No matter the size or scope of your business, everyone has experienced the frustration of bad customer service. Companies outsource to foreign countries and lose the option of personalized care. Consumers spend hours on the phone trying to get an answer or wait days for a response. We have become accustomed to miscommunication and wasting time to the point that we don’t even notice it happening anymore.

“They offer the best customer service in the industry. I have to call them every day!”

Don’t let this be you.

To truly determine the efficiency and accuracy of your tax software company’s customer service, you have to know what to look for.

Here are our top 10 indicators of bad customer service:

  • 1. Your representative doesn’t make sense.
    • -The easiest way to know if someone is educated in their field is to see if they can explain complex concepts in simpler terms. Sales and Use Tax companies often refer to overly complex lingo without explanation. Because of this, the Regurgitation of a Q/A list cannot substitute explanation. You need a representative that can properly explain ideas, so you can make informed decisions for your business.
  • 2. A problem ticket is opened and you receive email updates.
    • -Problem tickets are less urgent than incident tickets and usually indicate the presence of a recurring problem. Coupled with purely email-based updates, you will be kept in the dark during the process of fixing your problem, which is nothing if not stressful. Customer Service should be a dynamic option for finding solutions, not a segmented and impersonal one.
  • 3. Customer service cannot peer into your software account for recommendations.
    • -Sales and use tax problems are incredibly situation-based. Your data and account information is important for effectively finding the right solution. Your business isn’t a carbon copy of an example and shouldn’t be treated as such.
  • 4. Operation hours supersede your filing deadline.
    • -Customer service should be offered as often as reasonably possible. No one has problems at a “good time”, so your customer service shouldn’t operate under that assumption.
  • 5. Customer service does not understand multi-states tax concepts.
    • -No matter how often you talk to an uninformed ‘specialist’, nothing will be accomplished. Sales and Use tax can differ not only between states but also counties and even cities. In Kansas City, a 1.5 square mile area known as the Kansas City Speedway has its own unique tax rate. If the customer service specialist makes mistakes distinguishing between jurisdictions, then so will you.
  • 6. You receive an email with instructions on how to fix the problem.
    • -Email is an easy way to communicate, but it doesn’t allow for real-time consultation or customer-specific resolution. Immediate person-to-person problem-solving is essential to finding quick solutions. Your tax deadlines won’t wait, and neither should you.
  • 7. Your customer service rep knows you by first name.
    • -Personal connections are important, but if you are calling support enough for your representative to address you on a first-name basis, then there is a real problem with your software.
  • 8. Your representative isn’t a real person.
    • -Customer service shouldn’t be automated. One size doesn’t fit all, and your customer service shouldn’t start with “Press 1 for…”. Just because a problem isn’t common doesn’t mean it’s unimportant.
  • 9. You are given a 1-(800) number where a team of specialists is waiting for your call.
    • -In short, this means, “Please call so I can transfer you.” You need a customer representative that is tax savvy and knows your industry, first call. Direct contact can be the deciding factor in getting your solution in a timely manner. No run-around, no unnecessary mistakes.
  • 10. You are told it is an ERP issue, not their software.
    • -Simply deferring the problem to a third party wastes precious time and energy. It is important for your service provider to be an equal partner in solving the problem, even if the problem doesn’t directly involve the software.

The best customer service provides enough support so you rarely have to call. And if you do, you are connected with a competent, amiable partner that can solve the issue in a single call. Quick, Easy, Painless. That’s why we go out of our way to make customer service a priority. Without individualized, real-time assistance, even the most advanced software can be a hassle.

If your business is forced to suffer the maze of “good customer service”, let us make things easier. Good customer service should be a necessity, not a privilege.

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