All flourishing companies in the world have a dedicated department for customer service. This is because serving the customer is of paramount importance if the company wants to grow exponentially.
Dealing with customer issues can be extremely challenging from time to time. Every agent of the customer service department should be capable of doing whatever is expected from them based on the organization’s defined guidelines along with the zeal to handle something unexpected. However, everything is in this world is prone to error; agents are no different, they also can make mistakes, and it’s natural. The only thing we should expect from them is to make fewer errors and become more efficient.
Have you ever thought about what will help an agent to avoid errors? Well, this could be a tool or software that can organize the work better and share the burden. Something that omits little redundant tasks from the agent’s daily schedule can do wonders for the customer service department. The Salesforce service cloud is one such platform that can handle critical issues, and also has other engaging features that make life easier for both, i.e., the agents and the customers.
First, let us understand the quandaries associated with customer services. These problems befall with every agent catering to this segment. How they should tackle the hurdles is something that we will discuss a little later. Here are some of the customer service challenges commonly encountered by all.
Top ten challenges faced by companies across the globe
1. Unanswerable Question
One of the most common challenges that an agent can encounter is to answer the tough questions. It happens because an agent is not exposed to every aspect of the offering, but the customer believes that they are talking to a subject matter expert who knows all the details and is ready with all the answers.
The problem here arises due to the lack of understanding about the product or services. Until the agent has enough knowledge about it, the issue cannot be addressed appropriately. One thing that an agent can do in such a situation is, to be honest, and request some time from the customer to answer the question accurately. Another possibility that can help is having a ready reckoner with all the information, to which the agent can refer.
2. Understanding Customer Needs
The understanding issues usually happen because the customer is not capable of understanding technical terms and jargon that the agent might be using. The customer generally defines the upshots created due to the problem and not the actual issue, which is not necessarily enough to understand what they need.
Several elements play a role in resolving the problem. The agent having patience is the most crucial point. An agent annoyance may lead to the end of the contract, and then it’s simple, the game is over.
The agent should be aware of its product’s components and associated issues that may arise. So, with the help of the description provided, they can find out what exactly the problem is. This will benefit both the company and the customer to get rid of trouble.
3. Transferring of Calls
More often than not, an agent has to transfer the call to a specialist in the concerned department. For example, if the problem is in logistics, then maybe the agent can handle it by tracking the order. But if the problem lies with the product, then a product specialist has to be consulted.
The problem here is that when the call is being transferred, the customer is unaware of it mostly because the agent has missed to inform them. This can be extremely frustrating for the customer, as they expect their problem to be tackled with ease and quickly.
No customer prefers to wait. Hence, to avoid this, the agent should inform the customer about the call transfer to the concerned department, and this may take some time. Such proactive action will calm the customer to a certain extent and leave the relationship in their good graces.
Another option is to have a system that makes sure the call is transferred to the appropriate authority automatically, without any time lag. Such kind of arrangements can make things more efficient and can resolve such problems soon.
4. Dealing with Irate Customers
Another common phenomenon that takes place with agents is “Anger.” More often than not, customer service entails dealing with people who are not happy with the services provided by the company. These emotions can come in any form or shape, but usually, it is in anger.
Dealing with such customers is a tricky affair for customer service agents. They need to have ample patience to handle such situations and find out the root cause of the problem. They require empathy and understanding of the customer’s perception of the problem. Usually, when the customer is so annoyed that they vent it out on the agent.
It is a matter of five minutes, and most of the customers cool down and become polite. Hence, the agent should deal with the brunt diligently and should focus on the actual issues.
5. Crisis Situation
The occurrence of crisis is rare. Hence, the agents are sometimes clueless about what to do in such situations. A crisis can vary from power outages to some connection severance. These issues can crop up with no fault of the agent or the company. But it can disturb the flow of communication between the customers and the agents.
It’s the agent’s responsibility to make sure that the crisis report has been sent to the customers even before they ask. They should give regular updates to the customer to be in their good books. Once the crisis is averted, then they should make sure that they are determined to help the customer with a newfound vigour and zeal.
6. Serving Multiple Customers
Multi-tasking is a significant part of being a customer service agent. The reason is that an agent has to take care of various customers in a short period. When the number of calls coming to an agent is at an all-time high, they have to memorize the problems of several customers and make sure that they do not confuse one customer with another.
There are very few ways of dealing with this issue. The first approach is practice. Throwing oneself in the deep end of the pool is not advisable. The agents should first start one call at a time and then work their way up to more number of requests.
7. Customers Want Discounts You Cannot Give
This is something that creates quite a dilemma for the agents. A discount is something that every customer looks forward to. They want to save their single penny if there is a scope. Hence, they sometimes play with emotions when they ask for a discount.
Turning down discount requests can be extremely difficult. This is because an agent cannot completely be blunt about it, as then they have the risk of losing a potential customer. Agents have to be polite and tell the customer the reason why they are not authorized to give away discounts or whatever the reason may be.
8. Slow Response Time
Customers want their problems to be solved instantaneously. A delay of a few hours is fine, but anything more than that may become detrimental to the company’s reputation. They want quick updates and solutions, not procrastination.
The problem here is twofold. One part of it is that sometimes the agents themselves delay the entire process by being lazy and putting the work off. The second part is that the issue itself is so big that it requires all hands on deck. It may, therefore, take more time to get resolved entirely.
The agent, in this case, must inform the customer that their problem is something that cannot be resolved soon. The customer will surely understand as they want a proper solution. Such issues become striking when the customer remains misinformed. The agents should avoid it at all times.
9. Features that customer wants
There are a few things that the agent cannot do and something which the customers fail to understand. They think that all the solutions and advantages are present with the agent itself. Its agent’s job to specify gently that this is not part of their job description and the reason why they cannot do it.
Information is the most significant advantage that an agent has. They should pass it on to the customers so that they are well informed about it.
10. When a customer needs to be ‘Fired’
This part of client servicing is something that agents rarely have to do. But it certainly can be challenging when they need to inform the customer that the company will not be able to help them anymore, so they should look for other options.
This should not be done offensively and the agent needs to handle the situation tactfully. To do so, the agent must be extremely polite and also give the customer other options from where they can avail of the services that they need.
These are some challenges that companies encounter quite often while dealing with the customer. Indeed, there are solutions to it, such as training modules for customer service agents so that they can perform better. And a well-defined solution, applicable to all kinds of problems in the best possible way and should not be agent dependent.
Salesforce Service Cloud, the answer to all the enigmas
If you profoundly care about your customer, then Salesforce Service Cloud is what you should go for. It empowers you to provide better customer experiences. Customers can easily find the information they want about any issue, any time, and anywhere safely and securely. It is one of the leading CRM platforms that is built precisely for customer service and has revolutionized customer support by making interactions easier between an organization and its customers. This platform has all the solutions that an agent can use to perform better and keep themselves updated about the customers. Solunus being a dedicated Salesforce partner, can develop customized solutions for the intricacies stated above based on your business need and the kind of challenges you are facing. Here we are mentioning a few of them.
1. Agent Workspace
The Salesforce Service Cloud prepares a separate workspace for each agent. This workspace helps in reducing the redundancy of an agent’s work. There are many things that an agent is supposed to do with every call. The workspace takes care of all the assigned tasks so that the agent only can focus on the customer call. It reduces the stress of an agent and helps them to cater in a better way.
2. Case Management
Each case has to be handled separately and with a different expert. Hence, it would be better if each call is directed to the subject matter expert who can give the best solution to the problem. Service Cloud helps agents to attend those calls in which they have better knowledge than others and keep the call flow smoothly for everyone.
3. Knowledge management
One of the problems discussed above is the lack of knowledge that the agents have about a particular issue. Another useful feature of the Salesforce Service Cloud is knowledge management, where the agent can find out the answers to all the questions for which they are not aware of. With such kind of support, they can handle anything and everything that’s coming in their way.
4. Service Process Automation
Automation eliminates manual and repetitive chores by automating manual tasks. Process automation speeds up the workflow by automating email responses, field updates, and task assignments, and more. The use of Artificial Intelligence curates the business to serve the customer in the best way. The strategic use process automation could be an excellent way for a company to get a competitive advantage.
The challenges encountered by companies around customer service will never diminish. But the way to tackle them can be modified at any given point of time, especially using Salesforce Service Cloud strategically. Solunus can help you in Strategizing, Implementing, and Managing the Salesforce Service Cloud so that you can focus on your business priorities along with providing world-class customer service. The only thing is that that you should be ready for change with open arms.
Solunus, a North-American based Salesforce Partner, prepares businesses for their next-generation customers. Established in 2014, we simplify Salesforce for you to build more meaningful customer relationships. We partner for a win-win arrangement with a clear ROI that the client realizes by the end of the engagement. Our 350+ years of cumulative industry exposure and Salesforce experience underpin our position as the right Salesforce partner. We are a team of Salesforce Certified Professionals, CRM Architects, and certified Agile Scrum Masters with a passion for making a difference.
About the Author
Shalini is a marketing professional with nine years of experience in business development, branding, market research, content management, social media marketing. She is passionate about art & creativity and is an avid learner.