Whether you’re self-employed or run a big corporation, customer support and service can’t be understated. By offering tech support through help-desk software or on social media platforms, you are building relationships with your customers.
Those relationships can lead to trust and hopefully a boost to sales.
The cost of setting up a high-quality support team and online platform to ensure customer-service concerns can be answered quickly and easily is always a worthwhile investment. When you decide to make that investment, consider a user-friendly point-of-sale system, such as QuickBooks Point-of-Sale, to make returns, credits, discounts and overall customer service more seamless. The easier the process, the happier your customers will be.
When providing reliable support, remember these four important factors.
1. Be Mindful of Your Customers’ Emotions
When customers contact your business for support, their emotions are already running high. They may be upset because your product isn’t working for them. Even worse, there may be an incorrect charge on their credit card, which could be messing up their finances.
By being mindful of your customers’ emotions and expectations, your employees can better understand how to handle their issues with empathy and positivity. The most important thing customers are looking for is someone who recognizes their issues, understands their distress and is immediately looking for ways to solve their problems.
Simply put, customers just want to be heard, understood and respected.
2. Provide Consistent Availability and Options
Because customers are usually frustrated, confused or even angry when looking for support, it’s crucial to simply be available. Some companies offer 24/7 support via phone, chat or email. If that isn’t possible, let customers know what times of day you handle support requests and how long it usually takes for a response. This way, they know what to expect.
Customers like options when it comes to finding support. Some may prefer chat because it allows them to do it at work or in a noisy office; others might just like to make the 15-minute phone call on a day off. Make sure you have the best channels set up so customers can reach you in ways that are convenient for them.
3. Be Where Users Are
Similar to availability and options is “location,” such as a social media platform. The idea is to offer support where customers are looking for it. For some organizations, their customer base may prefer to ask for help on Twitter or Facebook rather than calling a service line.
Instead of refusing to embrace social media because the traditional channels are already set up, create a social media customer service workflow to ensure your employees are handling requests on those platforms as well.
Customers looking for support on social media aren’t any less upset or important as someone who is calling or sending an email. Social media just happens to be a more convenient or comfortable medium for some.
In addition, support on social media can lead to benefits beyond just happy customers. It can lead to loyal customers, greater online exposure and even media coverage when a business hits it out of the park.
For more tips on how to get the most out of your social media presence, see this article.
4. Overall Experience Makes an Impact
Even if you have stellar help-desk software or an easy return process, your customer support won’t be effective if staff aren’t friendly and empathetic. With that in mind, train employees to be upbeat and happy to help.
Being friendly and empathetic makes interactions with customers more positive. Consistently great service is just as important as timeliness and overall outcome, as it all feeds into the total experience.
By offering an immediate solution to customers’ problems, you are creating a long-term memory for them that will reflect their entire perception of the company. This can affect whether they recommend your company or buy from you in the future.
For more tips on providing excellent customer service, check out our article on the best practices for customer relationship management.