Customer Support is a thankless area of industry to work for a living. You’ve simply got to be giving nothing short of your best at every interaction. It is not for nothing that the phrase exists a satisfied customer and a fallen star are very rare to find, almost nonexistent. At the forefront of the firing line facing the major amount of the pressure of this demanding industry are the customer support representatives who face the brunt of the customer’s wrath and ire. Whatever might be the issue, handling an unhappy consumer is no way to start the day and if the entire schedule consists of handling consumers most of whom are unhappy for some reason or the other, they let their displeasure be known at the first opportunity they get. And the opportunity is usually at the first level of interaction with the brand end. Customer support is an extremely challenging job role which doesn’t have the respite for an off day.
You could have the best days of your life as a customer support executive in the past, but one day you tend to slip up and no customer is willing to take that considerately. When the deliverables of the business are quantified based on the customer support it becomes very important to ensure results are exceeding expectations and nothing less.
In the event results are below expectation and the measurable aspects of the support service being offered is not really of acceptable standard, it affects productivity and if productivity falls below the set targets, it affects the worth of the business and the revenue generated. In short a declining performance of customer support directly affects productivity and revenue generated which if continued pushes the business towards a loss making venture. In order to run a customer support business, run as an office of profit here are few quick pointers to follow and keep in mind.
1.Open up more channels for customer feedback – In order to serve your customers better and convince them of your sincere effort to be present for them when and where they need the brand, make your brand visible on larger canvas. Increase the number of outlets through which customers can reach the brand. The more the presence of the brand over a large ranges of mediums the larger the scope for audience interaction and also a great way to increase and spread the brand footprint. Segregate your support executives on the basis of different mediums they can be assigned to for better efficiency and increased productivity and most important better service for the customer. Last but not the least although email and electronic media have brought the end user and brands closer what with mobile device literally allowing the scope for them to communicate on the go, nothing beats the charm and lasting impression created on a customer by a hand written note for acknowledgment and thanking them for the business. That is one customer and their business definitely won for life.
2.Slow & Steady Wins the Race – Slow and steady has been the key to assured success since time immemorial. Follow this as a rule and imbibe this as a habit and ensure the entire customer support team across hierarchy adopts this as their motto at work. Do not rush into anything whatever it might entail from making decisions to offering solutions. Haste is the work of the devil and it has never been truer than in the customer support industry. Do not expect overnight results and aim for short term milestones. Adopt your attitude towards customer service with sincerity and perseverance and it is bound to reap rich rewards in the future. The fruits of patience and labour are always sweet and rewarding. So do not quit with your hard work and labour if it doesn’t reap rewards immediately. Continue till it earns you gratification.
3.Hire for customer service greatness – Customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal that all hierarchies of the workplace from the representative and agents to senior management should aim for. A happy customer is a returning customer and returning customer is worth his business to the company. The training module for new inductees should also include the same objective to be handed down to agents before they get on the job. They should be equipped enough to use the customer support software and have knowledge on other technical aspects. It is only when we pursue all activities at workplace with an initiative to achieve the ultimate of customer satisfaction that we can deliver perfection repeatedly.
4.Empower employees to resolve issues – Equip employees with different tools and access to knowledge base to empower them with the means to find an answer to satisfy the consumer. Like a battlefield, train the employees for the war and arm them with the best of weapons and expect nothing short of victory. Not all theory lessons can prepare an individual for the real deal. It is only when they confront the problems in reality and attempt to provide a resolution for the same by referencing and accessing the information from knowledge base content and other tools made available to find the solution that they can gather experience and build confidence and conviction to resolve any problem that comes their way and send the customer back happy and satisfied.
5.Provide a rich learning environment for your team – Create an environment conducive for learning and progress. An environment replete with training material and discussions and activities aimed towards achieving a singular purpose of customer satisfaction is bound to result in improved productivity. Interact with the team frequently and conduct impromptu training and assessment sessions for conveying latest changes and updates in the industry and process. Create an atmosphere for exchanging information regarding process and answering doubts and queries on a regular basis. An environment rich in educative and training material and inspiration and motivation for achieving the larger objectives is always a constructive atmosphere for encouraging growth and development of positive attributes. Inculcating such habits at work is bound to produce productive assets out of employees.
6.Practice active listening with customers – Train your agents to inculcate the habit of actively listening. Listening to customers and their problems at a stretch without disturbing or interrupting in between can play a great role in calming stressed situations and customers. Instead of telling customers what they need, uphold and preach the practice of listening to customers and catering to what they want. This gives customers a sense of priority with the brand and that their problems matter to the brand. Developing listening skills is a major problem solving attribute that is desired in every customer support representative.
7.Underpin your customer service strategy with data – Always reflect your point in the light of facts and statistics and figures. Any point that is presented based on the support of facts and figures cannot be contested for authenticity and is the best way to prove a point. Data is a valuable reflection of user behavior and consumer pattern including their likes and interests. One can devise a modified customer strategy based on facts presented in the light of latest and upgraded data made available.