Today customers rule and set up the high point for the quality of customer service. Something like this idea (or similar by the meaning) you can find almost everywhere. Trying to comply with this cliche, many business owners, marketing and support managers strive to do everything correctly and provide that praised over-the-top experience. Still, there are dozens of poor services that have unsatisfied customers. As well, outstanding customer service may fall by the wayside, make a mistake and, therefore, lose a loyal client. Perhaps, that the last thing any company wants to achieve.
Supportive, reliable customer service gets credence it deserves. This idea isn’t new or groundbreaking, yet the competition is intense in building key relationships with the customers. In order to rip you out of the routine, here are a brief description of dos and don'ts in customer support. So you can catch any errors before they become significant problems. Plus, each of these dos and don’ts spiced with customer support tips.
The Do's of Customer Service
Without a doubt, some of the tips and tricks may seem familiar or used by your team from time to time. Either way, check them up to offer great experience and do your job professionally.
#1 Treat Your Customers with Respect
To serve your customers right means far more than address customer’s pain points on the spot. Lasting personal or business relationship starts with respect. Here are some symptoms 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
Clarity in communication with customers is a valuable use of both clients and support team time. To be honest, that is paramount which effects most of the processes. Let’s be real: passive-aggressive language, overall tone and styling, slang and technical jargon affect communication. Moreover, a little-detailed massage shows your interest in a client’s issue and makes the difference in provided customer experience.
#2 Honesty is the Best Policy
Breaking promises costs money and loyal customers. On the flip side, exceeding expectations might not be worth the effort. A success factor lies actually do what was promised (responds and follow-up when it was stated, provide the services that your marketing promoted, deliver on time. etc.), declare price, all extra charges, and fees (if there are any), and create coherent return and refund policies.
Customer Support Tip: How to close conversation successfully
Regarding the improving interactions, you need to set up communication waypoints as well as develop the ability to close conversations. (Don’t read closing a sale). You know that less than 4% of dissatisfied customers will speak again. All because of the lack of care during the interactions. So unresolved issues run to additional problems.
Ensure that your support team attempts to close conversations in the “right way” from the customer’s point of view. In that way, you reduce friction in the experience and show that you really care about client’s convenience using your product or service.
Do #3 Accept Responsibility
Support team acts as a company representative. Therefore, every support manager should be ready to take responsibility for customer inconvenience, frustration, or other nasty situations. Even if there is no your fault, you should apologize and fix the issues as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Customer Support Tip: Solve the problem instead of making it someone else’s
Very often happens the following scenario: a service agent can’t resolve the issue and pass it to another manager. Such approach is counter-productive. Besides, in this way clients see that you don’t value their time and don’t bother yourself with solving their issues. Teach your team to take personal responsibility for their customers.
Do #4 Walk in 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 part of the whole spectrum of emotions your customers feel when you neglect them. Don’t let them undergo this experience. Let the unpleasant situation to advance your job and gain more loyal, satisfied customers.
Customer Support Tip: Teach customer to help themselves
On the whole, outstanding customer service should be available 24/7, but you aren’t always there. Focusing on shared problems, you can try to make a self-service portal personal (to some extent). Use your help content (screenshots, videos, etc.) as a public reply from a support team - always available and transparent.
Do #5 Show Gratitude
With the expense of simple “Thank you,” you will build a strong customer base. People, who buy your product or service, will feel appreciated by the brand they choose. Besides, words of gratitude won’t take much effort.
Customer Support Tip: Reward your best clients
Many companies had learned an invaluable lesson along the way and now adding a rewards program to strengthen their relationships with customers. This may be put into practice via gamification or giving them access to the special offers before they go public. Fueling your customers with appreciation, their loyalty will back you, and they will come back for more.
Let’s get down to the second part of dos and don’ts in customer support and find out what will result in the 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 savvy and operate a considerable amount of information, but we still want a simple, straightforward service. As a matter of fact, 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, the interaction with a customer is very formal and may even seem that you treat them just like a number. Make conversation alive and personal - you can be friendly and casual in tone. And that kind of inquiries will work better.
#2 Don’t Be Disinterested
All too often, the adjectives detached, unresponsive, inattentive, unsympathetic are used for describing customer service. If your team shows such feeling to their job, it is an alarming situation. Your efforts to maximize efficiency just failed. Professional customer service should go its course smoothly without any excuses and blames on a routine or an occupational hazard. Customer problem is your problem.
Customer Support Tip: Use positive language
Ideally, you address customer’s pain points on the spot. Yet, miscommunication may create unnecessary conflicts while using positive language will save you. Use the positive side of the situation and focus on an offered solution. That way you will lessen customer’s disappointment. Take a holistic approach to redirect the interaction from negative to the positive tone, and you will see the effect.
#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 service or product. So, don’t treat them as mere numbers. Try to see things through a human-centered lens and show interest in doing business with them. And this will be a solid start for long-lasting customer relationships.
Customer Support Tip: Apply strategic automation wisely
Automation in customer service may imply the impersonal approach, but filtering (e.g. subject line keywords) tickets and requests gives a better way to handling pile of work. Once client sent to a right person, then the quality of resolution grows while time decreases.
#4 Don’t Neglect Customer Feedback
Ask yourself: how to improve performance and boost income? The answer is quite expected: listen to your customers. Don’t treat their opinions and suggestions as a never-ending treadmill of updates. Sharing the feedback on your customer service demonstrates that your clients care and want to make your performance better. In the march toward advancing a strategy, keep open for customer thoughts as it may pay off down the line.
Customer Support Tip: Be data-informed, eliminate guesswork
Collecting support metrics is often overlooked aspect of business running. After enabling the analytics, you will receive data on the requests or tickets on a specific feature or about the time your team spends on conversations and ticket resolution. Still, avoid looking at the received data as the panacea for all issues or problems, but treat it more like learning opportunity and support in decision-making.
#5 Don’t Be Frightened of Complaints
You are upset because a result of the ongoing efforts is dissatisfied customers that complain. 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 the better experience.
Customer Support Tip: Accept customer complaints
Continuing the topic of complaints, remember that far not all of them indicate that something wrong with your product or service. It might be useful to pay attention to vitriol messages, more than often there are hidden great feedback.
Either way, stay consistent in conversation and try to resolve an issue and leave this customer satisfied. In case, the same complaint keeps repeating, this aspect requires close attention.
Customer service is not a department. It's an attitude that comes from areas beyond the customer support office. Implementing these principals across the whole company can help improve the overall performance, bring the relationship with your customers to a new level, as well as prevent negative experiences.