There has never been a more important time to project great customer service than today. Customer service with support calls is critical to the growth of any business. Over the years, we have learned a lot about customer service and how to handle support calls. As in the first blog the list is molded by experiences in the enterprise software industry but are applicable to any customer support call. I hope these tips in addition to those shared in the first blog on Call Center Management will help.
Call Center Management
1. Remember They Can't See You
As humans, over 50% of our communication is done through body language. This, of course, is wiped out when you’re on the phone. They can’t see your smile, or your head nodding in agreement, or look you in the eye to see that you’re paying attention. You need to make up for this by verbally recognizing what they’re saying. A simple “ok” or “I understand” can go a long way in improving the conversation.
2. Fix the Problem Twice
In the case of a bug or other problematic issue, it’s always important to take care of the customer in the quickest possible manner. Get them a quick fix or workaround so they can continue with what they were doing. After that, spend the extra time to find the underlying problem and make sure it gets fixed.
3. Don't Be Afraid to Apologize
Anyone in a support role needs to learn pretty quickly to check their ego at the door. If you can’t easily apologize for something that had absolutely nothing to do with you, then you may want to choose another career path.
4. Tell Them What You're Doing
This goes back to number 1 in this list. The customer can’t see you, so make sure to fill them in on what you’re doing to help them. Nobody likes to sit in silence or listen to a bunch of keys rattle off and not know what’s happening. Be sure to tell your customer what you’re doing so they know you’re making progress towards a solution.
5. Record Yourself
Start recording your phone conversations and playing them back to see how you fared. You’ll be amazed at the things you pick up on right away and can start improving on. If your phone system can’t record calls, then you can always put the call on speaker and record the conversation with another recording device. Be sure to tell your customer the call is being recorded.
6. What Else Can I Do
Always ask this question to two people: yourself and your customer. Ask yourself what else can be done to make the experience better. Surely there’s something you can do, even if it’s small. Maybe you can offer a coupon, or upgrade them to a higher status, or provide a link on the internet with additional information. Ask your customer what else you can help them with; there may be another issue or request they need help with. This also gives the impression that you’re in no hurry to get off the phone with them.
BONUS TIP: Ask For Feedback
Customers typically do not volunteer to tell you what's wrong, so you may have to ask. Provide the opportunity for them to offer feedback by having them fill out a survey covering areas such as quality of service, and response time. This will help you identify and address areas that need improvement before it's too late. It also lets the customer know that you care.
You work hard to attract new customers and do not want to have your efforts wasted or lost because of poor customer service. Evaluate your customer service procedures to see if there are areas that could be improved.
If you missed last week's blog, I encourage you read it for 6 additional tips to improve your customer support calls.
A reminder that a great software system to handle support tickets and general Customer Relationship Management (CRM) needs is a must. It can automate processes, send notifications, track support levels, and provide valuable metrics. It's difficult to imagine doing a job without an application.
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