Poor CSAT situations for which you will be held accountable as a customer support agent

A major factor why companies and agents alike rely on CSAT scores is its simplicity. It is an effective way to close the loop on a customer-agent interaction and determine whether or not the outcome of that interaction was effective in producing happiness. Now you may ask yourself “Why should agents be held accountable for bad CSAT scores?” Well, if for some reason the service experience was not satisfactory, it is logical to pinpoint the agent involved in that experience and to take actions to remedy the situation and experience. Therefore, to answer the aforementioned question, agents will be held accountable for situations and scenarios where it’s in their remit to their callers or customers satisfied and happy. 

Slipping CSAT is a scary scenario. So, who is held accountable? The support executive, the process or the product? Or all of them? And to what extent are they all accountable? A sudden slump or a steady decline, there are various factors that can cause this sentimentality among the customers. But as a business or a customer support leader would want it to break it down to look through the issue to pull up the score. In some scenarios, as an agent, you would be held accountable because your interaction has directly impacted the customer with an unsatisfied experience.  

As customer support agents, you must be considerate while curating your responses to customers as they have the power to tell three of their friends and/or family members if they are satisfied with the service; and 15 people if they are unsatisfied. In the big picture, as a customer support representative, you have the responsibility of creating positive customer service experiences. American Express stated that 68% of customers said that the customer service representative is crucial in bringing about a positive customer service experience. Let’s look at some statistics that indicate the importance of an agent’s contribution towards a successful customer support interaction. 

  • According to Salesforce Research, 89% of consumers are most likely to make another purchase after a positive customer support experience.
  • Zendesk reports that nearly three out of five consumers report that exceptional customer support is key for them to feel loyal towards a brand. 
  • Glance notes that 78% of consumers backed out of making a purchase due to a poor customer experience. 
  • American Express notes that 68% of customers believe that the key to an incredible customer support experience is a polite customer support representative. 

Rather than looking at CSAT scores as a weapon, try to look at them as tools for improvement. 

Here’s when agents will be held responsible for negative or bad CSAT scores:
While agents are responsible for great customer service, they are also held accountable for situations that involve a bad CSAT score. Listed below are circumstances where agents could have reacted or performed better and have the opportunity to improve as time goes on. 

1. Not treating the customer with respect

Source: Hospitality Net 

‘Customers’ are king and they are the only aspects of business that you are directly interacting with. The primary foundation for any great relationship is respect and that specifically applies to an equation with customers also. When respect is built, it makes it easier to manage and handle unpleasant and/or unexpected situations. When you treat a customer with less respect than they deserve, this affects your CSAT score directly and affects the company’s profitability and public image. This is one situation that agents have to take full responsibility for. 
According to Dan Kennedy, a marketing professional, 68% of customers choose to leave a particular business or brand because of the attitude of indifference or lack of respect they experience from support representatives. A respectful stance or attitude goes a long way with your callers or customers. When you are supplying your customers with the attention that they require and providing them with efficient and effective communication, it will increase your chances of having a pleasant customer support interaction and will positively impact the CSAT scores too

2. Taking too long to reply 

Speed is instrumental in making your customers happy. According to Forrester, 66% of customers feel that valuing their time is an important factor in them staying loyal to a brand. So what does that say when customer support agents take a longer time to find a solution that they should be aware of already or ask customers to repeat themselves or even ignore to form a response? It says that the customer feels undervalued by the brand simply because of the way a support agent chose to not respond at all or takes a significant amount of time to. 
Agents need to work at getting the first response time as low as possible be it on any channel or medium. Once the call has been connected, try to communicate with the customer as quickly as possible without damaging the quality of service. By staying dead on-call or online or by leaving conversations on hold for a long time or by not apologizing for delays or by not meeting proper call etiquette expectations etc, can cause a customer to become unhappy regardless of the outcome achieved. 

3. Not being empathetic 

Source: Just Call 

Lack of empathy is proved to be a reason for low CSAT levels. Failing to show empathy can cause customers to cut their associations with the brand that you are representing and can cause them to spread negative word of mouth regarding the brand and its services simply because you failed to emotionally connect with your customers. In this line of work, empathy is just as important as the resolution of the problem customers are complaining about. Only if you understand, can you solve the problem to a satisfactory level. We are not talking about generic, vanilla empathy but actually connecting with the customer on a personal level and matching their emotions and responding to that automatically diffuses an emotionally charged customer.

4. Providing customers with incorrect information
Now, this one is fully on the support agent. Supplying the customers with the right information is most certainly the responsibility of the agent. From properly interpreting their requirements to understanding what you can do for them and communicating the same can hugely affect the entire customer support experience. While in some cases, the customer may not be clear enough and sometimes the agent just isn’t paying enough attention. Either way, the agent doesn’t share the same liberties as a customer and it’s up to you to ensure that the customer gets everything they need. 
If customers are not properly explaining their issues, it is up to you to decode what they are saying and find a resolution for the same. In such situations, it is easy for the agent to misunderstand what the customer is saying and provide them with incorrect information and leave it as is but doing so can directly affect your CSAT score. So try to correct such situations as fast as possible. It does not matter if you weren’t paying attention or if the customer didn’t supply you with adequate information; make sure to apologize and supply them with the correct information. 

5. Failing to solve customer’s problems
An important reason why your customers are calling or contacting you is to resolve their issues. While there will be times when you will have an instant solution to offer, they may also be times wherein you may not have a solution to offer at all. That is okay. Not everyone has the answers to everything but don’t stop with that. Make sure to get all the help a customer needs to find that resolution. You can either transfer the call to a more experienced team member or manager or promise a callback or escalate the situation in order for the customer to receive better and efficient service. All through, make sure you are communicating with the customer what you are doing for them and how you are helping them to reach their desired outcome of resolution attainment. This shows your adeptness at handling customers and unpredictable situations and will only make the customer feel valued and appreciated.

6. Not apologizing for making an error or a mistake 
Everyone makes mistakes. You may have called them by another name or misunderstood what they are conveying or have struck the wrong tone with them, either way, it is your responsibility to apologize quickly and as earnestly as possible. That means apologizing even if it is not the customer support agent’s fault. Customers can intuitively sense when a support rep is being authentic with them or not. Therefore by not apologizing where it is required, you are ruining their support experience by demonstrating arrogance, temper or ego which are traits that need to be left at the door when you wore the badge to become a support rep. Apologizing can effectively be a part of having sincerity and integrity in the support service you are providing. 
There are also some situations where customer support agents cannot be faulted when receiving negative CSAT scores such as policy complaints, technical errors, feedback that is out of the purview of a customer support agent. 
A bad CSAT is often a combination of various factors. But as an agent, ensure to do the best you can to make the customer support experience as positive as possible. By making a few tweaks and adjustments to your service repertoire, you can focus on making things right for the customer in an effortless manner. If you have what it takes to help your customers find resolution and help your company build exceptional CSAT scores, then sign up with VOIZ as a professional today! 


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