Companies invest on customer service support when they realize the worth of customer service to their businesses. In truth, nothing is cheaper than providing quality customer support to customers – effective service not only turns customers into brand advocates, it is also a great marketing tool. It creates an opportunity for your company – even if you can’t out-spend your competitors, you certainly can out-support them.
We gathered ten traits that have been consistently showing up among the best and top tier support departments. Because of these traits, these teams take customer service to a whole new level.
1. They operate as a whole company.
Everyone is involved in customer support. Customer service is not just a department for them; it’s integrated in every aspect of operations in the company. When this happens, the support dynamic is significantly improved. Awareness of system issues, bugs and customer feedback are easily spread throughout the departments and fixes easily come up with and new features rolled out. Hands on deck everyone – that’s how a great team playing should be.
2. Their greatest investment aren’t on solutions but great people.
The best customer service support teams don’t necessarily have the best CRM software or the newest equipment but they always have the best group of people. If you want to invest on delivering quality customer service, invest heavily on team players who can work together and deliver.
Remember, the quality of your customer support will never exceed the quality of the people delivering it. This goes for outbound call center solutions as well.
3. They keep everyone updated.
Customer support team players know how to operate autonomously, but they know how to eliminate confusion by creating unity through clarity. Bugs, fixes and updates are shared with the team, especially best practices that have been discovered individually.
4. They take advantage of automation and are carefully data-driven.
While customer service isn’t so much as an automated service, support still needs to go down and be personal to effectively reach the customer’s level to gain a positive experience, the best teams know how to use data analytics and take advantage of what automation can bring to the table.
Solutions are brought about by careful analysis of data. Improvements are done based on metrics. Quality of operations is streamlined due to good decision-making brought about by a healthy balance of data analytics and gut instinct.
An example would be consistently finding what the call drivers of customers are. Once these have been identified, a new feature can be developed, fixes rolled out or a new e-mail script or call workflow can be implemented to cut down on callers experiencing the same issue. Customers are happy; the agents are happy = mission accomplished.
5. They empower customers.
Great customer support teams do not only provide support; they also educate customers. They know that they will not always be available so they empower customers to help themselves.
Good support teams view self-help as personal in a way. They take great care in drafting how-to’s and guidelines in their support center complete with screenshots, videos and links to support channels. An organized help portal doesn’t take away customer support – it is customer support.
6. They know how to turn complaints into a positive experience – both for the company and the customer.
Good customer support team players know that complaining customers aren’t really frustrated with them; they are frustrated with the situation. They also know the powerful feedback buried within the irate tone and harsh words and give credence to each message.
They stay consistent all throughout the challenge – in tone and in process. Developed by Robert Bacal, the CARP acronym was developed to help customer support agents know how to sequence and time their actions to defuse irate customers’ emotions correctly.
- Control by taking ownership of the situation.
- Acknowledge the issue.
- Refocus the conversation.
- Problem solution.
7. They are masters of effective communication.
What’s effective communication when it comes to providing exceptional quality customer support? Wording makes all the difference. It doesn’t need to involve a mastery of the language – it requires clarity. Getting your message across in a clear manner is as important as solving the customer’s concern.
This is where everything related to communication comes in. They use a clear, warm but authoritative tone. They know how to choose words carefully, making positive statements instead of negative (“I can’t” is said as “Here’s what I can do”).
8. They reach out to the customer’s level.
The most effective customer support team has players that reach out and speak as customers do. This doesn’t involve using slang words or colloquialisms. Instead of using technical jargon and relying on a script, an effective customer support agent knows how to talk with the customers.
Chase Clemons of Basecamp drives the point forward with his article on sending better support e-mails. Customer wants conversations, not “correspondence.” Sure, there are scripts and call flows to be followed but injecting warmth and speaking like how you would normally speak to a person face to face changes the experience altogether.
9. They have the thirst for improvement and master knowledge of the product.
You can easily tell which employees are the best ones to retain by looking for the ones that always work on having a deep knowledge of how your product works and how your company operates. They continually challenge themselves to improve, to master, to adapt, to grow so they can contribute more to the team. This innate drive is something that team players in great support teams have in abundance. They do not fall into the stagnancy trap and find ways to constantly improve and push their boundaries.
10. They are committed to the company and more importantly, in delivering quality customer care.
Customer service positions are notorious for turnover rates. Keeping employees interested and most importantly, committed and passionate about your goals and delivering quality customer service takes time and investment. Building relationships with your agents is essential. Making them happy, goal-focused and quality-driven employees always results in happy, satisfied and loyal customers.
Customer service support should not just be a means to an end – it should be a dynamic aspect in your entire business. Helping customers, engaging them and building relationships with them give back a return that is worth more than a hundred strategies to run your business and make it a success. It is always a worthwhile investment.
Nowadays, the traditional landline phone customer service that businesses have may not serve your customers well—considering that we’re living in the technology era. Having customer support in other types of network such as through online and mobile are some of the customer assistance services we have, which can take your entire customer service to a whole new level. Learn more!