When we speak about customer support, we tend to think about people with headphones who are speaking with customers who have problems with certain products. They provide solutions and explanations to the questions that clients have. It may seem as a simple job, but the truth is that it involves more than just answering to people’s questions.
Customer support employees need not only to know about the product they are asked about, but also to know the client they are talking with. Whether they are speaking via phone, chatting or writing emails, they need to empathize with the people they are interacting with. The problems that clients are dealing with is important to them and this is an aspect that all customer support people need to understand. Being able to empathize with others can not only help, but it can also create a pleasant experience for them.
Furthermore, businesses need to understand that customer support teams are formed of individuals. One person can approach a situation completely different compared to another person. For this reason, it is essential that companies focus on creating a unified team. Employees need to understand the business values of the company in order for them to know how they should approach a problem or how to deal with angry clients.
Successful customer support teams have some characteristics in common. Here are a few skills you need to work on and tips you can follow in order to obtain great results.
This is one of the most important skills customer support team members need to have. When dealing with clients that have many questions or require a solution for a complex problem, it is essential to show them that you care about their problem. Moreover, if you are a patient person, you can focus on finding the most appropriate solution.
Good listening skills can help you provide a great experience to clients and it can also bring benefits to the company. Let’s take these two elements one at a time. First of all, if you listen carefully, you can properly identify the problem and give a great solution.
Secondly, good listening means that you are attentive to the feedback people give to you about different products and services. In this way, you can provide valuable insights to your company about the needs of the people and what you can improve to your products and services.
After you have identified the problem and its solution, you get to the part where you have to deliver the message. You need to clearly communicate the solution in order for the receiver to understand. Do not say things you are not sure of. If people ask you questions that are not in your area of expertise, direct them to a person who can help them.
It is important to have information about the products and services your are providing support for. This does not mean that you need to know all the little details by heart, but you should be able to speak about its advantages, disadvantages, weak points and functionalities. It can make people feel that they are asking the right person for help.
There can be situations when you will have to give answers that people may not be completely satisfied with. You need to show them that there is a solution and the problem can be solved.
Let’s look at the following example.
“The product you are asking about will not be available for the next 3 weeks. It is out of stock.”
“The product you are asking about will be available in 3 weeks. We can notify you or we can order it for you right now.”
When you are working with a large number of people, you start to identify different types of customers and that each category of people requires a certain approach. For instance, people who are very angry with the problem require patience, close listening and empathy. It is important to identify your customers because, in this way, they will feel that you understand their problem completely.
Although it may not seem an important skill a customer support team member should have, persuasion can play a great role. This does not necessarily refer to having sales skills, but about speaking to potential customers about the benefits of your products and services and why they are appropriate for their needs.
This aspect refers to customer support teams using the appropriate tools and channels to communicate with their customers. Some people may prefer to call, while others may want to write long and detailed emails. You can offer people multiple options and see which one is the most used and the most efficient.
Furthermore, the tools you are using need to handle periods with high requests. There may be times when you may not be contacted by many people. However, when you launch a new product, you should expect people contacting you and asking you different questions. Choose a customer support software that can fulfill all your business needs.
Each person has a different way of asking for an answer to a problem. Customer support teams should adapt to each person. You are in a conversation with that person. Psychology says that when two people, who do not know each other very well, are having a conversation, they tend to imitate each other in gestures and language. This makes each of them more comfortable with the situation and helps them have a pleasant talk.
Although you do not have to use the same of words as your customers do, try using similar ones and maintain the same tone of speaking.
Customers can be contacting you to complain about the problems they are having. Although you will listen to them and identify their problem, you need to always focus on finding a solution. People appreciate those who listen to them, but what they really need is a solution for their issues.
You may be tempted to provide people the answer to their problem very quickly. Indeed, time is an important aspect and some people may need to find a solution as soon as they can.
However, you should not hurry and provide an answer without checking that you clearly understood the problem and if you are sure that your answer is the right one. People do not like when they receive solutions that do not help them solve their problem.
How you close a conversation can have a great impact on the people you are speaking with. The way you end it can determine if they had a pleasant or unpleasant experience. “Do you have any other question?” or ” Is there anything I can help you with?” are two questions you can use to bring your conversation to an end. It can give customers the impression that you are determined to help them with everything they need and that you care about their problem.
What other elements would you add to these customer support lists?