Everything about Service Problem Solving
Customer Service Problems aren’t frightening in and of themselves. What makes our blood boil is the lack of mental frameworks for dealing with them. We have a roadmap for debugging and lowering the hurdles to success thanks to lists and step-by-step directions.
When you have the skills to handle a problem and trust in yourself and what you’re doing, scary situations become less scary.
So, let’s pretend this isn’t your first day in customer service and you know what to do in the event of a client complaint. What can you do to make yourself stand out from the crowd? How can challenges be solved more effectively?
That’s where the following list of seven customer service problem-solving approaches might help. I’ve chosen the most creative and effective examples. But first and foremost, let’s talk about the basics.
Table of Content
- What is problem-solving in customer service?
- How does bad customer service damage your business?
- Basic customer service problem-solving steps
- 7 customer service problem-solving techniques
- Don’t argue, simply start with an apology
- Send a lightning-fast response to the complaint
- Use visual content to win back customers
- Add a pinch of humor to the reply
- Offer a generous compensation
- Take your apology offline
- Empower your customers to help themselves
What is problem-solving in customer service?
Fixing faults and offering clear instructions aren’t enough to solve a customer’s problem. It’s all about being on time, patient, and courteous, and sticking by their side the entire time.
Essentially, you must express what customers want to hear while avoiding creating unrealistic expectations.
When it comes to customer service, customers want more than just a financial answer if an issue has arisen.
According to the survey, only 43% of respondents are satisfied with refunds. And half of those polled said they appreciated the feedback that included an apology, empathy, or other non-monetary compensation.
Unsurprisingly, 60% of people said they were pleased when they got both.
How does bad customer service damage your business?
Poor customer service is like an illness that, if left untreated, would spread throughout the company until it is completely destroyed.
Allow me to expand on this.
Consider this scenario: a consumer has an issue with a product, contacts customer service, receives inadequate assistance, becomes irritated, posts a negative review, and discourages others from purchasing from this firm.
Slowly but steadily, the brand’s reputation deteriorates, fewer leads convert, staff leave for competitors, loyal customers abandon the company, and revenue declines irreversibly.
Isn’t that a bleak scenario? However, this is precisely what occurs if you deliver lousy customer service and do nothing to fix things.
Basic customer service problem-solving steps
Some companies provide additional training to their agents in recognition of the importance of strong customer service. They learn a four-step problem-solving approach, among other things.
A representative should take four simple steps.
— Pay attention to a customer. This is, without a question, the most important step. To provide a thorough solution that meets the problem, ask all of the questions concerning the unpleasant scenario. Allow the customer to convey their feelings without interrupting them. When we’re unhappy or furious, we all want an empathetic ear.
— Recognize a client’s suffering. This phase entails agents acknowledging and comprehending the client’s struggle. It’s also a good moment to explain the problem to a user to show that you’ve grasped it. It shows the customer that you and the customer are on the same page.
— Provide alternate options. “This isn’t a hopeless situation; we can repair it.” That is the message you must deliver to a client. Provide a cost-effective solution that meets the customer’s requirements. Offering some type of compensation, such as a coupon, discount, or free item, would be a good idea.
— Make sure you follow up. It’s the one stage in customer service that you can’t skip, or else the rest of the process will be meaningless. As a result, make certain that the customer is pleased with the solution. If they’re still dissatisfied, find a way to make them happy (it’s your job, after all!)
7 customer service problem-solving techniques
Creativity and the capacity to think outside the box will go a long way in the quest for pleased and loyal clients. Here are some unique customer service problem-solving examples that you might use in your business.
1. Don’t argue, simply start with an apology
When someone insults us, we have a natural instinct to defend ourselves. Fighting with customers, on the other hand, is a red flag’ that leads to an even bigger brawl.
Most of the time, furious customers are irritated by something that isn’t even your fault. This, however, will not stop people from blaming you for their problems.
In truth, you’ll frequently come across clients that are having difficulties due to their own faults.
You can’t, however, call attention to it directly. You’ll lose their trust in your brand if you don’t. The easiest way to solve a problem is to apologize first and then request further information to research the issue.
Because it doesn’t matter who’s to blame if you’re the one who has to correct it and mitigate any unwanted ramifications.
Try to be inventive when apologizing. Send a more human answer instead of the canned “Sorry for the inconvenience.”
To put out the fire, use these quick first-response phrases:
- “Thank you for getting in touch!” I completely empathise with you. This is what I’m going to do to change things.”
- “Wow, I’m very sorry to hear that. I’m so sorry.” It’s understandable that you feel this way. Let’s get this sorted out as soon as possible.”
- “Thank you for informing me about the problem!” I will undoubtedly see to it that it is resolved.”
- “Oh, that seems like a major problem.” I’m very sorry you’re having to deal with this. However, you’ve come to the right place to resolve this.”
2. Send a lightning-fast response to the complaint
Our First Aid Basics teacher used to tell us that a fire can usually be put out in the first 1-2 minutes with a cup of water. If the opportunity is lost, only a team of firefighters will be able to save the situation.
This approach, I believe, also applies to customer service problem-solving. When you receive a complaint, you have a 2- to 5-minute time to respond.
It will take a lot more work to calm down an upset consumer if you miss it. Because they become increasingly irritated with each minute of your quiet.
There are several methods for providing quick customer service.
Embedding live chat software on your website is a good idea. It’s a tool for communicating with users via instant messaging.
On top of that, some systems, such as HelpCrunch, include labeling, assigning, sneak look, and other functions. Customer service representatives can now handle up to five chats at once.
3. Use visual content to win back customers
Make use of AI chatbots. Bots can drastically minimize the amount of chat work that agents have to do.
Furthermore, you will be able to assist your guests even beyond office hours if you do it this way. Chatbots also provide prompt responses, which is a significant advantage.
However, be aware that if a client is having major problems, they may not want to speak with a robot. Considering that they aren’t particularly helpful in some difficult instances.
More people should be hired. You may need to expand your crew to deal with an increasing quantity of consumer inquiries.
Newcomers will be able to respond quickly once they have mastered the guidelines policy (which could take a few months). I recommend reducing wait times with the greatest tools while gradually boosting staffing.
One prompt and courteous response can salvage the day. Don’t worry if the problem takes longer to resolve. Because the user knows “you’re on it,” your quick response calms them down.
Why are images more trusted than text?
Humans can digest visuals up to 60,000 times faster than plain text, according to studies. It indicates that you can transmit more information with a single image than you can with 100 words.
Images, in reality, have the power to convey abstract concepts such as facial expressions and emotions.
Why not take advantage of the fact that we are visual animals by nature to improve data processing and communication effectiveness?
So, when you send a client a message that says, “We’re on it,” include an image in your response. Depending on the goods or services you sell, it might be anything.
For example, a selfie from the back-end developer who fixed the problem or a snapshot demonstrating that you prioritized this work on the team’s to-do list. This makes your response appear more trustworthy.
Pictures are especially useful when it comes to problem-solving on social media. They assist consumers to remember your message by increasing audience engagement, drawing attention, and increasing audience interaction. Tweets featuring photographs earn a 35 percent increase in Retweets on average.
When giving clients step-by-step directions, you can also employ visuals. We use graphics a lot at HelpCrunch to teach our users how to get the most out of the platform.
One of our clients recently approached us for assistance with the Zapier integration.
We included a screenshot with notes in our response, which aided in the speedy resolution of the issue.
4. Add a pinch of humor to the reply
“Laughter is the closest distance between two individuals,” they say.
Try adding a little comedy to your response if you want to close the distance and become more human with the client:
- I must admit, you made me quite sad.
- Yes, John, we’re also really sad. We hope to be able to get you back in better shape as quickly as possible.
However, when it comes to jokes, you must be cautious. While some clients find the comedy amusing, others may find it offensive to themselves.
Let’s talk about Skyscanner’s sarcastic customer service answer, which I thought was both amusing and smart.
A company user, James Lloyd, received a suggested schedule from the app that stated he would have a layover in Bangkok for 413,786 hours or 47.2 years. He immediately protested about the error and threatened to sue the company.
However, the customer service representative was unfazed and answered in a unique way, making the response memorable and viral.
Don’t overlook the value of amusing gifs and memes in turning things around and making your customers happy.
5. Offer a generous compensation
This is, in my opinion, the most natural technique. When we hurt someone’s feelings, our natural impulse is to make amends and provide something in return.
This method quickly diffuses a potentially dangerous situation.
Discounts, free items, and other bonuses draw attention to the benefit that the consumer has just received. As a result, rather than being irritated over a problem, they are pleased with the present you have given them.
However, there is a drawback to this strategy: it does not ensure that a client would return. They can simply grab a free thing and leave without returning.
Consider presenting a coupon or voucher for the next transaction if you want to entice a consumer to use your service again.
This increases the likelihood that your dissatisfied customer will return, providing your organization the opportunity to regain their confidence and loyalty.
Customers who are disappointed with KFC are given vouchers (because it really works magic). Let’s imagine a customer orders delivery from a restaurant and discovers that a caramel milkshake is missing from the shipment.
The consumer was enraged since this milkshake was the most popular. They send a text message to the customer service department, expressing their dissatisfaction.
A pleasant customer service agent expresses regret, issues a refund, and provides a coupon for a free milkshake. The customer’s rage has subsided. They’ve regained their composure and satisfaction.
6. Take your apology offline
There are some customers who you simply cannot lose since they are the lifeblood of your business. It may be important to take your apologies to a new level, especially offline, under such cases.
This method makes your dissatisfied customers feel special and valued.
Invite the customer to your office, for example, to discuss the problem in detail and what you can give them as a better solution. It demonstrates that their complaint is being considered.
Sending your irate clients a present in branded packaging is another more innovative method to say sorry, in my opinion.
Include items that most people appreciate, such as sweets, tea, branded stationery, and so on. What matters most, in this case, is the gesture.
There are numerous companies that can assist you with this (for example, Sorry As A Service). When your firm fails the client in some way, you turn to a company like this for assistance. You make a list of items you want in your “sorry” package, and the boys do the rest.
7. Empower your customers to help themselves
What would you do if you had the choice between resolving an issue on your own or enlisting the help of a customer service representative? Surprisingly, 67 percent of respondents prefer self-service to contact a customer service representative.
As a result, we can’t ignore mentioning this problem-solving methodology, as it is the method of choice for many users. This is especially true if you’re targeting millennials, a tech-savvy age that has become accustomed to conducting research online.
Human interaction is only required if all other methods of troubleshooting have failed.
If young people believe that finding solutions online is too difficult, they will complain. They’re also unlikely to text your customer service representatives to express their dissatisfaction. Instead, they will take to social media to express their dissatisfaction.
Today’s users’ weapons against your poor product quality or service are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and now Tik Tok.
How to ensure a self-help option for your customers?
Activate the knowledge base functionality. It’s a “help yourself” feature that allows users to locate answers without requiring your support. If a consumer requests a refund, they can speak with one of your agents and inquire for the thousandth time “how to.”
Alternatively, they can read a step-by-step guide in your knowledge base.
If you use the HelpCrunch software, you may incorporate the knowledge base feature into a live chat widget, eliminating the need for users to search the entire website for it.
High-quality customer service relies on prompt and compassionate responses. Users can return to their regular activities once they know you’re taking care of their problems. Silence, on the other hand, is the most harmful thing in problem-solving.
It has the potential to damage your brand and the organization as a whole in the long run. Within the first 2-5 minutes after receiving the complaint, try to respond with an apology message.
The question is, how can high responsiveness be ensured? Smart businesses use specific communication technologies like live chat, chatbots, and knowledge bases to do this. And I just happen to know the right person for the job.