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Outstanding customer support in 8 simple steps

By Rebecca January 18, 2018

Here at Appointedd we really love our customers, and one of the things we’re most proud of is that our support has been called outstanding by those very people. (Thank you!)

So much of giving the best help and support possible in your business comes down to being genuine, thoughtful, and proactive. Here are our best tips for wowing customers with your top quality support.

1. Acknowledge the customer

When you’re looking for an answer, it’s frustrating to feel like you’re shouting into an apathetic abyss. So before you even begin to address the issue, respond to the call for help. This is as simple as thanking the customer for getting in touch, and reassuring them that you’re working on it. Much stress can be relieved simply by knowing that something is being done.

2. Be a human

There’s a reason people prefer talking to an actual human over that ‘Press 1 for…’ voice. Humans have ears and can understand that a problem may not fall neatly into category 1 or 2. So when a customer needs support, use that uniquely human ability to its full capacity by not just doling out standard advice with stock phrases, but actually responding to the questions being asked and acknowledging the details of the individual problem. Also, connect on a human level by using the customer’s name and being your own genuine self. It’s obvious when someone is just going through the motions.

3. Understand the question

The crux of giving truly helpful support is understanding the problem, not merely making noises that give the impression you understand. To do this, start by restating the question and ensuring you have all the details correct. This helps you to clarify what you need to address, and also reassures the customer that you have been listening. Then be methodical in gathering any further pieces of information that will inform your evaluation of the problem.

4. Prioritise their questions

When you’re approached with a query, always give an answer to the best of your ability before you ask any follow up questions. It may be that to really get to the bottom of the issue you need to delve further, or it could be that you want to know more in order to offer them another solution, but responding to a question with a question doesn’t inspire the sense of confidence and action that you want to give straight away. Give before taking, and keep things moving forward.

5. Use positive language

If the customer is contacting support, they could be using a lot of negative language. Counteract this by being positive in everything you say. Instead of saying “we can’t do [impossible thing]” say “we have these (amazing! fantastic!) alternative options.” Be upbeat about the imminent and inevitable resolution of the issue, rather than dwelling on the issue itself.

6. Explain things in multiple ways

Restate your explanations in a number of ways to make sure the customer is understanding the solution accurately. Give examples if possible, to really make the solution clear. Remember that the lingo and terminology you use to describe things within your team may not make sense to an outsider.

7. It’s never their fault (even when it is)

User error happens, and if something hasn’t made sense to them you can apologise that it’s confusing.  Crucially, the problem is never “you just did it wrong” – explain how to make it right and ask for input on how to make the process better. This may be really valuable feedback that you can take forward to improve your service.

8. Finish by inviting more questions

Conclude by offering them the opportunity to ask about anything else they might need, perhaps queries that would not be considered important enough to warrant a call or message in themselves. If you can answer more than one question in one go then all the better, and you can leave your customer feeling happy and confident.

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