As an SME owner, even if you have the best call center software for small business the important challenge that businesses – whether small or big, in a real-time fast paced and ever changing online world- face is the negative customer interaction which can occur on a daily basis.
This is something bound to happen the moment your customers engage with your brand in any platform you advertise your products, whether it is in store, or online or via phone support and social media, thus there is a wide variety of options that can be used by your customers for engagement regarding your products.
Before the boom that was social media, the options were quite limited, where a customer with a negative experience could at the most discuss it with his or her friend, or write to the customer about it, but times have changed drastically in the recent years.
With the advent and the interest in social media, the publicity of a product is now farther reached than before, where a customer can twitter to tweet about your products, or Facebook to discuss it, write a blog to leave a proper review about it, or even video share the details of your products, and in this way, your product can be touched upon by a vast number of people, including celebrities and politicians.
Imagine the consequences of a negative customer experience on behalf of the customer, where one negative review can change the entire view about your brand itself, and, if ignored too long, will cause your business to fail.
Essentially speaking, with the various modes of communication channels available today, including CRM embedded best call center software, it is now even more important to be conscious of the negative experiences of your customers, and strive to clear as many issues as possible.
It should be noted that a lot of companies have the tendency to actually ignore negative customer interactions with the belief that they cannot be changed into a positive and this attitude is actually wrong.
While there are things that you cannot control, it should be important to note that smart businesses employ the usage of call center software to actually focus on robust customer interactions to help them turn the negative customer experiences into positive ones that will help the customer and in turn, help them.
Customers should be given acknowledgment of being a conscious buyer who provides feedback valuable to the company for better product building in the future; therefore their reviews are quite important to look into, as they have a rather strong impact on your brand.
Bad customer experiences are equally important in the sense that constructive criticism from them can be used to create a better product that will save the company, so they are opportunities that can be used to transform the not so great products into better products to satisfy the customer needs.
A satisfied customer is a happy customer, and therefore in turn it raises the expectation from the company and they will come back again for a superior experience. To effectively use this truth to your advantage, besides employing good call center management software, certain tips are to be paid careful attention:
1. Responding to the customer, especially if it is a high value customer, is very important. If the customer has a particularly bad experience, your agents should make sure that they are contacted, their complaints understood and taken seriously, and that their issues are solves, as soon as possible, and within the promised time period.
2. If the customer in question has gone beyond the terminology of one particular customer to a point that it now affects a larger group of people, the issue must be addressed publicly, with proper apologies, and a proper promise to rectify the situation as quickly as possible. The quicker it is done, the more your customers will put their faith on you.
3. Using proper call center software solutions your agents must be able to track the mentions of your brand. In this way, even if you face the negativity of your brand, it can be quickly identified and taken care of.
It will also help in determining which situations of bad experience is worth looking into and which experiences can be safely ignored, or kept in consideration.
4. Your representatives and agents should start off the interaction on a good note, and end it with a proper solution and assurance at hand, if possible.
5. The customers should be reminded that even though they have complaints, all their issues are valuable and being looked into. It will help in maintaining a sense of trust between your agents and your customers.
6. Train your representatives to acknowledge that the company is at fault. It will help the customers have faith in the fact that your company values them as much as the customers value your company.
Your representatives must be trained to be pen and not defensive, and be able to show the customers that they are on the same page as them.
7. Use good cloud call center software solutions to detect serial complainers and have your agents create a game plan as to how to tackle them.
A good way to deal with them is to welcome back, and assure them that your agents are glad to help them once again. This will make the serial complainers feel to an extent awkward and perhaps even a bit ashamed and therefore keep their conduct in check.
8. Have good call center software in place to detect negative reviews, detect invaluable customer opinions, have a decent back up system when your agents cannot do anything about a situation, and overall make the process of criticism, both productive and counterproductive, easier to handle.
If you are confused about this particular step, a proper call center solutions comparison will be immensely helpful.
9. Train your agents to listen more than speak, to be calm and composed with the most offensive of customers is important in maintaining professionalism.
10. Learning how to deny requests without actually using the word ‘no’ is immensely helpful in the longer run.
11. Have a proper program in place that will automatically send a follow up message after customer interaction is over. This will require proper software, and you can determine the best and cheapest way to implement it by doing a call center software pricing comparison.
12. Although we are all humans and it is difficult to keep tempers under control while dealing with a difficult customer at times, your agents should keep in mind that they are representing not only themselves to the customer, but also their companies, and a difficult, influential customer can create a negative reputation of the company.
13. Train your representatives to be acknowledging of the fact that different customers have different values added to a particular product, that is to say, that they must be prepare to handle different customer preferences.
14. Aim to educate your customers as you keep helping them bit by bit. This is very helpful for the customer in case they have the same issues as before.
15. In situations where you cannot help a customer at all, make sure to explain clearly why you can’t, and offer genuine apology. This will make them want to come back for more.
16. Since we live in the social media world, a particularly damaging experience should be contained as solved as quickly as possible.
17. Always give out hints and statements that will make the customers realize that yours is a company that is based on creating and improving constantly to help customers such as them in order to help the customers build a faith in the company.
The Case Study
We have provided you with a list of benefits that can be achieved with the desire to change the negative experiences to the positive ones, but knowing about the benefits alone will not be enough to help your research in case you are looking forward to start an effective system in your call center business to achieve this difficult but not impossible task.
You need to be able to have a few examples and study their methods to increase your chances for a successful implementation of such a system that will change the negatives from customers to positives from the same group of customers.
Only after a complete knowledge of the detailing of the work that is required for the success and its benefit to the potential growth of the company can you take a call on deciding what to do and what to avoid.
With this idea in mind, we present you with a case study, which will not only tell you the challenges that can be faced by the company but also have solutions that can come out of it. In addition, we will also talk about the future that this particular company foresees for the company as well as for the customers.
The case study in point is the popular electronics company, Dell, and their efforts in to turning the various negative feedback in to positives ones that helped them immensely in the longer run.
In this case study, we will discuss the main review that cause the company to re-evaluate their customer support, the objectives they had determined to handle it, the back ground of the company itself, the approach they employed in the process, the results they received in the longer run, and if course, the future plans they have decided to achieve.
The objective of this case study is to analyze how the failure to handle the online reviewing of a customer hit a top notch highly reputable company from all over the world, leading to a serious loss of reputation for the company.
Dell Inc. is an American, multinational company that deals with technological machines such as computers and its parts and services, based in the United States of America that is renowned for its international trade and superior, quality machines.
It was named after the company founder, Michael Dell, and is currently one of the largest companies that specialize in computers and its components, with employee strength of 103, 300 people all over the world. It is currently third largest character of computer building, following HP and Lenovo closely.
The series of events that lead to the overhauling of the existing system started off on the 21st of June, 2005, by a “citizen journalist” going by the name of Jeff Jarvis, who usually writes blog reviewing products.
He wrote a single negative blog post in which he talked about this experience with one of the top most, and highly valued companies in the world, Dell Inc.
His experience, according to him was intensely negative, and he was one angry customer, as he wrote sentences like, “Dell sucks. Dell lies. Put that in your Google and smoke it, Dell.” This angry negative review attracted buyer from all over the world to give their thoughts, and even invited Dell’s competitors for open criticism.
During the 1900s and the early 21st century, with the advent of computers as a potential selling point rising every day, Dell had built a rather strong reputation for selling powerful machines at an affordable price so that even the economically challenged can have the taste of using s decent computer.
However, the review of one angry customer will move to serve as a catalyst to Dell for more than two years, making them give immense effort to avoid such a massively degrading experience in the future.
In fact, for a short while, Dell Inc. was called Dell Hell by Jarvis and similar customers, all because Jarvis had created a snowballing effect that refused to die down, creating a mark in their company record history that proved most difficult to brush off.
Dell actually, in turn, allowed this situation to snowball by setting themselves up for this situation by their failure to relate and respond to the people who kept them in business for such a long time, that is, their own customers.
They did not invest in marketing surveys to help them understand the underlying problems or even invest in trying to find out if their customers have any complaints against them on a serious note, unlike their competitors who took such customer issues very seriously at all times.
Billions of dollars are usually spent in researching how to engage more customers and even in how to attract new customers.
The golden rule is all publicity is important, regardless of god and bad. The good publicity is important to help you grow and flourish, at the same time encouraging the employees to reach newer heights, while the bad publicity should mean that it’s time to pay close attention to the underlying problems of the company you have created.
The warning signs should be when there is no publicity at all, for it shows that the company is failing to connect with the customers, and hence they are no longer relevant in the company.
Hence, it is absolutely important to engage in online management of your reputation to take an active step in maintaining your goals and keeping your business ahead.
It is also a good example to the customers that you are actually paying attention to the situation at hand, not merely glancing at it and ignoring it.
This snowballing effect of criticism proved to be invaluable to the company, as they learned the important lesson of breaking the online barriers which is becoming more and more important as the days go by, with a sincere effort to show to the online world that the company very much cared about the customer satisfaction of the customers they were dedicated to serving.
This incident caused Dell to join in on the online conversations that revolved around them and helped them to turn their tarnished reputation around, as they were able to detect and analyze the situation quicker and handle disgruntled customers in a better fashion.
They exceeded the expectations of the customers loyal to them and even helped them gain the trust of new customers, increasing the management of the company overall. They managed to damage control much better in the future too due to the steps they took as a result of Jarvis’s angry blog post about their management.
They saw great improvement in customer engagement as soon as they showed the inclination to join their conversations and work hard to help them solve their issues. The three pointers they kept in mind, taken from the 95 Theses “Cluetrain Manifesto” are:
1. The markets are the conversation points and so paying them attention will help the company.
2. Markets are made up of human beings with their intelligence, and emotions, not demographic sectors, so in order to deal with them, a different approach is required.
3. The conversations are conversations between humans, not machines, so dealing with them require finesse and ability to understand them form a human point of view.
While it may look difficult in turning a negative response around, it is not impossible, and with an earnest approach, it can be absolutely achievable.
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