How to provide stellar customer support
Customer support is a fantastic, but delicate business. It’s so much more than the ability to discuss with people. It can add value to a product and build enduring relationships.
It is a work in progress and even the best companies can’t ever state they’ve really arrived. There will always be place for improvement and changes.
Here are some tips and tricks about how a company can go above and beyond the call of duty to provide excellent customer support.
“Customer Support is about creating a great experience that helps your customers get things done as easily and as fast as possible.”
Specific Customer Support Skills
First of all it’s important to make sure that your customer service team has the right skills for delivering professional support. Beside the generic “being a people person” here is a list of specific skills that a customer support employee can master to make the customers happy and satisfied:
Getting to the problem quickly, speaking clearly, offering the right information and using simple sentences will leave no place for misunderstandings and doubts.
Every interaction with the client is a chance for the company to prove to be a helpful guide and adviser. Customers can notice the differences between a knowledgeable and an uninformed support employee in just a few second. Take your time studying and analyzing the product and know every detail about it. Be an expert in the field to be able to offer stellar support for your clients.
Words can be very powerful, even a negative word like “no” can release stress-producing hormones in your clients brain. On the other hand the right words have the power to create happy, life-long customers. Using positive phrases can enhance customer engagement.
Focus on emphasizing the importance of the clients request rather than using a tone that feels abrupt and impersonal and can be taken the wrong way by customers.
Instead of using:
“Sorry, but we are not selling that specific component separately in our store.”
“The mentioned component can be bought with the xyz package, this way you can buy more than one useful component for your business and benefit from our special offer.”
Building trust takes time and a lot of hard work. Focus on three of the most important competencies: service, consistency and transparency to be able to build trust. Providing great service, that exceeds expectations can directly lead to earn a customers trust. Consistency is the root of harmony inside your company. Honesty, addressing the issues directly, giving explanation about how you will handle the errors and what steps are being taken to prevent them in the future will create transparency.
“At the end of the day what matters most to your customers is how you made them feel regarding your product or service.”
9 Principles of a killer customer support
Customers are the lifeblood of any business, treating them nicely must always be a number one priority.
Here you can read about how to stand out from the crowd and offer extraordinarily professional support.
1. Be Quick
One of the most important factors in customer support is the response time. When a customer has a question or issue that is time sensitive you have to act fast. Making customers wait or putting them on hold will create frustration and the feeling that their problem is not important to your company.
2. Time Management
You need to focus on delivering great support in an efficient manner. Spending enough time with the client in order to resolve his problem without making other clients to wait needs time management skills. In case you don’t know the solution to the client’s problem don’t end up wasting both of your time. Try instead getting the customer over to someone who can help him.
3. Practice Proactive Customer Service
Try making your clients happy and satisfied with your product before they come to you with problems.
Communicating in a personal manner without automated e-mails and bot responses will show that they have access to are real people behind the product. Pay attention to what customers are saying online about you. Responding to customers who mention your company, in a positive or negative context, allows you to preemptively address their needs.
4. Be Available
Making sure that your customers can reach you is necessary. If you have an online business consider that there are clients from different time zones. Also in the case of holidays and national free days never leave the company without a backup person on support. Providing your physical address to your clients will not only help them to reach or search for you easily but also will help building trust by showing that your company does exists off the internet as well.
5. Understand and “read” the clients
Being able to read the customer’s current emotional state involves some knowledge of behavioral psychology. Nowadays you rarely meet customers face-to-face, but despite this you have to make an effort to understand them. In order to create a personal experience for your customers you need to listen and search for clues about their current mood, satisfaction level, expectations and patience level.
6. Ask for feedback
You may remain surprised what you can learn about your customers and their needs when you ask for their opinion about your business, products, and services. To learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly experience your customers are having, create easily accessible platforms and methods for customers to give feedback. It can be a phone survey or interview, feedback form or questionnaires. Important is to improve your business taking into consideration your client’s needs.
7. Know how to apologize
There is no such thing as perfect business, service or product. Errors and mistakes are bound to happen, the magic lays in how you as a company react to that. Take responsibility for the error, admit your mistakes even if you have discovered them before your customers. Being honest and transparent will increase trust among your clients and restores confidence. Apologize, and think forward on how to avoid future mistakes, this will show that you have a high level of standards.
8. Leave a lasting positive impression
At the end of the day what matters most to your customers is how you made them feel regarding your product or service. Staying happy and positive with the customer will improve their day and make them appreciate your help. If they managed to resolve their problem smoothly, quickly and received the necessary (or also extra) information they were looking for than they will remain with a positive, pleasant feeling and are more likely to return.
9. Offer more
Think about what can you offer in your business to provide unexpected value. It can be an extended period of free trial, a shorter response time, an additional warranty period or anything that delights and surprises the customer. A satisfied customer can easily become your company’s ambassador.
One thing all successful businesses have in common is satisfied customers, so it is important to invest in good customer support. Happy customers will not only stay with your business, but refer others to you which will help growing your business exponentially. Customers are the lifeblood of any business, so treating them well should always be a number one priority.
It’s good to know that somebody’s got your back when you need it! -especially when we are talking about customer support.
What do you consider important in customer support? We’d love to hear your experience with customer support in the comments to this article!