Defining a portrait of an ideal support manager is not easy since customer service includes a vast area of responsibilities. In addition, reps apply different approaches for each communication channel. It makes perfect sense that you should treat an email request and a tweet differently, using specific knowledge and skills.
Nevertheless, such simple qualities as empathy, friendliness, clear communication are a foundation for delivering excellent customer care.
Picturing an Ideal Support Manager
The world is imperfect and, therefore, exciting place. Maybe you weren’t cut out for customer support. Let’s take another angle view: you fix almost every client problems with a positive ending, then you will be titled an ideal support manager. What skills should you have to accomplish this (let’s be real) uneasy task? Instead of looking at the tools, it pays to look at support manager set of skills as well. If you’re feeling more open-minded about developing and incorporating these qualities into your daily life, take heed of these tips:
#1 Emotional Intelligence
Speaking a customer's language. We subconsciously mimic moves and language of the people we like. You can use this trick to gain trust and instantly connect with the customer. Try using some words or copying the style they use. This should go without saying, but if the customer is angry, don't follow their behavior.
Empathy. A good support manager tries to step into the customer's shoes, but the ideal customer manager is always human in customer interactions. They show clients that their problem is heard, as well as a reason for their call understood. Empathy will also enhance the long and difficult way of turning an angry customer into a happy one who will share the excellent customer experience of your product or service with friends.
Be positive and literally smile. This is workable for the phone support agent as the smiles are translated via phone. Still, you should use them wisely and in the appropriate moments. Treat your customers like acquaintances and be cordial during interactions. In that case, your smile will appear naturally as you would in a face-to-face chat.
Resilience is one of the must-have skill of an ideal support manager. Far not every interaction or conversation with customers will pass with flying colors. The way out is to be able to find a quick distraction that will turn you back to being cheerful for the next client.
Patience. In a similar fashion, this is another must-have skill, and everyone agrees on its importance. Take the time to look at what great support agents really do. They ask right, valuable questions and really listen to the customer answers. With the expense of this skill, they understand what their clients need and try to solve the issue in the best way and as soon as possible.
#2 Interpersonal Communication
Clarity. Like a coin, this skill, on the one side requires from you to think clearly, and on the other side communicate the message well explained and easy to understand. Interacting in this manner has more chances for a quick solution and such a support manager will leave customers satisfied so they can move on with their lives.
Active listening. In a loose sense, if you don’t listen to clients questions and problem, you won’t be able to fix the ticket. How does an ideal support manager listen to a client? The answer is simple: listen, then validate the problem. A confused customer might not take in what solution you offer them, apply the three steps approach: 1) listen, 2) calm down, and 3) do your best at solving their issues.
Sum up help. Well, this doesn’t sound like a skill, but after you listened to the customer’s issue, repeat it back with supportive tone and tell how you are going to fix their problem. The ability to adequately communicate everything you are doing for helping a client is a top skill for support service agents.
Set hold times. Let’s be real: even if the interaction with a customer is handled well, you may lose them or irritate them by leaving on hold for too long. Ensure that you set the expectations that will reflect the quality of company support service and reputation in general.
#3 Self-management Skills
Take ownership. Being a support manager means to be a brand advocate, product or service expert, and advocate. In the same way, the satisfaction and happiness of your customers depend entirely on you. So, be confident and take responsibility.
Time management. You are already acknowledged about tickets and issue urgency prioritization. Hence, when comes out a problem you don’t know how to solve, you should direct it to the right person or team. An ideal support manager knows what should be a ticket and what should be forwarded and handled by another team.
Make multitasking comfortable. To be honest, that is an uneasy task. Support managers aren’t robots; however, they can handle a couple of chat at the same time. Be careful with overestimating your strength and the number of chats you are going to manage. If you can’t address customer’s pain points on the spot, put the conversation on hold and tell when you will provide the answer or solution to a problem. Either way, this is a better way out than keeping a customer on hold for too long.
Personalized templates. Some pre-written text may be a valuable use of your time. You can write a kind of guidelines with a structure of common responses and personalize the answers before responding to a customer. Remember that isn’t a catch-all category to sweep in every interaction, but it will provide you an awareness that there are multiple perspectives on the issue at hand. Fast and customers highly appreciate quality responses.
#4 Problem-solving Abilities
Product knowledge. An ideal support manager is quality-minded and knows in-and-out of a product or service. Apart from that, this is the top job skill for every customer service agent. Once you are aware of the background, you will answer customer questions about the product in a timely manner.
Proactive. First email response should be answered within a defined timeframe. You may say that is a “general truth.” Yes, but still some support service managers forget it. So, prioritize customer queries and responses by urgency and time they are on hold. Maybe some clients have interacted with another team of your company and weren’t pleased with the interaction, so you have a chance to improve this and offer great customer experience.
Pay attention to cues. To illustrate this point, here is a perfect example: a customer finds hard to express themselves in writing, you read quickly, make conclusions, and don’t provide expected help. When something is unclear, pay attention to the right set of details and check against facts and look for cues in a message. Definitely, it takes some practice to understand the possible nuances of various customers. This problem-solving skill will route you to the insight of customer’s problem and give some ideas on how you can help.
Customer support gives company deeper knowledge of the clients and promotes trusting relationships. Every support agent wants to be an ideal support manager and provide solutions to a customer’s problem; what in the end transform and solidify the user’s feedback. The skills enumerated above can be developed and, probably, already used by you in day-to-day tasks. In case you considering about making customer support your career choice, these sets of skill are a good place to start.