Human beings and various other species within the animal kingdom qualify as social beings because we intermingle with other members of our kind. But, as technology continues to advance, we're beginning to see how the different devices in our lives interact with one another as well. However, as the electronic world begins to merge, customer service providers are finding it harder than ever to supply sufficient, reliable support.Electronic gadgets have the ever-increasing capability to connect with each other via the same wireless network. While these breakthroughs in technology have opened doors for us over the recent years, many still need help when it comes to setting these tools up and bringing them together to maximize their true potential. But, when confusion strikes, customer service isn't always there to help. Most brands have the ability to provide support for their given product, but issues that involve secondary devices--devices that don't fall under their service umbrella--can cause great customer frustration. Such a lack of broad-based support frequently leads to "No Trouble Found" (NTF) returns.
When consumers make an NTF return, they are returning items that work perfectly fine, but failed to meet their needs. Often times, these returns result from weak customer service offerings that neglect to bridge the gap between the brand's product knowledge and the ability to solve connectivity issues with secondary devices. While these returns typically arise from unsatisfying customer service interactions, costing the consumer time, retailers find themselves spending billions of dollars each year to repackage and restock these perfectly viable goods.
According to Jordan Socran, vice president of business development at Radialpoint, this trend will only continue to grow if companies do not attempt to stop the problem before it starts. Here, Socran provides 3 tips for preventing NTF returns:
- Preventative maintenance--The more data a company receives, the better they can assess what problems are driving NTF returns. By analyzing the reasons for returns, companies can then create solutions for the most common problems. Whether these resolutions consist of software, tutorials, or bug fixes, they must be made available as part of future consumer purchases or shortly after buying.
- Proactive support--Though support is typically reactive, Socran suggests companies initiate customer contact within the first 24 hours to offer setup help free of charge. Most support centers shy away from such service calls because of the cost, but by clearing up any confusion early in the relationship, companies inevitably reduce overall customer lifecycle costs.
- Subscription service--Providing customers with the option to pay a subscription fee for broad-based support reduces contact center costs, while also opening customers up to unlimited support throughout their lifecycle. Customers can contact tech support regarding any device or issue they may encounter, giving them peace of mind and the ability to ask questions and take care of many problems remotely.