Customer service agents are the unknown heroes of every company. Vigilantes from the shadows who silently do their daily job of saving the company from angry, frustrated, and disappointed customers.
We’ve all seen the movies about superheroes with their incredible powers that help them fight the bad guys. Unfortunately, customer service agents do not have superpowers, but luckily they don’t have to fight the bad guy who wants to destroy the world.
Still, it would be nice if we could somehow hone their abilities and supercharge their skills to excel at customer support. We know a way to do that, six ways, to be exact, and we’ve decided to share them with you.
Here is the list of 6 tips that will help you improve your customer support.
1. Impress on the 1st impression
The way we respond to a customer when they contact us might be the first (or the only) impression they will have of our brand and the whole company behind it.
The first impression usually lasts longer, if it’s bad, they will probably have a similar opinion about the whole company. Remember this and think about it often.
What impression do you want to leave? How do you want to be perceived as a company? You may prefer a good-old professional and polite way, or you may choose to be that witty, fun company that accepted a different culture and sticks with it.
Either way, you probably (at least you should) know who is your target audience, what do they prefer and go for a way that’s suitable. Once you decide that, stick with it and always think about what image your brand and company will send out to the world.
Sometimes it’s adding a “sir” at the end of the sentence or including a hilarious gif to your response that sets the tone of the conversation.
2. Set expectations
Our heroes do fight on the front lines and are those who receive the first hit from a frustrated customer, but they have their limitations too. Make sure your customer is aware of that. Set some boundaries and let the customer know what is beyond the agents’ powers.
There are a few ways to do that:
- Let them know they might need to wait a little longer until you get an insight and a deeper understanding of their problem. That way they will know you’re there and working on their issue and not just ignoring them.
- Make sure they understand why some steps are necessary and that all you do is with an end-goal to solve their problem. Even though you want to make the experience as smooth as possible, sometimes you might have to walk them through some tricky steps to take care of the problem.
- Update them on the progress. Don’t leave your customers in the dark, staring at the blank chat screen without any reply will make them feel forgotten or ignored.
3. Accuracy over speed
Yes, speed is important, but accuracy is always a priority. The wrong answer will make them call you again or get even more frustrated when their problem still did not go away, so make sure you always double check all the facts before sending a reply.
In the end, it will take more time than both sides wanted and you already know that’s not a good scenario.
4. Focus on the fundamentals
Have all the tools and resources you might need. If you often struggle to respond to a customer, follow the flow of the conversation, and switching tabs makes you confused, you might need an extra monitor. See if that’s possible.
Agents may need an additional software or a printed guide handy. Be prepared.
5. Learn from mistakes
Support agents have dozens or even hundreds of interactions every week. All those conversations are a possible lesson if you look back and see when, where, and how could you improve your work. When you notice an area where you or some of the agents could improve, see if the company can organize an additional training, or just ask the most experienced agent in the company to help you.
6. Ask questions, listen to the answers, and keep track of your work
Pay attention to what kind of questions you ask agents, customers or other colleagues. The right question is more likely to lead to the right answer. Keep track of all the answers you get and use them as a guide every time a similar issue shows up. You’ll be the hero in your office with all those information at one place, and it might be a crucial contribution to the knowledge base.