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5 Outrageous Customer Care Myths Exposed

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Customer care myths are rampant! Perhaps you aren’t surprised but I certainly am.

While doing research for my upcoming book, I realized one of the reasons we have customer care all wrong is because there’s so much misinformation out there.

So, let’s put these myths to bed so we can all get a little better at customer experience.

Customer Care Myths Are Everywhere

One customer care myth we’ve probably all subscribed to is, “the customer is always right.” We know that’s a myth because a customer can most certainly be wrong. However, putting the customers’ fulfillment first isn’t all bad.

My advice is never to reinforce “bad behavior” from anyone in your business — including customers. I also think we need to stop perpetuating bad customer care advice.

Let’s dive into five of the biggest customer care myths I’d like to bust.

1. Customer Care Is Only For Customers

Wrong!

First, I can see why this one gets misconstrued. The word “customer” is right there in the title of customer care. However, when we talk about digital customer care we’re talking about the entire digital customer journey (DCJ). And that means we’re talking about both pre-purchase and post-purchase support.

Second, it goes far beyond customer support (customer service). Customer care is about a comprehensive approach to your audience and the DCJ. When done well, it can impact almost every element of your operations. And to speak frankly, providing stellar social-led customer and community care means more money.

That’s right! Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience.

Last, this is why understanding the correlation between obtaining customer loyalty and how you serve your customers throughout the entire customer journey – including the digital customer journey – is critical.

2. Customer Care Is About Rolling Out The Red Carpet At Every Touchpoint

Nope! It’s the opposite with this customer care myth, actually.

People tend to think of the best customer experience as the same as “rolling out the red carpet” — a huge fanfare. This leads to CMOs and marketing leaders thinking how they can give their customers a parade down the entire path to purchase, which immediately feels scary and not scalable.

But CX and customer care is really about finding potholes during the DCJ and fixing them so the journey is smoother and more pleasant.

Too many businesses and brands aren’t investing resources into digital customer care channels because they view it as a cost. If your current digital customer care goal is making customers happy while “doing more with less” – you’re doing it wrong. Customer relationships are the key to today’s online marketing landscape, while poor customer experience can damage the reputation of your brand in an instant. 

Once customers are disappointed with a brand, only 18% will keep their business with the brand, and only 15% will recommend the brand to friends and family. Let me phrase that the opposite way – you could lose more than 80% of your customers if you don’t meet their expectations.

Ultimately, it’s not about rolling out the red carpet, it’s reducing clicks, or pain points, or time to resolution.

3. Customer Care Myths Usually Involve AI As The Solution

While self-service tactics like artificial intelligence and bots are growing rapidly, there is still an urgent need for knowledgeable humans at almost every digital touchpoint.

In fact, many marketers assume that chatbots can be a more cost-effective way to manage digital customer care. Indeed, chatbots can be wonderful additions to some customer care and community management efforts.

 From the consumer side, they can:

  • Answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) 24/7 with 100% accuracy 
  • Provide communications instantaneously to multiple users at once
  • Multitask, including logging data in real time

And from the brand side, they can:

  • Reduce human capital/costs
  • Reduce team fatigue

But, problems can arise when brands begin relying on bots for things they aren’t good at. Chatbots are more useful for frequently asked questions (FAQ) – such as what your business hours are or what sizes your products come in.

Customers with more high-stakes questions (is my doctor in-network?) or complex problems will probably prefer to talk with a human who can truly converse. They’re looking for empathy, understanding, and personalization.

Chatbots also make less sense for your business if you do not get the same questions over and over. For example, I can imagine law firms and accountants getting such specific questions that chatbots would struggle to give a helpful response.

4. You Have To Be Responsive 24/7, 365

Sound the buzzer! While 24/7 responsiveness is a nice to have, it’s not a must have.

First of all, before we get into what is the right response time, it’s worth saying no response is unacceptable. That might sound obvious. But a survey by ResultsCX found that more than half (52%) of those surveyed interacted with a brand on social media for a question or concern. Of those, 19% said they did not receive any feedback.

No answer at all? Imagine walking into a store and asking for help and no one answering. Seriously?

In today’s (online) reality, you’re in a competition 24/7. Brand loyalty is up for grabs; it’s cagey, waning, and customer retention is critical. Get this straight: If you’re not taking the time to answer, no answer is your answer. Not only that, with social media you have spectators. When you answer quickly, or not at all, you’re also telling onlookers how to define your brand.

Your prospects and customers expect to have conversations with you. They expect you to engage, respond, and interact. HubSpot research for 2021 showed that 79% of customers expect a response to their social media posts within twenty-four hours.

Figure out how quickly and efficiently you can respond and stick to that. Set up “office hours” to show you aren’t available 24/7. Make it clear when you are available and ensure when you’re “on” that you’re answering customer care questions as fast as you can.

This is one those customer care myths that may change! I can see where — as more people move online for support needs — expectation will grow around 24/7, 365 availability.

5. Customer Care Is Always Reactive

Not true! Although many customer care teams live in a reactive state, that doesn’t mean you can’t implement proactive measures as a part of your strategy.

When you respond to messages, comments, or questions from your audience, that’s reactive. Most customer outreach on digital touchpoints is reactive since they are often a one-off interaction with your brand.

However, if brands truly want to succeed on social media, they must also think of how to be proactive with their digital customer care efforts. And very few brands are doing this well – using social media to build authentic relationships (though they pretend to be doing so). In particular, they are (still) not focusing on the consumers, and chasing purchases instead of building communities. 

Additionally, social media listening can help you become more proactive. Traditional listening opportunities like focus groups are more expensive (time and money). And for larger companies, the perception your customers have about your brand can shift in weeks, even days. Social media listening offers real-time research, allowing marketers to spot micro trends and make micro-level shifts. In this regard, social listening can take you from a reactive position to a proactive one, and rather quickly. 

Imagine using social listening to find those pre-purchase conversations and enter the conversation to offer help. That’s proactive (and social selling, I might add!). See the example of how Sprout Social did this when someone asked about social listening tools on Twitter.

sprout social joins convo customer care myths

Busting this customer care myth also lends to #1. Being proactive with your customer care efforts means helping acquire new customers — not just servicing existing ones.

Don’t Be Fooled

Thanks for joining me in debunking some of the most annoying customer care myths. And if you loved this post, you will REALLY LOVE my upcoming book, Conversations That Connect.

Conversations That Connect

What are some of the most common customer care myths you’ve encountered? Please post them in the comment section below!

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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
Category: Customer Care, Customer Experience
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