Common Customer Service Challenges and How To Handle Them

Gladly Team

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4 minute read

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Every seasoned ecommerce brand knows that serving customers isn’t always easy. If it were, support centers wouldn’t need to exist. The reality is that when common customer service challenges are left unaddressed, they can create huge roadblocks in developing loyal, high-value relationships and more revenue as a result. In fact, 42% of shoppers said they would stop buying from a brand altogether after just two negative experiences.

The most pressing challenges in customer service often come down to gaps in the experience itself, meaning brands need to make sure they’re investing wisely in these loyalty driving areas of their business. Let’s take a closer look at the issues that pop up the most, and the tools and technology that can help solve them.

What Are the Challenges of Customer Service?

  • Agents’ lack of brand or product knowledge
  • Ticketed systems that don’t track entire conversations
  • Inability to connect with customers on the right channels

Let’s dive deeper into what makes these customer service challenges so frustrating for both the customer and, often equally, the service rep.

1. A lack of brand or product knowledge. If a customer reaches out to your brand for an explanation of how a product works, they want to be reassured by the rep that they confidently know how to solve their issue. According to Gladly’s 2022 Customer Expectations Report, 76% of shoppers have asked a customer service agent about a product, while another 68% of those expect the agent to be knowledgeable enough on the product to engage the conversation.

2. No conversation tracking. If a customer reaches out, most ticketed systems assign them a number customers should write down in case the conversation drops and they need to pick up where they left off. If customers lose this multi-digit number, they have to repeat themselves and start the process all over again, creating unnecessary headaches to reach simple solutions.

3. The inability to connect with customers on the right channels. Sometimes shoppers reach out by phone, over SMS, or through email. Each customer will have a different preference for how they want to get in touch with a customer service agent, so lacking the capability to connect via their preferred channel can be a major strike against a brand. In fact, 42% of customers ranked reaching customer service agents on their preferred channel as the most important attribute of their experience.


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How to Handle Challenges in Customer Service

In order to achieve the successful resolution of customer service problems, brands need to invest in a platform that expands reach, empowers self-service, and gives agents more accessibility to brand knowledge and shopping data.

1. Use a knowledge base that learns and grows. Training agents on the variety of products and services your brand offers should be a basic part of onboarding, but that knowledge base needs to grow as your company does to be as accurate and helpful as possible. High knowledgeability can even lead to another sale, as Gladly’s Customer Expectations report found that 26% of shoppers say they’ve purchased something that a customer service agent recommended.

In particular, self-service and FAQs should be informed by the common customer questions your contact center receives while also being easily updated from a centralized knowledge base.

2. Have non-ticketed conversations. Shoppers generally aren’t fans of ticketed systems — 73% want to be treated like a person, not a case number. Using a platform that handles customers with a personalized approach, using a conversation-driven system, helps maintain continuity in the relationship while also allowing the agent in each instance to refer back to the shopper’s history.

3. Utilize continuous multichannel support. Brands need to ensure customers are able to access support on their preferred channels, whether that’s the phone, SMS, or chat, and do so without a break in the conversation if they move channels. At the same time, investing in self-service across channels (including IVR and chatbots) helps empower customers to handle a lot of their issues on their own, relieving agents of some tedious task management as well.

With Gladly, ecommerce brands get the ultimate platform to tackle all these nagging customer service challenges. With support across all major channels, an intelligent knowledge base, and the ability to deliver the most radically personal customer experience on the market, the Gladly platform elevates service agents into Support Heroes and turns on-the-fence shoppers into loyal, repeat customers.


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