7 Customer Support Tips and Tricks to Grow Your BusinessMay 22, 2018
There have been umpteen occasions when we have sought specific advice on a given scenario or subject matter and in response been inundated with a flood of generic advice which was not unknown previously, still not shedding any light on how to tackle issues in that area of operation or in a specific quarter of life.
When working in Customer Support, many an ambitious executive have been given generic advice when they have specifically sought expert advice on their particular situation. And all the advice they managed to receive is generic suggestions which they and almost everyone else is already following and abiding by.
New information and knowledge is especially elusive when it is critical to one’s growth in the professional front. This article strives to address the same for young professionals in customer support, build better customer relationships and grow the business.
1. Upsell & Cross Sell
A customer calls to a customer support direct line because there is an issue they require clarification or need to raise concern for. Hence even if sales are a criteria for your job role, it is advisable to not start rattling away with a sales pitch thereby completely ignoring the customer’s concern. Not only is that a classic example of how to not approach customer support but also a guaranteed method of making the customer irritate. So not only have you not addressed the issue but you are now dealing with an irate customer who is willingly being irrational.
However if you have the patience to listen out the customer and resolve his query or provide them an appropriate response, you can create scope for building a rapport with them and captivating their attention. When the customer is happy, they will listen to you and now is the right time to provide a sales pitch. Capitalize on the problem area the customer has called for and create scope for a product or service that can be of need to the customer. Now that you have their attention, educate and inform the customer on the need for a specific service or upgrade through conversation. Only when the customer is happy and feels that his benefit is being addressed, he will comply with your request and a sale will follow.
The secret to converting a routine grievance redressal into a sales call is identifying the opportunity and pitching for it. If you are customer support for an ISP, a customer calling to report their faulty connection requires you to troubleshoot their existing Internet ecosystem within their residence. If you are able to resolve the issue, you might identify the opportunity to be right to pitch for a plan upgrade for a free Wi-Fi router as opposed to the present wired connection. The customer retires happy with a swift resolution and you are happy for having made an improbable sale.
2. Skip the FAQ
If every customer could have their grievances addressed from the FAQ section or the Knowledge Base Hub or from any automated or stagnant source without requiring the intervention of a human element, then it would make the job role of a Customer Support Executive absolutely redundant. In an ideal world there are no problems, but since we do not live in an ideal world and there is an occasional fault in every system, it is only rendered effective due to a human intervention.So do not redirect the customer from one portal to another or one department to another, as it not only adds to the frustrations of the troubled customer but also does not provide a solution to the existing issue. Customer support software with a Knowledge Base can reduce human intervention and help the customer support representative concentrate on important tasks.
Take ownership of all issues that come up to you and let the customer know that even though resolving the problem is beyond limits of your authority or jurisdiction, you still will go an extra mile to help the customer. This way not only do you have a chance and opportunity to win the complete confidence and trust of the customer but also ensure that the customer listens and values your opinion and whatever steps you ask him to follow. This way you are addressing the cause and not the issue, ensuring a complete standstill on complaints regarding the same issue from other customers.
3. Send a Handwritten note
Although emails are the norm of the day for professional communications, a manual effort always adds the touch of a human element behind the screen and adds a sense of emotion to it. So instead of an acknowledgement email or in addition to the same, send the customer a hand written note of apology or acknowledgment and witness the magnitude of difference it makes. Both the customer and the support executive are aware they are the entails of a professional environment but when you add personal touches to a responsibility you have been given to assume, it adds a touch of care and a sincere feeling of belongingness in an extended family. The company is reflected in good light and this small touch of personalisation goes a long way in customer retention and winning the customer’s loyalty.
4. Reduce Customer Effort
Customer Support starts essentially when end user gets through to customer care executive and the customer’s efforts towards the resolution of an issue ends as soon they are able to get through to a support representative on a call. As soon as a customer gets through, the concerned representative should assume responsibility of being an expert who is dedicated to resolving any problem in their sphere of operation and relieve the customer of their troubles. Make it a habit while working in customer support to ensure customer needs to put as little effort or input as possible while all his work is done by the support representative while he is on call.
This puts a great impression on the customer and making a sales pitch becomes more opportune as he is happy the way his case has been handled and is willing to divert his attention further. If convinced of the need of the upgrade or service enhancement, the same customer is more likely to make a purchase on the call itself, making the support executive’s job simpler and easier.
Avoid making the customer go through various rounds of multiple call transfers and filling out forms and click on links or check their device by themselves. Offer to send a technician for the slightest instances of troubleshooting of hardware required, so that customer does not require bothering themselves with any amount of effort for restoring their service without fault. In such cases, a ticketing system can be beneficial.
5. Reciprocity for Client Retention
One good deed deserves another is how the old adage goes. Try and reward a customer with a freebie or small token of goodwill for every small little co-operation shown from the customer end. These gestures improve customer relationships and go a long way in customer retention and instilling customer loyalty towards brand.
When a customer is made to feel special they are always willing to shower compliments and positive feedback. However this piece of advice works in both ways. If a certain customer is being rude relentlessly despite constant warnings to refrain, do not repay them in the same coin. Instead avoid going an extra mile or making them feel special. Stick to the guidelines of the job role and let them know that their incessant rudeness is not helping you do your job.
6. Identify the Cause and Not the Issue
As discussed earlier, try and identify the root cause origin of any issue and nip it at the bud instead of acting upon the complaint itself. This way you can negate out repeated complaints for the same recurring issue and clear the congestion so that consumers calling from the affected area in the line. Be proactively aware of any major service outages or notice for repair on lines or any fault at the start of the day so that any consumers calling from the affected areas can have a speedy response without needing to wait.
7. Pander to Your Clients Desires
Feel your customer’s pulse. Understand their dilemma without them needing to say it explicitly. Put your empathy hat on and show the best of your skills in empathy and offer then assistance beyond the obvious. If a customer goes onto explain how the lack of Internet services is really disrupting their life, apart from resolving their intermittent connectivity issues, also try and offer them a compensation for the delay caused in connectivity due to intermittent connection. Offer top ups and compliments as and when possible without customers explicitly needing to request for the same.