Top tips is a weekly column where we highlight what’s trending in the tech world today and list ways to explore these trends. This week, we’ll discuss three signs that let you know your customer service is not up to the mark.

Customer service is falling short on satisfaction.

The customer is always right—right? Well, not always. But running a successful business means having to acknowledge that your customer is always right, even when they’re dead wrong. How quickly and effectively you acknowledge your customer’s grievance and put forward a solid resolution sets you apart from your competition.

In today’s world of customer service, technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing service delivery. In the race towards securing a technological edge over your competition, it’s easy to get carried away by the messengers and totally ignore the message. You can have all the AI and ML in the world, but if your customer says your service sucks, your service sucks.

Every low customer satisfaction (CSAT) score is not only a quantification of one customer’s dissatisfaction but also, if left unchecked, could reflect the general sentiment of your customers on the service you’re providing. It’s important to introspect, analyze, and drill down to the core of the problem and fix it before it compounds and damages your reputation.

Here are three early warning signs to look out for to identify flaws in your service delivery at an early stage and course correct before it’s too late.

1. Low CSAT score trend

It goes without saying that the key metric used to measure the quality of your service should be the primary indicator of your service quality dipping. Observing and studying CSAT trends will give you a clear picture of where your service stands.

Subject matter experts should take the time to do weekly data analyses and look closely at the CSAT scores coming in. Monitoring customer interactions for poor CSAT cases will help identify service delivery agents who regularly contribute to low CSAT scores and also give you insights on what was lacking in the delivery.

In such cases, providing timely feedback and coaching, and monitoring improvement, play major roles in bringing about improvement. Implementing the Red Amber Green model will help you effectively monitor improvement, enabling you to observe as your agents’ statuses move from red to amber and then to green as their CSAT scores improve.

2. Discontent workforce

When so much emphasis is put on CSAT, it can be easy to ignore the satisfaction of your employees. Ensuring your employees’ needs are met usually translates to better productivity.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a great blueprint of what employers should look at to create a content workforce. Essentials such as food, water, and a comfortable working environment all contribute towards boosting a workforce’s morale.

Moving one step higher in the pyramid, ensuring your employees feel indispensable (irrespective of their rank in the corporate hierarchy), making sure they’re fairly compensated, and providing a healthy platform to showcase their skills and grow in the company give them that extra motivation to perform better because it helps bolster their trust in you as an employer.

A persistent slew of high dissatisfaction scores can be demoralizing for any organization, let alone an employee who is responsible for it. When dealing with poor performers, it’s imperative not to approach them like they’ve done something irredeemable but rather provide them with the emotional and practical support they require to improve their performance. It’s also crucial to create an environment where employees can learn from their mistakes.

3. Outdated tools

If employees feel they’re being overworked, whereas their peers doing the same job in other companies are coasting, chances are your company is using old and outdated tools with minimal to no automation.

Despite the pushback against automation, technology that makes an employee’s job easier will most likely be welcomed with open arms. If your help desk software requires you to manually enter every customer’s details for every interaction you have, your company has not invested in the latest technology. If you’re required to manually type out long paragraphs as case-specific notes, then your CRM solution is not up to date.

Using effective help desk software with tons of automation greatly reduces the effort needed by an agent and gives them more time to focus on the resolution rather than having to worry about the semantics. Not only this, but with the right integrations, a customer service agent can provide quicker resolutions, which in turn drive better CSAT scores, allowing the organization to meet SLAs much more efficiently.

At the front line

It’s very easy to blame your product or service for the high number of customer service calls you are receiving. But put yourself in a customer’s shoes: Would you be calling your internet service provider’s support line when your Wi-Fi is running at full speed and there’s no downtime, just to congratulate them on doing a great job?

When it comes to customer service, it’s best to think of yourself as being at the front line of a corporate battalion. You directly represent your company to your customers, and the impression you make on them can make or break your company’s reputation. This is why it’s important to ensure that your service delivery workforce is content, you’re always equipped with the best resources, and you fix any chinks in your armor before you can take on any damage.