Customer service is arguably the most essential part of a business. Without a good customer support base, you’ll find that it’s difficult to generate new customers and keep the ones you’ve already got. No business should ignore a failing customer service system, so here are seven signs yours needs improvement.

1. You Complaints Are Not Being Resolved

When a customer has an issue with your product, they expect that issue to be resolved, and quickly. A consumer buys an item with the expectation that it’s going to work as advertised, so a defective product can be very frustrating.

A customer could make a complaint about a million different aspects of any business, but for the sake of argument let’s just say your business is getting a lot of product complaints. And they’re not getting resolved.

When the complaints start mounting, it can be difficult and even overwhelming to address them all at once. The best practice here would be to take your time and address each complaint individually. If you notice a pattern in the complaints, you might want to take a closer look at your product and perhaps even issue a recall.

Letting your customers know you’re working to resolve the issue can help put them at ease. If you need to hire more support staff, it’s definitely worth the extra cost. Your business’s reputation is priceless and can make or break it.

2. Your Staff Are Unmotivated

Poor customer service truly has a ripple effect on your entire business, right down to your team members. Poor customer service means unhappy customers, lack of new customers, and a general drop in morale.

It’s important to remember that your staff is the backbone of the company. If customer service is starting to lack, you might need to do some extra training and offer better incentives for increased customer service.

Your staff ends up having to handle rude or dissatisfied customers, which can also have an effect on their morale. Imagine working in a place where, throughout the entire shift, the majority of your customer interaction was complaints? It’s not a very uplifting work environment, to say the least.

A good place to start here is having bi-weekly or monthly customer service meetings. You can do this in person or via conference calling by using a conference call service for business.

Update your staff on the customer service reputation of the business, set goals, and reward those who meet them. Good leadership starts with the basics; treat your staff well and the effects will ripple outward into their customer service.

3. Your Customers Aren’t Returning

As a business, your goal is to generate new customers, but you also want to make them into repeat customers. If you find that your business is having trouble creating returning customers or even generating new ones, your customer service system may need an overhaul.

Customers like to be treated well and made to feel like their business matters to you. A customer can usually tell a good customer service system from a bad one pretty quickly. If your staff aren’t immediately engaging and friendly, it’s time to go over what it means to be a good customer service representative.

4. You’re Not Taking Responsibility

When someone tells us we’re doing something wrong, usually the first instinct is to blame someone else. In business, you’ll often find people blaming the customer rather than addressing the issues the customer is raising about their brand.

While it’s easy to think that customers are just too specific in their requests or being overly dramatic, it’s essential that you remember the customer is what keeps your business open. Without a solid customer base, you have no income and therefore no business.

Take responsibility for the concerns your customers raise. If it seems overly dramatic, it very well may be, but it’s not for you to decide. The only thing you’re responsible for is fixing your end of things and ensuring your customer’s issues are resolved.

Of course, you can’t always solve the issues, and that’s alright too. As long as you’re making the effort and taking responsibility for your actions, you’re providing good customer service.

5. Your Sales Model Is Overly Aggressive

We understand you need to sell the product. But there’s a difference between selling your product and aggressively shoving it into a customer’s sight.

There’s nothing wrong with attempting to upsell or convince a customer to make a purchase, but this is a very delicate process and requires good training to pull it off. Make sure you’ve educated your staff on good sales practices. The last thing you want is to irritate your customers by attempting to provide them with over-zealous customer service.

6. You’re Only Using Social Media to Resolve Issues

Social media in itself can be a valuable tool. It’s a place to interact with your customers, sure, but if this is your only means of interacting with customers, you need to rethink your strategy.

If a customer posts a complaint on your social media page(s), do not attempt to argue with them or refute their claim. It looks very unprofessional and quite frankly gets nothing done. Reach out to the customer, offer your support number, or ask them to come into your place of business so you can resolve the issue for them.

Make sure your business has a good website customers can visit. You can include a ticket system as well to properly manage customer service requests. This way, you stay organized, and customers stay updated on the resolution to their issues.

7. You’re Focusing Too Much On Speed and Turnaround Times

Fast does not always mean better. While speedy customer experience is important, never sacrifice quality for speed. Don’t make your customers feel rushed, or try to resolve customer service problems too quickly without truly looking into them.

Slow down and take a moment to look at what’s really going on with your customers. If a customer has a problem with your product and wants a refund, don’t simply issue a refund quickly and never look deeper into the issue. What was wrong with the product? Is it something you see a lot of? Is it a problem that needs to be addressed on a wider scale?

Customer service is about quality. Train your staff accordingly, and keep the customer in mind. Slow down and pay attention and always put the customer first.