customer Service Experience
This is the ugliest part of customer service. Sometimes, customers go through quite an ordeal when dealing with customer service. We see it all the time on some social media posts which go viral. The worst customer service experience is when a customer is completely dissatisfied with the level of customer service a company has to offer.
Worst Customer Service Experience Examples
It doesn’t take rocket science to know when you’ve had the worst customer experience. Here are some of the worst examples of customer experience:
- When the customer service representative has no idea what you’re talking about.
- When the customer service representative does not speak the same language as you.
- When the customer service representative starts using foul or abusive language.
Man with No Name: How to Apologize to a Customer for a Negative Customer Service Experience
The movie The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is about ‘Blondie’, or commonly known as the ‘Man with No Name’. In our contact center perspective, the Man with No Name is the agent who tries to apologize to the customer for a negative customer service experience.
We’ve all been there and experienced it at least once – you buy a product or service, something doesn’t go the way you had thought, and you end up waiting for an available customer service agent to talk to about your issue. You don’t care about his customer service experience skills – you just want someone at the company to talk to you about your specific problem. After 5 or 10 minutes, you get tired of waiting and cut the phone. You vow to hammer the next available agent with your frustration.
Mind you, these customer experience statistics might surprise you.
75% of online customers expect help within 5 minutes, according to Mckinsey. Moreover, according to Forrester, 45% of US consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly.
But wait – soon you find out that your problem has been fixed and the agent on the other end seemed extra polite when dealing with you. So, you decide to might as well leave out the negativity till next time. Sometimes, the best way to deal with an angry customer about a poor customer service experience is simply apologizing to the customer.
Here’s how to apologize to a customer for a negative customer experience:
- Understand: Thoroughly understand what they are trying to say and empathize with their problem.
- Apologize: Saying sorry and apologizing is the best way to gain back a customer’s trust.
- Explain: Explain why they had to face the problem and what really went wrong.
- Fix: Fix their problem.
- Offer a Reward / Compensation: You’ve delivered a bad customer service experience, now offer a reward to compensate for your mistake. This will make the customer feel special and willing to do business with you again.
- End on a Positive Note: You don’t want your customer to feel dissatisfied in any way. Try to end on a positive note by asking what else you can do to help them, and end the conversation like a pro.
- Implement their Feedback: Try to ensure they won’t face the same problem again.
The Ultimate Experience: Ultimate Customer Service Experience
There is a considerable amount of difference between the best and worst customer service experiences. Ultimate customer experiences are surprisingly hard to find, and very few of us actually get to experience it. An ultimate customer service experience is when a company goes beyond what is expected of them to deliver excellent customer service, and then more. In short, they are able to WOW the customer with their service.
Ultimate Customer Service Experience Examples
When you experience something special, you can feel it in an instant. Here are some examples of the ultimate customer experience:
- When the company pleasantly surprises their customers in a positive manner
- When the company presents a unique level of customer service experience that no one else in the market is doing.
- When the company solves your problem in a timely manner and compensates the customer something in return
- When you’re having a chat with a customer service chatbot, but you can’t tell whether it’s a chatbot or a real human