What can we learn from in-person customer support
May 28 2013
Since the SaaS Helpdesk is our flagship product, we thought we could share things we have learned about customer support along the years of supporting our customers. We hope you'll find them useful.
"Customer interaction" is perhaps as old as time. It has been around for as long as people bought products. Traditional customer support - when there were no phones, not to mention email - has come a long way, enough to find out what works and what doesn’t. The truth is, email tech support is no different, apart from the fact that you don't see the person you are talking to. So let’s start learning, shall we?
- Speak like a human, not like a robot. Read the last email you got from tech support. Now try to read it aloud. Sounds ridiculous? Write your support emails like you talk.
- Lighten the mood. Tell jokes and be friendly. You can do that in an email easier than in real life, since you’ve got time to think about your response.
- Look them in the eye. Metaphorically of course. When you enter a store with good customer service - employees turn their heads your way and smile. Don’t make users feel like you have better things to do than to answer their stupid questions.
- Remember them. It feels great when you walk into you favourite restaurant and a waitress remembers your name, doesn’t it? Go through the previous tickets submitted by a customer. Don’t ask the same question again.
- Don’t keep them waiting. People on the Internet don’t have to wait in line to get your help, but still, no one likes to wait five days to get their problem solved. Respond fast.
- Don’t look bad. You probably would not like to talk to a poorly dressed bank operator. In terms of email, it means always check your spelling and grammar.
- Don’t try to get rid of them quickly. You’ve got people in line waiting and you have to deal with every customer as quickly as you can. Everyone understands that. Keep your email responses specific and thoughtful. This does not mean "long".
- Don’t make things complicated. “You need to go to the sixth floor and submit your application there, then go to the second floor to get it approved, after that you need to make a payment in our office on the other side of the city”. Sounds familiar? Provide customers with solutions, don’t forward them to another department.Even if you need help from your teammates - you're still the customer's point of contact.
P.S. This and other awesome things we learnt are available in our free email customer support course.