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Your customer support department may have been established. You may have the staff dutifully answering each call. You may be present. You may have a script for your staff to follow. But none of that means you’re actually providing GOOD service, and it’s certainly not a given you have a customer support team with an excellent track record. Ensuring your customer support stands head and shoulders above the rest should be your ultimate goal. It’s amazing what customer care can do for a business. One excellent response can create a customer for life, or until they have their impressions proven wrong.
It’s not simply enough to have a customer service department. You must make it great. You can make it great. But how? Luckily for you, the advice is here:
First of all, you’ll need to ensure your company has a support management system in place. Simply opening up your landline telephone number to the public can be quite an overwhelming burden if you’re slowly growing in size. You will need a method of sorting phone calls, ideally from the use of virtual headquarters. A little tinkering, and you’ll not only be able to manage calls and place them on hold professionally, but help them find the department they need. This means you can then train your specialist staff for each department, perhaps even one or two staff attending phone calls per department in the early days. Sorting calls not only allows for a more appropriate reaching of your staff, but can be utilized as an FAQ for staff members.
Consider how banks do it. When calling a bank, after passing security you will often be greeted with many options. Before putting you through to an advisor, the automated system will often remind you of your bank balance, perhaps any outstanding issues on your accounts, or will direct you to further resources that could help them before an agent is brought into play. Utilized in your business, you may find that sorting calls allows you to reduce that flow of intense support request, which allows your staff to give longer, more personalized calls for those who truly need the help.
Ensuring customers are afforded multiple means of contact can also help them find someone to talk to more appropriately, should they need it. A live chat agent could be utilized by someone who needs a response, but has a problem with less immediacy than a phone call often deals with. Email options allows a no-pressure return of aid on a timeline less expectant of you. And of course, your phone options could be for the problems that truly cannot wait. Offering all three of these options for support queries can help you sort issues raised by a matter of immediacy, helping you develop a more capable prioritization of your duties in the customer care field.
Allowing your staff leeway to develop a more creative solution to an issue can help the most amount of problems become solved. It’s often incredibly infuriating for a customer to be sent from support department to support department, trying to explain their issue again and again, almost without end. This can happen in some businesses, especially if the support specialist isn’t given the tools to see the issue in the first place. This is why indexed and history-generating customer accounts can be a great boon, not only for security but to help you support specialist absorb the full scope of an issue before enacting a solution.
While allowing your staff complete free reign over the issue can mean wild conjecture and a customer being told separate things by separate people, if reigned in with a guideline and set of protocols to follow, a staff member should feel able to apply multiple methods at their discretion. For example, if an issue cannot be resolved, refunding, opening a new customer account and perhaps applying a promotion for them can help you retain a customer instead of hitting a dead wall, and sometimes that’s the most salvageable option for the business.
Relationships & Off-Script
Just like giving staff the authority to make decisions, also allowing them to form a mini-relationship with each phone call via the use of appropriate joking (if led by the caller,) and to add a little levity and caring to the conversation through staff training could help the customer experience vastly improve. No one enjoys time spent calling businesses for a support issue. With this allowance, the artificial exchange becomes a little more tolerable on both sides.
With these simple tips, your customer service support is sure to be head and shoulders above the rest in your industry.