13 tips to combat customer service bad luck

For the superstitious amongst us, Friday 13 is a day earmarked for bad luck and misfortune. In customer service, bad luck manifests as difficult situations, dour moods and departmental disruption. And it can strike at any time of year.

But that doesn’t mean you must let bad luck ruin your customer experience offering.

With that in mind, here are thirteen unlucky customer service scenarios — and how to turn them into great experiences via live chat.

1.    Having a grumpy customer

Perhaps the most common instance of customer service bad luck is getting a grumpy customer. Though not abusive, grumpy customers can be tricky to appease.

Empathy statements, a sincere apology, and human support are core to appeasing grumpy customers. Plus, using live chat means you can address the customer’s issue in real-time, at their convenience.

2.    Getting an abusive customer

It’s never pleasant to deal with abusive customers. When customer service bad luck hits, then, you may well find such a customer landing in your chat queue.

Remember that you don’t have to put up with it. Follow the three-strike rule, and if the customer cannot behave, put them on your live chat user blacklist. This blocks them from getting in touch on the channel again.

3.    Having a bad day

Sometimes, customer service bad luck isn’t about a negative customer, it’s about the agent having a bad day. When this happens, live chat provides a screen for your agents.

Not only is chat less demanding for the agent trying to conceal their feelings, it also comes with a host of tools to support great service despite a less-than-stellar mood. For example, chat preview gives extra time to consider your responses. Chat mood, meanwhile, helps you ensure your mood isn’t hurting your performance. 

4.    Dealing with a service outage

When your service goes down, you inevitably get an influx of support requests.  And live chat software is useful for answering those questions quickly.

Its real-time nature, alongside the ability to speak to many customers at once, makes chat an ideal channel for coping with sudden surges.

5.    Encountering a long customer service queue

This leads to another instance of customer service bad luck — a sudden long queue of customers in need of support.

Thankfully, chat comes with handy tools like predictive text, canned responses, and chatbot help. So, you can burn through those queues in no time.

6.    Missing a chat

Sometimes, chat requests can slip through the net. It’s bad luck for you — potentially causing a lost lead or an upset customer — and for the customer, who didn’t get the chat they wanted.

Fortunately, missed chat handling helps you fight this customer service bad luck. It lets you follow up on any missed chat requests from within the chat client, and get the customer experience back on track.

7.    Routed to the wrong department

It’s awkward — and feels like customer service bad luck — when a customer comes through to the wrong department.

Live chat will prevent this in the first instance with skills-based routing. Then, if the customer still needs redirecting (if they want to escalate, for example), chat enables seamless transfers to other agents.

8.    Getting a question that you can’t answer

It can feel unlucky when you hit a customer service roadblock in the form of a question you just can’t answer.

But that’s what teams are for. So, use whisper messages, agent tagging and internal chat to ask for help. Or, if you need more time, use ticketing to ensure the question doesn’t go unanswered.

9.    You don’t understand

The first step to solving a customer’s problem is understanding it. So, it can feel like customer service bad luck when the customer can’t explain the issue.

When this happens, confirm any understanding you do have with the customer. If it’s an online issue, use follow page to have them show you what’s going wrong.

10.  They don’t understand

Equally as unlucky is when the misunderstanding goes the other way. That is, when you can’t quite explain your solution in a way the customer comprehends.

There are a few things to do when this happens. First, make sure you aren’t using too much jargon. Second, make use of features like file-sharing or video chat, to illustrate what you mean.

11.  Your multilingual agent is off sick

Your multilingual agent is sick, on holiday, or otherwise unavailable. This translates to customer service bad luck for your non-English speaking customers.

You can neutralise this with real-time chat translation. That way, any agent can communicate with any customer. No matter, that is, which language is most comfortable for them.

12.  Feeling robotic

For the customer, it can seem like they’ve run into customer service bad luck when their agent sounds more robotic than human.

So, make use of chat mood and empathy, and don’t rely too heavily on live chat scripts.

13.  Chatbot malfunction

Chatbots have survived the initial hype and are starting to settle into customer service offerings. But when customer service bad luck strikes, it can manifest as a chatbot malfunction.

So, be sure to supervise your chatbot, and have a human team member ready to take over if it starts to struggle.

More than luck

Creating a great customer experience is more than luck — it’s skill. It’s having the right attitude, the right team, and the right tools. With these ingredients, no amount of customer service bad luck can hurt your customer experience.

Combat customer service bad luck this Friday 13, with a free trial of WhosOn.

Useful links

Agents, customer service bad days, and the power of live chat software

The pros and cons of live chat scripts

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