The Fundamental Dos and Don’ts in Customer Support

Today customers rule and set up the high points for the quality of service. Something in the lines of this idea (or similar by the meaning) you can find almost everywhere. Yet, trying to comply with this cliche, many business owners, marketing, and support managers feel overwhelmed. They strive to do everything correctly and provide that praised over-the-top experience which can pose a toll on your staff.

There are dozens of poor services that deliver poor customer experience. As well as there is outstanding customer service that may fall by the wayside. A single mistake is all it takes to lose a loyal client. That is the last thing any company wants to accomplish.

Supportive, reliable customer service gets the credibility it deserves. This idea isn’t new or groundbreaking, yet the competition is intense. Building meaningful relationships with the customers means you can craft good customer service. But how do you do something like this? Well, we have the answers. Here is a brief list of dos and don'ts you should avoid in customer support spiced with customer support tips. Catch early errors before they become significant problems later.

The Do's of Customer Service

Without a doubt, some of the tips and tricks may seem familiar or are already in use by your team. But either way, check them up to make sure you don’t deliver poor customer service and offer only great customer experience.

#1. Treat Your Customers with Respect

A staple of any customer service do's and don'ts list. Serving your customers, your patrons with respect is critical to the survivability of your business. To serve your customers properly means more than just addressing customer’s pain points on the spot. Lasting personal or business relationships start with respect. Here are some positive signs of customer service that make clients feel valuable and necessary: agents’ politeness, friendly attitude, and rapt attention. The result is the growing number of loyal and satisfied customers.

Customer Support Tip: Practice clear communication

The clarity in communication with customers is when there is a productive use of both the clients and supports team time. That is paramount that affects a majority of processes and in any way should be broken. Passive-aggressive language, overall tone and styling, slang and technical jargon affect communication in ways you can’t spot immediately. Contrary, a poorly detailed message demonstrates your interest in your client’s issue. All of this makes a difference in the customer experience. Keep your tone and message clear and straight to the point.

customer support

#2. Honesty is the Best Policy

Breaking promises costs money and customer loyalty. Yet, on the flip side, exceeding expectations might not be worth the effort. Success factor lies in actually doing what was promised (timely responses and follow-ups, delivering promoted services, and providing everything in time), stating a clear price, all extra charges, and fees (if present). Additionally, create a coherent return and refund policy.

Customer Support Tip: How to close conversation successfully

You need to set up communication waypoints as well as develop an ability to close conversations effectively. (Don’t read on how to close a sale as these don’t work). Less than 4% of dissatisfied customers will speak again to you. Creating a proper customer feedback loop is essential. After all, unresolved issues lead to additional problems.

Good customer service means your support team knows how to close conversations the “right way”. Reduce friction in the experience, show that you care about the client's convenience, and demonstrate value using your product or service.

#3. Accept Responsibility

Your support team acts as a company representative. Therefore, every support manager should be ready to take responsibility for any customer inconvenience, frustration, or other nasty situation. Even if it is not directly your fault, you should apologize and fix the issues as quickly and smoothly as possible. This is a key pillar of providing good customer service.

Customer Support Tip: Solve the problem instead of making it someone else’s

Here's a common occurrence: a service agent can’t resolve the issue and pass it to another manager. Such an approach is counter-productive and will prolong the entire process. Your clients will notice that you don’t value their time and don’t even want to bother solving their issues. Teach your team to take personal responsibility for delivering good customer service to the customers they serve.

#4. Walk Your Customer’s Shoes

Recall the last time you experienced poor customer service. What did you feel? Frustration, anger, disappointment? That's only a small fraction of the whole spectrum of emotions your customers feel when you deliver poor customer service. Don’t let them undergo such experience. Let the unpleasant situation push you to acquire more loyal, satisfied customers.

Customer Support Tip: Teach customer to help themselves

As a whole, proper customer service should be available 24/7, but you can’t always be there. Focusing on shared problems, you can try to make a self-service portal personal, clear, and useful. Use your help content such as screenshots, videos, to help push better customer service.

customer support

#5. Show Gratitude

A single, simple “Thank you,” can help you build a strong customer base. People, who buy your product or service, will feel proud of the brand they choose. Besides, words of gratitude don’t require a ton of effort.

Customer Support Tip: Reward your best clients

Many companies had learned this invaluable lesson in a hard way. But you can avoid their don’ts of customer service and start making your rewards program now. Strengthen your relationships with customers by giving them reasons to buy from you. Employ gamification or giving them access to the special offers before they go public, give them something only they can access. Fueling your customers with appreciation, their loyalty will back you up in tough times.

Now let’s get down to the second part of dos and don’ts in customer support and find out what will result in a richer experience for your customers.

The Deadly Sins of Customer Support

#1. Don’t Make Things Complicated

Well, the problem lies in the fact that support agents tend to underestimate their customers. That’s true, nowadays we are all more or less technically versed and have access to a considerable amount of information. What we want is a simple, straightforward service. It is better to supply multiple touchpoints (phone, email, live chat, self-service, social media, and the like) and offer accessible customer service.

Customer Support Tip: Speak your customer language

Usually, customer interaction is formal and in some cases might even seem like you treat your customers like another number. Make your conversation alive and personal - be friendly and casual in tone as that kind of inquiry will work better and will result in better customer service.

#2. Don’t Be a Bystander

Often, adjectives such as detached, unresponsive, inattentive, unsympathetic are used for describing poor customer service. If your team demonstrates such feelings to their job, this is an alarming situation. Your efforts to maximize efficiency basically have failed. Professional customer service is not about excuses and blames. Customer problem is your problem and that is the fundamentals of proper customer service.

Customer Support Tip: Use positive language

Ideally, you address the customer’s pain points on the spot. Yet, miscommunication often creates unnecessary conflicts. Using positive language will save you from unnecessary stress. Use the positive side of the situation to your advantage and focus on delivering a functional solution. Divide your attention to redirect the interaction from negative to the positive tone, and you will see the effect almost immediately.

#3. Don’t Treat Customers as Transactions

Customer service moves towards a specific outcome with significant, rewarding value. However, it doesn’t mean that people come to you for a one-time purchase of a service or product. Don’t treat them as mere numbers. Try to see things through a human lens and show interest in them. This will be a solid start for long-lasting customer relationships.

Customer Support Tip: Apply strategic automation wisely

Automation in customer service may seem like delivering an impersonal service, but filtering (e.g. subject line keywords) tickets and requests give a better way to handle piles of work. Once a client is sent to the right person, the quality of the resolution rate grows while the time it takes to tackle a single request decreases. Again, good customer service.

#4. Don’t Neglect Customer Feedback

Ask yourself: “How can I improve performance and boost income?” The answer is quite simple: “Listen to your customers”. Don’t treat their opinions and suggestions as a never-ending treadmill of updates. If you get feedback from your customer, it means that your clients care and want to make your work better.

Customer Support Tip: Be data-informed, eliminate guesswork

Collecting support metrics is often an overlooked aspect of business operations. After enabling analytics, you will receive data about a request or ticket for a specific feature, or about the time your team spends on conversations and ticket resolution. Don’t avoid looking at the received data as the panacea for all issues and problems lies somewhere in the numbers.

customer support

#5. Don’t Be Afraid of Complaints

You are upset because the result of the ongoing efforts is deemed as bad by customers. How can you improve your customer service to avoid complaints? Well, despite the quality of your customer service, complaints are inevitable. Consider every complaint as an opportunity to fix a weak spot and provide clients with a better experience.

Customer Support Tip: Accept customer complaints

Continuing the topic of complaints, remember that not all of them indicate that something is wrong with your product or service. It might be useful to pay attention to vitriol messages, more often yes than no there is hidden great feedback that you’ll need to solve your current customer service issue. In case, the same complaint keeps popping up, then divide more time and pay closer attention.

Wrapping up

Customer service is not a department. It's an attitude that comes from areas beyond your customer support office. Implementing good customer service practices across your entire company can help you improve the overall performance, bring the relationship with your customers to a new level, as well as prevent negative experiences.

Want to improve your customer service?

Check out our tips.

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