The most successful businesses in the world are those that completely satisfy their customers. Think about the feelings you get when you open an Apple product for the first time. Or when you score a crazy deal at Costco. Pretty great, right?
Both of these companies have mastered the art of customer satisfaction. And while your brand probably doesn’t have the spending power of Apple and Costco—very few companies do—it does have a secret weapon: it’s customer support team.
With that in mind, here are 10 customer support tips you can use to better satisfy your customers and improve your business. Let’s have a look!
Improve Your Company With These 10 Customer Support Tips
Ready to supercharge your company’s customer support team? These 10 customer support tips will help your reps become more productive and deliver unparalleled service.
1. Invest in the Right Tools
It’s hard to provide rockstar customer support without proper tools. So before you do anything else, invest in top software solutions like Help Scout, Olark, and Zight (formerly CloudApp).
Help Scout is an all-in-one customer service platform that helps companies keep their customers happy. It features shared inboxes, a knowledge base creation tool, detailed customer information storage, and in-depth analytics reporting. It also integrates with a ton of other popular tools, including Zight (formerly CloudApp) (mentioned below).
If you’re looking for the foundation of your customer support technology stack, you can’t go wrong with Help Scout, which is why it’s used by more than 12,000 brands in 140 countries.
Start your free 15-day trial of Help Scout to experience the tool for yourself. If you enjoy using it, prices start at $20 a month, per user, when paid on an annual basis.
For example, one of Olark’s best features is its searchable transcripts tech, which enables support reps to comb through past chats with customers, identify common issues, and create a database to hold them. Doing so helps minimize future problems.
Olark also allows reps to customize their chat boxes to match company branding, includes automation features to speed up workflows, and has a detailed analytics dashboard.
Take advantage of Olark’s free trial. If you like what they have to offer, expect to pay $19+ a month for extended access to all of the app’s features.
Zight (formerly CloudApp)
When it comes to quick, effective communication that delights customers, Zight (formerly CloudApp) is your best option. Our industry-leading tool brings screen and webcam recording capabilities, as well as easy-to-use GIF creation and image annotation features, to the cloud.
The result? Better customer experiences and greater support rep productivity.
With Zight (formerly CloudApp), your support team can quickly respond to customer queries with videos rather than long-winded emails. In most cases, videos are easier to create and understand. Which means Zight (formerly CloudApp) boosts customer and employee satisfaction simultaneously.
Our solution can also be used to capture screenshots and annotate them with required information. This allows customers to physically see what support reps are telling them and ensures that issues are resolved quickly and painlessly.
The best part is, Zight (formerly CloudApp) won’t cost you anything to use. Sign up for our free forever plan to see if the tool is right for your customer support team. If you ever decide you want access to premium features, you can always upgrade to the Team plan for just $8 a month, per user.
2. Use Multiple Channels
Modern consumers like to do things their own way, which means omni-channel support is essential. That way customers can contact you in the way they prefer: email, phone, live chat, social media, etc. Are your support reps reachable on multiple channels?
Now, your company might not be able to provide 24/7 access to all (or any) of these communication channels. If this is the case, make sure your staffed hours for each channel are listed on your website so customers know when to contact your company.
3. Always Speak Positively
Positivity may be the difference between a happy customer who has a wonderful experience with your support staff, and an angry one that writes bad reviews of your company online. The funny thing is, the difference between positive and negative language is often subtle.
Consider the following two responses:
- Negative: I’m sorry, sir, I can’t complete your request at this time. Our system is down.
- Positive: We’ll get that taken care of for you ASAP, ma’am. Our system is down at the moment, but I’ve put in a special request for you so your issue is resolved soon.
Both responses say the same thing: sorry, we can’t help you right now, you’ll have to wait. But the language in the second response frames the conversation in a positive way, which will lead to a better customer experience more often than not.
4. Practice Emotional Intelligence
The best customer support reps are empathetic. In fact, without empathy, it’s incredibly difficult to deliver top-level customer experiences, which is why your reps need to practice emotional intelligence on a regular basis to improve their skills.
To make sure we’re on the same page, emotional intelligence is the ability to understand another person’s feelings and respond to them in an appropriate way.
Imagine you’re on a call with an irate customer who happens to be shouting at you because they can’t get your company’s product to work. You might be tempted to shout back. After all, it’s not your fault the product isn’t performing as expected.
But a rep with high emotional intelligence will respond differently. They’ll put themselves in the customers shoes and understand what’s causing the outrage. They’ll then validate the customers emotions and speak in a way that de-escalates the situation.
5. Close Conversations Correctly
The way your support team closes conversations with customers is important.
Think about why customers contact your department in the first place. It’s because they have a problem and they don’t know how to fix it. So your reps really only have one job—help customers to the best of their ability.
With this in mind, every interaction your reps have with customers should end with, “Is there anything else I can do for you? I’m happy to help!” Only when the customer responds with “I’m all set!” should your reps terminate the conversation.
Closing conversations this way proves to the customer that your company cares about them and is willing to do whatever it takes to make them happy.
6. Make Use of Data
There’s no need to guess which issues your customers encounter most frequently and how long it takes your team to resolve them. Simply look at the data in your customer support tool.
This information is invaluable! For instance, it can tell you a lot about the proper response to specific problems. Are your reps handling common issues in a timely manner? And is their approach to said problems producing favorable customer experiences?
If the answer is yes, make sure all of your reps handle these problems in similar ways. If the answer is no, think of new strategies that increase rep productivity and customer satisfaction.
7. Use Proven Templates
Your support team’s ultimate goal is customer happiness. But if you can’t achieve it in a productive and profitable way, you still lose. Because of this, proven templates are a godsend.
Why type out email responses to common customer questions when you can save replies in software like Help Scout and send them with the click of a button? The same goes for any kind of text-based communication, including live chat and text messages.
Templates can help during live calls, too. Give your reps workflows to follow for frequent issues. That way they can walk customers through their problems in the most efficient ways possible, every time. This will save your team a lot of man hours.
Of course, it does take time to create templates. You have to comb through data to find common complaints, type out responses, etc. But once you complete these tasks, your support team’s productivity levels will skyrocket.
8. Offer Self-Service Options
Speaking of rep productivity, the most efficient way for your team to resolve issues is to stay out of them entirely. Here’s what we mean: develop self-service options so that customers can fix minor problems themselves, freeing your team to focus on more in-depth issues.
The other benefit to self-service is that customers have access to support, even after company hours, when your reps are no longer on the clock.
Like with templates, it will take time to create your company’s knowledge base to power its self-service options. But the effort will be more than worth it—guaranteed! Help Scout’s knowledge base feature can help you, though there are other solutions available, too.
9. Follow Up With Customers
Following-up after a customer support interaction is a vastly underappreciated and underused strategy, which is a shame because it’s so easy to do.
A simple email or video message that says something like, “Hey, thanks for contacting our support team last week! How was your experience? Is there anything else we can help you with?” will go a long way toward improving customer relations and inspiring loyalty.
These types of messages can even be automated so that they don’t take up any of your reps’ time or brainspace. (Just make sure the communications still feel personal!)
10. Collect Customer Feedback
Last, but certainly not least, collect customer feedback.
Feedback is one of your company’s most valuable assets. It will tell you about your target audience and whether your business is engaging them the right way. With this information, you can improve your approach to support and boost customer satisfaction.
But don’t just wait for customer feedback, actively ask for it. For example, you could send surveys after handling customer’s concerns. Or post a social media poll asking your followers what they enjoy most about engaging with your support team.
The occasional net promoter score (NPS) survey wouldn’t hurt either and will tell you how likely your company’s customers are to recommend your brand to others.
But here’s the thing: if you collect customer feedback, make sure you take the time to analyze it. Then implement what you learn. If you don’t, you’re not only missing a huge opportunity, but disrespecting your company’s patrons, which is never a good idea.
The customer support tips above will help you and your team create better customer experiences and ensure their satisfaction. But you have to, you know, actually implement them if you want them to work. So now it’s your turn…
Invest in a few customer support tools. Encourage your reps to practice emotional intelligence. Offer self-service options—whichever tips work for your company.
Just a quick reminder: Zight (formerly CloudApp) is a top customer support tool. With it, you’ll be able to communicate with your audience quicker and more effectively. Download Zight (formerly CloudApp) today for free to start using it. We’re confident you’ll be glad you did!
Learn to provide better customer support today.