How Repeat Customer Queries could be Costing Your Business Time and Money

Answering the same question again and again is not only frustrating, but your business could be paying the price for its do-overs, too. Avoid repeat requests with our detailed blog below…

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Here’s a scenario that might sound frustratingly familiar. Your agents are working their way through queries, responding with speed and skill, and ticking off their to-do list with ease along the way. But soon, the same customers are asking your team the same questions. Questions that could’ve, should’ve been answered before, either by other agents or elsewhere on your business’ site.

All of a sudden, your agents’ progress and productivity hit a real roadblock. Now multiple employees are having to deal with the same customer, who’s causing your team to go round and round in circles just to find an answer.

While these instances are a headache for just about everyone involved, the effects they can have on a business can be far worse. As well as affecting employee performance, they can put a dent in the company coffers too.

Below, we’ll take a look at the issues involved and how you can resolve their effects.

What issues do repeat customer queries create?

Low-quality customer service

If an agent is attempting to solve a customer’s issue, but there are already multiple records and notes in their name, it can be harder and more time-consuming to find a solution. And while that’s sure to frustrate your agent, it’s probably nothing compared to the annoyance the customer is experiencing.

Also when a customer’s query goes unresolved, that’s when they start to turn to other suppliers who can cater to their needs.

Lack of productivity and efficiency

Repeat customer queries are great at getting in the way of a productive day. By their repeat nature, previous attempts to resolve the customer’s query have clearly been unsuccessful.

That means several different agents have attempted to deal with a single concern. Whether it’s over the course of a few days or passed around to different agents during a single day, having to deal with the same query can be a real drain on their time. The potential back and forth caused by this takes away from their ability to focus on other areas of their role.

Poor business processes

When repeat queries occur, your agents may begin to lose faith in the software used to record this information. At this point, it’s easy for them to resort to things like Excel and Post-It notes instead. This might be handy in the short term, but long term, it limits the amount of customer information that your business can rely on to grow.

In a company that holds vast swathes of customer data, not only do such methods make it unmanageable, but it may be far easier to lose it.

Negative brand reputation

Imagine how frustrating it is for a customer to have their question remain unanswered day in, day out. When queries repeatedly fall on deaf ears, the message becomes clear: your business lacks effective customer service.

For such a customer, making the leap to a competitor is an easy decision – and it’s unlikely they’ll return to you later down the line either. What’s more, they’ll be more than happy to let others know about their bad experience, whether they broadcast it on the internet or simply to friends and family.

man juggling different work

How much could repeat customer queries be costing you?

Along with the above, repeat customers can have a very real financial impact on a business. Each repeat query needs an agent to read the query, respond if necessary and then close it. Let’s assume it takes an agent five minutes to carry this out, and your business pays them minimum wage.

Taking care of 12 queries would cost you somewhere in the region of £9. For a business that deals with 1,000 queries a month, 200 of which are repeat queries, that would mean answering around 17 sets of 12 repeat queries. Taken together, that would cost the business around £153 a month.

In addition, the time spent on answering repeat queries takes away from your agent’s ability to answer other queries. That means the business is losing out on even more since they can’t attend to other customer service opportunities.

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How to minimise repeat customer care queries

To properly communicate with customers, you need to get under their skin. Ask yourself who they are. What’s their relationship with the company like? What do they do? What are their hobbies and passions? What don’t they like? When you can find out the things that make them tick, you can create more relevant and meaningful conversations with them.

But with so many different channels for them to engage with you through, this can be tough to achieve. Duplicate queries can be across channels, e.g. a customer sends an email and then begins a webchat when they don’t get a response, or in a channel, where they send another follow-up email.

Using a single customer view, however, allows you to manage queries quickly and correctly since an agent has full visibility of a customer’s history with their company across each of your channels. By taking an interaction approach, related queries are aggregated together, allowing the operator to solve each issue at once.

Take “Where is my order?” queries. It’s the number one customer complaint and can be a big burden on your agents. With our simple, streamlined solution we can combine all your inbound communications into a single feed. Instead of having to flick between multiple systems, your agents can see all the customer’s information at once, which makes it a breeze to deal with their pain points.

Elsewhere, omnichannel customer service is proving to be an effective means of dealing with repeat queries. When a business opts for an omnichannel strategy, customers can contact you through email, then follow up the query on webchat and end the conversation by text without any interruption to its flow.

How? Because they’re all connected to a central solution, an agent has all the information at their fingers, allowing them to continue the conversation on whichever channel it’s taking place on. No unnecessary tickets and no more frustrations.

As for your customers, they no longer have to repeatedly provide agents with the same information just to get a single question resolved.

Looking for customer service that really speaks to your contacts? Gnatta makes interactions matter, delivering quality exchanges and quicker responses that meet your customers’ expectations. Find out how we can help here.

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