The Complete Guide for Managing Customer Support Escalations

Tag: customer support

The Complete Guide for Managing Customer Support Escalations

The Complete Guide for Managing Customer Support Escalations

Offering the highest level of customer satisfaction is one of the main motives of any business. However, despite the best efforts, businesses are likely to face customer service-related issues. In order to manage these problems, it is important that customer support escalation procedures are put in place and are adhered to. Here are the pointers which can ensure that your business addresses the customer service related issues in a prompt and efficient manner.

Structure it Well: A large number of client complaints may be resolved at the first or second level of customer support system. So, it is important to design your customer care system in such a way that the volume at the top level is kept to the minimal. An ideal tier structure may provide answers to frequently asked questions at the first level while the second higher level may service issues such as basic troubleshooting and other complex problems. These hierarchical levels may be equipped with different tools to provide efficient services. The basic level may employ only customer portal while the second level may use phone and live chat tools. On the yet higher levels, you may need to use customer relationship management software for providing solutions to client issues.

Customize the Support System: While the basic structure of customer care hierarchy may remain same across different organizations, it is imperative to tweak the system to suit the requirements of the target customer segment. Some of the important variables in this regard are the turnaround time and the mode of communication. In B2B organizations, time may be a crucial factor and therefore it should be ensured that customer complaints are escalated and addressed in a timebound manner. The communication must be done in a clear and precise manner.

Team Effort: Customer complaint management requires employees at different levels to coordinate their activities. The system requires input from various departments such as IT, sales and billing to provide adequate solutions to customers. For each case, the system should clearly define the role and obligations of each department involved. Team cohesion tends to be stronger when all the members know their roles and duties. Customers will also receive the best possible solutions to their issues when different constituents pool together their expertise and resources.

Maintain Proper Record: As important as it is to have solid redressing system in place, it is equally important to keep a proper record of the issues and their respective solutions. Ideally, the organizations should have a real time monitoring system in place for efficient control. With the help of proper records, the management is in the position to analyze the system and its performance. If there are any lacunae, then the management may take appropriate steps to fill the void.  The analysis of the records is also important to see if the proper procedures are being followed as intended by the management. Thorough documentation will allow the set up of metrics to evaluate the performance in an unbiased and objective manner. These records may also be helpful for future reference purpose, which may help in speedier redressing of similar issues, should they arise in future.

Be Proactive: Customer issue escalation process should be pro active so that the customers are assured of a positive experience. The process should be flexible enough to incorporate frequent and quick changes. This type of performance requires the active support of all the departments to minimize the occurrence of customer issues in the first place. Some types of customer issues management may require face to face interaction. However, you should endeavor to keep this to minimum. The standard procedures should be designed in such a way that there should not be any need to escalate the issues to such level. The communication methods and styles used for resolution should be tailored as per the requirements of the customers.

Customer support escalation management is highly important to ensure a rewarding experience for your clients. It should be organized in a clear and simple manner to facilitate the provision of quick administration of the right type of expertise. You should also evaluate your escalation management system periodically so that appropriate changes may be incorporated.

5 Common Mistakes in Online Payment Systems That Can Kill Your Conversion

5 Common Mistakes in Online Payment Systems That Can Kill Your Conversion

Many online merchants lose significant revenues because of online payment mistakes. It is high time that these e-commerce mistakes are rectified, or else e-stores will keep facing repeated incidents of abandoned carts and incomplete purchases by customers. Some of the oft-ignored e-commerce mistakes committed by online merchants are:

  1. Redirection can be counterproductive: Some merchants get it completely wrong when it comes to the gateway for online payment. They redirect the customers to an external payment website with payment gateway charges and a different company logo. This is a big put off for many customers, who might abandon the transactions as they have security concerns about the new portal or might not be willing to pay additional charges. It is always best to have a single website where a customer can smoothly navigate through till the end of the transaction and the checkout process. This would result in higher chances of the purchase transaction being completed and reduce the loss of customers to competition.
  2. Mandating account creation: This might work counterproductively, especially in the case of first-time customers or customers who intend to purchase a small quantity of products. Creating an account involves time and prolongs the entire purchase process. This could result in customer frustration and even possible withdrawal by the customer before completion of the transaction. It is advisable to provide the option of buying as a guest user. Post the purchase, one can subtly encourage the customers to create an account through offers of promotional discounts or price benefits by email or SMS. Customers prefer shopping on e-commerce sites where they can exercise their choice.
  3. Expecting excess information: The transition to the payment gateway should be smooth for the customer to make the online payment and be able to close the transaction with minimum lag time. Asking for additional information with extra fields would delay the buying process. It may also increase chances of error while filling out the form, causing unnecessary frustration and might result in abandonment of the transaction. A good user experience on the e-commerce website can result in higher sales conversions and higher probability of return customers. It is prudent to have auto-fill options for forms that only ask for information relevant to successful payment, namely card number, name of the cardholder, expiry date and CVV. In the case of a website with a multi-step checkout process, it is recommended to have a progress indicator so that the customer is aware of the remaining steps before the transaction is completed.
  4. Assurance on security: This is critical in every digital transaction. With growing incidents of data breach and leak of confidential information, every customer would like to be reassured on the safety aspect of the online purchase. Thus, it is imperative to have secure online payment systems wherein the customers’ card data remains secure. It would be useful to indicate that the website follows the regulatory framework prescribed for data security and encryption standards. This includes security badges, the merchant logo prominently displayed on every webpage, SSL certification and PCI compliant payment gateway.
  5. Absence of customer support: Many times, the customer is unable to proceed with the payment or faces a problem completing the online payment. In such instances, it can be extremely frustrating for the customer if he can obtain no assistance or response on the toll-free number. Immediate support with 24*7 availability should readily address the customer issues and resolve the problem. Provision of timely help to the customer works as a strong customer retention strategy.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot and kill conversion with these e-commerce mistakes. Following the above mentioned measures to correct them would result in better user experience for the online customer and higher sales conversion for the e-commerce merchant, truly a win-win situation for both.