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Customer service has been, and most likely will always be an integral aspect of business operations. Companies that can provide high quality customer service are poised to succeed, while those who provide poor customer service are bound to falter. Let’s discuss one key issue that stands in the way of great customer service and how to resolve it.

Valuing Your Customer’s Time

A study from Forrester found one underlying component of excellent customer service – valuing your customer’s time. In fact, “73 percent say that valuing their time is the most important thing companies can do to provide them with good customer service.” Failing to do so can create a rift between nearly three fourths of your customers, which can result in lost sales, increased customer turnover, and a diminished reputation.

Reducing or Eliminating Hold Times

What’s one of the worst mistakes companies can make in terms of not valuing a customer’s time? Making them sit on hold before taking their call. The longer they wait, the worse the situation gets. It creates resentment and can lead to minor situations escalating into much larger ones.

In some cases, customers will even hang up and abandon the call if the wait time exceeds what they consider a reasonable period. This is problematic because 34 percent of callers who abandon never call back.

Call Backs Are a Viable Solution

One strategy that’s proven to be effective for many companies is gathering a customer’s contact information and calling them back rather than forcing them to wait on the line. This solution improves the customer service experience considerably and has been proven to lower abandon rates by 32 percent. Exploring this option tends to satisfy most customers and offers them a timely response without them having to wait for several minutes.

Social Media

Networks like Facebook and especially Twitter are now being used to handle customer service. The only problem is that customers who use these channels are on average very impatient. In fact, 53 percent of Twitter users expect a response within an hour, and 14 percent want an immediate response. If you’re utilizing social media for customer service, take measures to ensure you can meet these expectations. Otherwise, complaints can quickly become heated.

Quality customer service hinges upon one critical element – timeliness. As a result, you need to base your approach on resolving customer issues in a timely manner. Fortunately, using a call back system can be an effective solution and can help reduce both abandonment and turnover. When it comes to social media, you need to take steps to ensure you have the necessary manpower to keep up with inquiries and complaints.

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