You might have a great product, but if your customer support is unreliable, unhelpful, or hard to contact, customers will hear about it, and you’ll lose business over it.
That’s one reason why investing in customer support is crucial to long-term business success.
However, what does it mean to offer excellent customer support? How can your customer support managers and employees ensure that every consumer has a fantastic experience with your business when they reach out for help? We’ve identified 6 key strategies that can help even beginner customer support employees and managers put your customer support at the top of the game in your industry.
What Is Customer Support?
Customer Support involves a set of practices that seek to help consumers who need special help. For example, customers may have questions about your company or product or might be experiencing issues with your product or service.
81% of consumers often attempt to resolve issues by themselves before contacting live customer support representatives. However, when they can’t resolve the problem, you must ensure that you offer them resources that can help them.
Customer support can occur through multiple channels, including over the phone, in-person, live chat, or email. After all, the aim is to help consumers whenever they need help.
Customer Support Vs. Customer Success
Customer support often gets mixed up with other terms, such as customer success and customer service. Both customer support and customer success share similar goals and skill sets; however, they execute different approaches.
Customer support managers and employees resolve product-related matters and educate customers about how specific products work. In addition, they work together with other operational teams, including engineering and product development teams, to improve existing product features while collecting customer feedback for upcoming product releases.
On the other hand, customer success teams work proactively with customers to understand their goals, challenges, and needs and help them achieve success with your product, ultimately increasing customer retention and reducing churn rate.
Thus, customer support teams focus on problem resolution and avoidance, whereas customer success managers and employees strive to achieve desired company outcomes as the customer journey progresses.
Customer service, by contrast, refers to a set of procedures and practices that aim to provide better interactions between a company and its customers.
6 Tips For Beginning Customer Support Employees/Managers:
Excellent customer support involves meeting client expectations daily. Meeting consumers’ expectations pays off because reports show that 75% of consumers are ready to spend more on brands that offer excellent customer support experience. Here are six best customer support tips for beginner customer support employees and managers deliver excellent customer support consistently.
1. Keep Response Times Low
73% of consumers believe that valuing their time is the most crucial thing in any customer experience. Resolving customer complaints and questions as quickly as possible is the foundation of excellent customer support. Speed is crucial—especially for smaller matters that don’t require a lot of time to resolve.
That being said, great customer support beats speed every time.
Consumers understand that more complicated queries take time to solve. There’s a significant difference between the time you take to respond to customer queries and the speed at which you resolve their issues. Customers don’t want to spend hours in a ticket queue, but they’re ready to spend as much time as it takes to solve their problems. Your customer support team should, too.
Customer support managers and employees must get back to customers as quickly as possible, but this doesn’t mean they should be in a rush to close tickets or get customers off the phone without solving their issues completely.
2. Practice Patience And Empathy
Customer support managers and employees must be able to relate to customers to offer a great customer experience. This starts with being patient and empathetic to what customers are going through, which involves putting customers at the heart of everything you do and being motivated to help them—not viewing them as an annoyance to tackle, but as the champions of your company. Patience and empathy are fundamental customer support skills.
Empathy is a key differentiator in a customer support encounter that makes you smile from one that makes you want to tear your hair out. The ability to identify and understand customers’ feelings is a fundamental requirement for developing meaningful and lasting relationships with customers. Thus, it makes sense that you must train your customer support managers and employees to develop this must-have skill to make sure your customers sing praises about your business. These key steps can help your customer support team be patient and empathetic with customers’ struggles:
- Read and listen carefully to customer queries;
- Repeat and confirm what the customer is saying;
- Use meaningful phrases in all interactions with customers;
- Let customers vent; and
- Stay positive and be patient with them.
No matter how frustrating a situation is, customer support managers and employees must steer clear of judgment and they should remember how it feels to be on the other side.
3. Use The Right Tools And Technology
An excellent employee experience and a great customer experience are inextricably linked. So much so that businesses with the most engaged staff enjoy 81% of customer satisfaction, experience more turnover than their competitors, and have a better competitive advantage.
Customer support employees and managers that leverage the right processes and tools do their jobs better. According to Peter Armaly, serious leaders with proactive mindsets should be encouraging customer-facing people to adopt and refine basic logic skills around data analysis. Companies can also eliminate friction from customer support managers and employees as well as customers by:
- Equipping customer support managers and employees with a unified workspace, so that they have customer history at their fingertips and don’t have to switch between different tools to help customers.
- Improving customer support managers and employees’ workflows automatically by routing clients to the representative with the right skills and providing reps with prepared answers, so they can handle customers’ queries quickly.
- Passing on repetitive queries to bots so that customer support reps can focus on the most engaging parts of their job.
4. Use Positive Language And Communicate Clearly With Customers
Research shows that 73% of consumers will stick with a brand after an encounter with a friendly customer support rep, and 86% of consumers are ready to pay up to 25% more for an excellent customer experience. Thus, knowing how to communicate with consumers is crucial in winning their loyalty and trust.
A friendly tone is fundamental in making customers feel at ease, especially when a problem has already cost them time and money. During an interaction with frustrated customers, customer support managers and employees should use positive language that reassures customers that their complaints will be resolved. Statements like, “Is there anything I can help you with?” “I’d be happy to help you,” and, “Let me help you with this,” show your eagerness find a solution.
Customer support managers and employees must avoid any negative phrases. Avoid using language that implies a lack of responsibility and doubt. For example, using phrases, such as “I don’t know about that,” “I’m not sure,” or, “I can’t help you with that,” makes consumers lose confidence in a brand and could be a sign of apathy towards their problems. Rather, when customer support reps need more information or time, they must show an eagerness to find a solution and reassure the client that they’re asking their colleagues for help.
5. Reward Loyal Customers
One of the most effective ways to keep clients coming back is to reward them for their loyalty. Companies and their customer support teams must set up loyalty programs that give loyal customers gifts, discounts, and exclusive offers.
Research shows that 79% of customers in loyalty programs say membership is a fundamental part of their relationships with businesses.
Loyalty programs and rewards work because customers want to feel valued and appreciated. After all, they can choose to do business with any brand they want, and they’ve chosen your business. That’s a big gesture, so your customer support managers and employees must return the favor through gifts, exclusive offers, loyalty programs, and discounts.
6. Go The Extra Mile To Keep Your Customers Happy
Businesses that are obsessed with their customers offer great customer support experiences. These companies and their customer support teams go the extra mile to take customer support to scale by offering customized experiences, high-quality products, and amazing offers.
To provide excellent customer support, customer support managers and their teams must identify customers’ needs and goals and take actions to deliver a seamless experience. Here are proven ways how business and their customer support teams can go the extra mile in keeping their customers happy:
- Focus on providing value to customers. Customer support managers and employees must offer a superior customer experience.
- Identify customers’ needs. When customer support managers and employees focus on learning your customers’ needs, they’ll deliver the type of support customers are looking for.
- Show personal interest. Customers are the heart of any business. Personally dealing with them will help customer support managers and employees offer better customer support experiences.
- Collect and act on customer feedback. Customer support teams shouldn’t just collect customer feedback, but they must implement the feedback to improve your brand.
All the six tips discussed above can help beginner and even advanced customer support managers and employees offer great customer support experiences. The excellent customer support builds customer trust and loyalty—and this earns your brand a reputation of being helpful and a delight to work with.
Consumers want to be treated like real people, not a number in a query queue. To support customer support-driven growth, customer support managers and employees must humanize customers and humanize themselves.
Zight (formerly CloudApp) is a revolutionary customer support tool that can help customer support managers and employees keep response times low. Zight (formerly CloudApp) helps the customer support team as Social Tables close customer tickets 7 minutes faster.