In any venture in life, mistakes are bound to happen. Whether it is your first steps, or you’ve worn a well-trodden path, it is always possible to trip up once or twice. At Frosch Learning, we know that we are always learning. Learning from our mistakes can only lead to a stronger business and more experience in how best to satisfy customers. For a head start, or a heads-up, here are seven common mistakes everybody makes in customer service.

Not being prepared

Any customer service team needs to be informed and on their toes. If, however, an advisor is inadequately prepared for their role, this will have a negative impact on customer relations, whether the advisor is making a sale or handling an urgent query. It is always worth investing in employees. With full commitment and sales training, your sales team will be ready to deliver the best possible results.

Not keeping up to date

It is not only your employees that need to be prepared for anything. It is worthwhile for the organisation as a whole to keep up to date with the latest developments in the industry. As we at Frosch Learning have previously noted, “the sales landscape is a dynamic and ever-changing one, making it crucial for your staff to receive sales training that is as comprehensive, relevant and up-to-date as it is convenient around their usual working hours.” If the company is conscious of change, they can properly equip their employees with the tools to succeed in sales.

Not following up on sales

According to HubSpot, 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up on the sale despite most (80%) requiring at least five. On average, a salesperson only attempts to reach a prospect twice in the first place. This lack of persistence may mean that a fledging sale is overlooked and could ultimately cost the company profit. Encouraging salespeople to pursue potential sales and not to give in to doubt or discouragement is imperative. Though not every prospect or follow-up will result in an eventual sale, you will be more successful overall.

Being impatient

As well as persistent, in sales, it pays to be patient. HubSpot estimates that 63% of customers who request information on your company will take at least three months to make a purchase: 20% of those may even take up to a year. Taking into account also that only a quarter of leads will advance to a sale, you may find themselves playing a very long game. To increase sales, it is important that leads are pursued from whichever end they reach, regardless of how long it takes them.

Sticking to a script

In customer service, it is easy to adopt a certain pattern when approaching customers. There may be words, lines, or even a full speech relied upon to draw customers’ interest. This is a good way to ensure that customer service advisors have a platform to jump off of, but be wary of allowing interactions with customers to become too scripted. This article by Vala Afshar for the Huffington Post points out that the customer experience “is not a one-time event, and every single interaction is going to be different.”

Patrick Collinson of The Guardian reaches a similar conclusion that the best customer service “really [tries] to sort things out rather than sticking to a script.” Customers want to feel that it is their own needs being addressed, so a generic speech might not be so effective. To really pitch a sale, prepare for some improvisation within your presentation.

Not listening to the customer

More than anything, customers should feel that their needs are being respected, and their voices heard. Afshar estimates that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience. That is how much customers care about receiving the best customer service. Do right by the customer, and you will guarantee a positive experience. As Paul Greenberg notes in Afshar’s article: “If a customer likes you and continues to like you, they will do business with you. If they don’t, they won’t.

Taking the bad as well as the good

It requires a thick skin to be in customer service. The most important thing to remember is not to let the bad overwhelm the good. An unsuccessful sale won’t erase nine successful ones. Every day is a new chance to learn and try again. To quote Patrick Collinson: “Just do it.”