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5 Excuses Your Customers Are Tired of Hearing

Lia Winograd
By Lia Winograd on Feb 16, 2017 10:54:29 AM

You know the feeling of dread when the on-hold music kicks in and you realize that you could be at this for hours? That’s precisely the feeling that your customers won’t tolerate today. As organizations increasingly compete based on the customer experience, they’ll realize that the bar for what's "accepted" in customer's eyes, especially Millennial's, has been raised.

Here are 5 excuses that your customers are tired of hearing:

1. “We’re sorry, because of high call volumes, we’ll have to __end this call / call you back / ask you to wait__.” 


Why it’s a problem: 45% of customers will abandon a transaction if they don’t receive quick resolution – Forrester

Customers seeking customer support want the same effortless experiences they’ve grown accustomed to when they can, with a click of a button, hail a car using Uber, find a love connection on Tinder, or control their home temperature with Nest. Being told by an Interactive Voice Response (IVR), or a plain old recorded message, to wait your turn is a painful reminder that much of customer service is still mired in the 1990's. To fix this, improve your response times by directing support traffic towards channels that offer faster and easier resolution. Gartner estimates that customer service agents using a social support platform can handle 4-8x more issues per hour than with legacy channels like voice or email. Effortless engagements lead to happier customers and more fruitful business transactions.

2. “For us to resolve this issue, please email us.” 


Why it’s a problem: 96% of customers who had “high-effort” experiences reported being disloyal; “high-effort” experiences included switching channels – CEB

Whether it’s because of fear of exchanging private information or a lack of having the proper system integrations, asking customers to hop from channel to channel is a resolution killer. A study by Conversocial found that 98% of customers who were given an email or phone number didn’t ask for it, and 20% had already tried to reach out on that channel. Frustrated customers will often look elsewhere for help, including the competition. To address this, make in-channel resolution your organization’s primary objective. Empower your agents with all the tools they need to do this so that they can serve as the single point of contact for the customer. 

3. "Can you please verify your account number again?" 


Why it’s a problem: 71% of consumers say that 'valuing their time' is the most important thing a brand can do to provide them with good service. – Forrester

When customers have to re-authenticate their personal information and repeat their issues over and over, it can amplify their frustration. The fewer transfers you can make with customers, and the more you can centralize your customer relationship management software and ticketing systems, the better experiences you can offer your customers. If your agents have no choice but to transfer and re-authenticate, at least explain to the customer why you’re doing it – i.e. it’s for security purposes – so that they can feel more sane about engaging in repetitive tasks. Quick tip: download our best practice e-book to learn how to balance compliance and responsiveness in social care.  

4. "We’re very sorry to hear that. Have you spoken with our __baggage/technical/claims/rewards__ team yet?"


Why it’s a problem: 63% of executives believe that one of the major problems with improving the customer service experience is the existence of silos and a lack of integrated information systems. – The Economist Intelligence Unit

Millennials and mobile-savvy customers won’t tolerate silos any longer. They expect whatever touchpoint they have with an organization to be representative of the whole experience and they’re guaranteed to become confused when they learn that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. To remedy this, implement a single view of the customer that allows your support agents to know the answers to questions that the customer already expects you to know. 

5. (Simply no response to customer questions and concerns on social)


Why it’s a problem: 88% of consumers will be less likely to buy after seeing unanswered questions on your site or page. – Conversocial

Of all responses, the non-response might be the worst. Most customers feel that the type of support that they receive is an accurate bellwether for how the company values them, and unanswered public questions are a dire warning sign to new customers. Shore up this gap by employing tools that allow your organization to effectively scan social networks for even those indirect mentions and respond to them at scale. 

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