Sign in
Post a Job

Rise of Complaints and Implications for Remote Customer Service

Search Remotely Rise in Complaints Implications for Remote Customer Service

This article is about remote customer service delivery carried out by people filling remote customer service jobs. But first we need to talk about why it is important for the remote employer and the employee filling a remote job.

Rise in customer complaints and dissatisfaction

The Wall Street Journal  (WSJ) reported upon a study showing that two-thirds of consumers surveyed expressed unhappiness with a product or service they purchased.

Customers complained to customer service centers about being dissatisfied with the products or services they had purchased in 2020.  As  more customers complained to customer service agents about a product or service, according to the study,  companies were ill-equipped to resolve them satisfactorily. Complaint escalations failed to resolve disputes adequately.  Almost 60% of the customers who complained said that they ‘got nothing in return.’

This represented a 10% increase in customer dissatistifaction when compared to consumer sentiment in 2017.

How could this be so? 

Multiple ways to lodge a customer complaint

Dissatisfaction, frustration with a product purchased, discontentment with an item could be founded upon the product or service itself, or the company, or a third-party subcontractor. The WSJ added too that the technological aspect of many products and consumers’ difficulty in navigating these technical challenges could also be a reason for feeling that the product or service is poor.

Related articles you might like:

And then again, it could be too that the modes of delivering customer complaints to customer service agents have increased expotentially. Before the explosion of the internet, discontented customers would need to write a letter, attach proof of puchase and send to the company’s central dispatch a letter of complaint. It could take weeks or months to arrive at the company, process and to receive a return reply.

Now, there are:

  • company webpage platforms,
  • live chats,
  • SMS text messages,
  • call centers, and
  • social media forums.

The way in which a dissatisfied customer’s complaint reaches the company has increased significantly. The data bares this out. WSJ writes that complaining customer use of email, live chat and social media increased threefold in 2020 compared to 2017.   And so too, these modes and methods of communication can be accessed by the dissatisfied and satisfied consumer alike to inform their family and friends.

Why is this statistic important? When customers tell their friends and family about their experiences with a company, they ‘informed twice (about seven people) as many people about their negative experience’ than they do (three people) when they are adequately satisfied with a product or service.

Products and services often handled by remote workers

So what does this information have to do with the remote customer service worker involved with completing remote job tasks or the remote employer?

Related articles you might like:

In this remote driven world where products are:

  • ordered online while at home on leisure time or while working from home,
  • invoiced, paid and processed order from numerous remote locations depending upon function, 
  • dispatched product to a remote decentralized distribution center for packing and shipping,
  • serviced through a third-party call center or independent remote customer service operator.

The most savvy customers are aware that multiple hands have touched their product before they ultimately receive it.  The WSJ reports that customers have raised their expectations of companies and particularly the functions of customer service. Once a customer complaint has been lodged, 

  • Slightly more than 43% were happy with a refund, or discount (financial solution)
  • Half of the respondents (50%) were content with an empathetic, sympathetic solution such as an apology that did not involve money,
  • Less than two-thirds said they were satisfied when they received a financial and an empathetic solution.

Customer service agents are increasingly working from home

But we can’t leave the research there. Another study by ZenDesk shows that 74% of dissatisfied customers are most likely to remain satisfied customers and forgive the company when they receive excellent customer service! In addition to information technology, customer service remains one of the primary office functions that are transitioning to work from home or work from anywhere remote jobs.

Prior to the pandemic, according to Garner, 72% of customer service and support functions were completed by customer service agents seated in a a traditional in office setting with less than  10% of them working from home. Now, there has been a paradigm shift. 

Garner estimates that  more than three-quarters of companies operating in the customer service and office support arena have assigned between  80% to 100% of their staff to work from home  and remote job positions. And it doesn’t end there. Roughly 90% of employers in the customer service industry estimate that 30% to 80% of their talent pool will still be tele-working from home two years into the future. 

Success factors for the remote customer service agent

As the perception of high quality service is tanamount to customer satisfaction, employers must communicate the following success strategies to their remote customer service workers completing remote job tasks:

  • Consistency of the work culture. The work culture of the remote customer service agent and those working inhouse should be consistent and uniform.
  • Maintenance of opportunites for collaboration. Remote work staff should have equal access to opportunities for collaboration with colleagues, supervisors and top brass.
  • Uniformity of opportunities available for career development. Remote work staff should have equal access to career advancement and development.

Related articles you might like:

You cannot copy content of this page