What your customer service people should never say

We’ve talked before about the infamous macro overuse syndrome, which can result in sending out polite but rather empty emails to customers - emails that are of no practical use to anyone. Customer service staff who take pride in their work are well aware of the dangers of relying too much on stock phrases. But what if those macros you’re using are well-considered, appropriate to the customer’s query, but just completely unhelpful?Here are the phrases that should never cross your keyboard.

These are real-life examples from the Casengo team’s own experience. Only the company names have been omitted, to protect the guilty…

  1. “@customer Please contact our complaints department with your complaint.”

An open letter to all CMOs on customer service

At Casengo, we spend a lot of our time talking about customer service. How to make it more fun.Or to take it to the next level. It’s our business, after all. But there’s another reason: just like everyone else, we’re customers too. And frankly we are damn tired of getting bad service!

It is so frustrating when you can see exactly how a customer service representative could have handled a situation, but didn't. How he could have responded quickly and left you with a good feeling about the company, but didn't.And while it would be easy to blame the service staff for the issue, sometimes they don’t have much choice if they want to keep their jobs. They have orders. And those orders usually come from their direct managers, who in turn follow the orders of a hot shot, like a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

So here’s an open letter to all CMOs who should know better.

Dear CMO,

Over 50.000 Casengo live chat plugins for WordPress downloaded!

About 9 months ago, we were astonished to hear that the Casengo plugin for WordPresshad been downloaded over 20,000 times. We’re pleased to report we now passed the 50,000 mark. That’s quite a compliment, for which we’d like to express our wholehearted gratitude… Thanks, guys! We must admit we weren’t incredibly surprised, however arrogant that may sound. We know how easy and accessible our live chat plugin is. And we know, too, how important chat can be to many SMEs: not only does it increase their customer satisfaction, it also allows them to respond to customer inquiries much more efficiently. Research shows that customers are most positive about live chat (versus email and the good old phone). In fact, nearly half of U.S. consumers feel that live chat is one of the most important features a website can have. And if that’s not enough to catch your attention, just think about how live chat differentiates your website from your competitor’s. As a team obsessed with customer satisfaction, we were happy with the reviews our WordPress plugin received. Users are especially satisfied about the usability and accessibility of the plugin. Markusday’s wacky review sums it all up: “Works like a wonder and as essential as your customers and reputation aboard a flying silver saucer. Will recommend in the most humanly possible way.” The Casengo WordPress plugin gets 4,7 out of 5 stars. That is a great rating – but we want 5 stars. That’s why we’re constantly updating the plugin. We have added tons of new features, like ‘inline chat’ and the option to use your own custom-made chat template. At this point, you might think that live chat is the only thing Casengo does, but that is certainly not the case. Did you know that our all-in-one customer service application can also eliminate the chaos in your mailbox? Our latest update makes managing multiple mailboxes even easier. And our Facebook integration ensures that not a single post or comment on your company’s Facebook Page will slip through the cracks. Next up: Twitter!

How to make customer service more fun

Some of us truly enjoy customer service. While much of the job is fairly routine, there is a certain satisfaction to be gained in helping customers find the answers they’re looking for. This can be true even if they don’t end up making a purchase. But what if you’re one of those people who don’t enjoy supporting customers at all? If customer service is all you do, and you hate it, you should be thinking of new career options. But if it's an unavoidable part of an otherwise fun job, read on to find out how to start making customer support bearable – and even enjoyable. Because isn’t it a shame to spend a large part of your life engaged in a task that doesn’t stimulate you?

Customer service as a team challenge

Infographic: online stores in the Netherlands

A couple of us spent the last few months working hard on the first Casengo Webwinkel Monitor. Mike, Thijs and Ron analysed online information of 59,320 Dutch web stores and came up with quite a few surprising conclusions...

For those of you whose Dutch is not up to scratch, here's a quick translation of the infographic below:

  • The number of online stores in the Netherlands grew with 31% in 2013 (as opposed to 2012). In 2015, there will probably be more online than offline shops.
  • The products that are sold most often online are clothes, jewellery, wine, toys and shoes.
  • The provinces that have the highest unemployment rate also happen to be the provinces with the most online stores (related to the number of inhabitants, so not in absolute figures).
  • In absolute figures, most online stores are managed from big cities like Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam.
  • Only one in two customer compliments get a reaction. If customers send a negative email, however, half of them get a response within 30 minutes.
  • Social media, especially Facebook, is quite important to online stores in the Netherlands. 8 in 10 online stores has a Facebook Page, used for commercial purposes, customer support, community building and brand promotion.

Download the full updated Monitor in Dutch to get all the details.

And if you'd like to use a part of the infographic, you can download them here.

Infographic online stores netherlands 2014