Customer support: An important part of overall service
Your customer support department is an integral part of the service journey, and it deserves special attention.
Small businesses need to make customer support a priority.
Many companies confuse customer service and support. Your small business should provide your clients with excellent service in every engagement. Sales teams should find them product options that fit their particular needs, field agents should perform jobs efficiently and with a smile, and support employees should be ready to offer them additional help. Support is the process of making sure that service is meeting the client’s need for success.
When customers call or text looking for an answer to a question or a resolution to a concern, your company has to be ready with a solution. Your customer support department is an integral part of the service journey and it deserves special attention.
Happy employees offer better support
People can hear a good attitude over the phone. Business News Daily suggested the easiest way to create friendly customer support agents is to keep your employees happy.
Some small businesses might try to put too much responsibility on their employees’ shoulders. Companies with limited resources get their sales teams to design marketing materials and have service agents answer support calls. If employees perform a task they don’t feel prepared for, it will stress them out.
An employee who performs customer support must have training in empathy and patience. Customer support departments must have the information and resources necessary to answer any questions or concerns. Being fully prepared creates confidence that is communicated to the customer.
Provide multiple channels
You can also ensure the customers begin a support interaction in a good mood by providing them with their preferred channel of communication. A Forrester survey found consumers usually turn to a company’s website for self-service first, but they use social media when they want a quick answer or phone when they wish to have a longer conversation.
If companies can’t find the channel they want to settle concerns, they get even more frustrated. You can improve customer support effectiveness by making sure it starts off on the right foot.
Automate certain customer services
Support agents need time so they don’t rush customers through interactions and can monitor multiple channels for contacts. Anytime a small business needs to free workers to perform specialized task, it can look into software solutions
Financial software for security dealers automates back-office activities like billing. A routine bill delivered by automatic systems is consistent and guards against many common causes of customer complaints. The security billing software delivers warnings on late payments and is easy to adapt to changes so there is less work for employees.
Customer support may deal with many similar issues – even though recurring problems indicate business practices should change – and employees may start to deliver rote answers. Each customer, however, deserves personalized support.
A simple initial strategy is to use the customer’s name as much as possible. Security business software logs can provide even more information. Every time any member of the company engages with a client, he or she should report the details of the interaction in a centralized system. Support agents know when a client received service, when they’ve had problems in the past and what business preferences they have.
A centralized data solution also helps with first call resolution. Customers don’t want to workers to transfer them and they defiantly don’t want to have to call back, they need the solution to their problem delivered by the first person they make contact with. If customer care agents have the client’s complete financial, purchase and service records, they can resolve the issue on their own.
“Customer support agents should ask questions.”
Customer support agents should ask questions. Instead of ending the contact as soon as they resolve the issue, they could inquire if additional support is in the customer’s best interest.
Employees should record the answer to inquiries in the software solution so your entire business profits from the extra effort. You should feel free to let the questions get personal. Employees can ask about family or hobbies so the client feels like the business really cares about their happiness.
Provide proactive support
A complete customer software profile is useful for performing proactive support. Customer care employees don’t have to wait for consumers to come to them; they can provide support based on the client’s history.
Small Business Trends reported that a customer’s buying history may indicate when your small business should send them promotions or coupons. Customer support can also ask if clients would like to receive messages about new products.
If there is a problem with service, you want to contact the client before they have a chance to get upset. Customer support agents can call with solutions already in place.
Audit the system
It’s easy to check on your company’s customer support procedures. Demand Media advised business owners to call their own businesses posing as new clients or having a mystery shopper do it for them.
You can also ask customers to fill out performance surveys or other metrics. Provide them an opportunity to answer questionnaires through email, on social media or in-person so they can use the channel they feel most comfortable with.