Published on: July 20, 2016 by Sanjeev Jacob
We have been discussing about how to interact with the customer and help him in an effective way in the previous posts ( Part-1 , Part -2 , Part -3 ). Being humans, we have our own set of limitations and are prone to make mistakes. If you keep a dump ear to your critics, most often your clients, you will be in the same level of knowledge and customer service skills even after years. The boom in the outsourced support industry has generated a lot of employment opportunities, but one should put extra effort to make it a rewarding career.
Times are changing and your job profile as well. Unless you move abreast with the changing environments, you will be replaced much before you plan a retirement. For eg. a web hosting support admin of current times should have the adaptability to work with newer technologies such as Cloud Infrastructure management, e-com applications, Backup Solutions, etc. which were not that much sophisticated one decade ago.
You can be in sync with the technological advancements through technical articles, subscription to periodicals, attending conferences and seminars etc. But how do you fill the next half ie Customer Support?
There is only one answer
Listen, Listen ,Listen to your clients
So let us analyze the ways through which one can introspect his work and make the necessary improvements to excel in his job profile and enhance his career growth.
20) Taking negative feedbacks/suggestions
Sometimes customers may not be satisfied with the products/technology offered and may suggest to include new advanced technologies/products. It can include statements about the quality of your work as well. You can’t control clients feelings and the only thing you can do is performing an objective analysis of the issue and take necessary steps to resolve it. In either case, always make sure that you are providing positive replies to them.
Suppose if the client is asking for “CloudLinux” enabled for his cPanel web hosting servers, you may give an answer something like the one below
I completely understand. I take this as a feedback and will forward this to our Management. Hope we will have it in our servers as soon as possible.
Let us assume that, a client may report some thing like that
” Your support is horrible, I can’t work with dumbs. Unless my site is up within 10 minutes, I am going to post reviews about your web hosting support in forums”
You may give a reply some thing like
” I understand your concern. The site is down due to missing contents and I am restoring it from backup. Please note that the restoration time depends various parameters such as volume of data, network connectivity etc. and hence I am not in a position to guarantee you a 10 minutes resolution time at the moment. We shall keep you posted with process at regular intervals.
I am escalating your concern to the management and we request you to abstain from any harsh activities till our management get back to you.”
The prime point here is, you should always respond to client feedbacks in a responsible way without excuses.
21) Keep your promises:
If you promise your customer anything, make sure that you have done it. In the above example, you have promised the customer that you will forward his suggestion/feedback to the Management. Make sure that you have forwarded his feedback/suggestion to the Management and update him about the same with tracking details, if possible.
Let us assume that if a customer approaches you on live chat about hacked website and you have fixed the website by restoring the hacked file. After fixing the website, you told him that you have fixed the website and will update him with the malware scan results shortly. The customer was in a hurry and disconnects. However, make sure that you opens a helpdesk ticket to the client with the malware scan results once the scan is completed. That will definitely make the customer more happy.
22) Time Management –
Make sure that you are not spending too much time on an issue/customer which may cause other customers remain unattended. If you work with a web hosting support company, you will have a number of issues to be managed at an instant. You might be handling a server down issue and a cPanel account password issue at the same time. You should be able to prioritize issues and answer tickets in a round robin pattern to avoid indefinite waiting.
For eg. In the above scenario, you have decided to work on the server down issue as it has high priority, even though the password change request is on queue for some time. However the cPanel server started a file system check during boot, and from your cPanel Server management experience you would be knowing that it is going to take approx. 15-20 minutes. You can either wait till completion of the process or answer the password reset ticket in the meanwhile. If you decided to wait till the completion of the file system check then the cPanel ticket is going to be in an unanswered status for another 15-20 minutes. FSCK time won’t get any difference even if you actively monitoring it or not. So moving to the password reset won’t harm the first one and it benefits the client by avoiding a long wait.
You should have the wisdom to identify the high priority issues and task scheduling without being obsessed with response time alone.
23) Be adaptable
Each of your customers will be different. You should understand the customer’s mood and deal with him accordingly. If your customer is tech savvy you can use technical terms and provide the steps in briefly. Otherwise you will need to make your reply more simpler and provide the steps clearly.
Ultimately your customers rely on you for your technical knowledge and knowledge of the products/services your company offers. So sharpen your technical skills and make sure that you are always up to date about the latest products/services your company offer.
Always try to provide accurate informations instead leaving too much rooms for uncertainty. For eg. if the client asks whether you provide root shell access for the hosting servers, you can reply it in different ways.
One may answer
” Well, shell access is not available for servers in our London facility. While it is available for Dallas servers”
The other one may answer something like
” Shell access is available only for reseller and dedicated servers hosted in our Dallas DC. You can see the list of servers in that facility in the following URL xxxx. Accounts in our shared servers are not enabled with shell access. Our shared servers are located in our London facility and the server details are available in xxxx.”
compare the replies and identify the pattern which imparts the tech’s confidence and knowledge in the system or company he represents. Definitely the client will be impressed with the second one even though it doesn’t have much icing.
25) Language skills –
Language skills are the most crucial aspect of customer support. Majority of outsourced support companies finds it difficult to provide quality communication especially with voice support. The accent of a remote technical support or sales support admin may not be identical with that of a native English speaker. The difference in pronunciation makes communication annoying. So one must improve his pronunciation by watching various live TV shows, English channels, Movies etc.
For Non-verbal communications, you must give more attention towards usage of proper English. Your communication should be syntactically and semantically correct. Re read the replies before posting to ensure that no spelling or grammatical errors are present in the reply. You can install various tools such as spell checker to check the contents on the fly.
Also one should have fair knowledge about the terminologies being used in your client’s country. For eg. Lakh is a commonly used word in India, but in other parts it is represented as Hundred thousand. Same is the case with words such as “upgrading” “updating” etc. do your home work properly to avoid embarrassing situations with the client.
Hence work on your grammar, written/oral skills daily. Read English newspapers/books and watch English news channels/movies.
26) Willingness to learn
Providing good customer service is a continuous learning process. Every customer you deal with will be a different experience and will teach you some human psychology and the tricks/tips to overcome the difficulties to become an expert customer support executive. However, that would require a sincere effort from your end, a positive mind to understand your faults and correct them.
Thank you for your time 🙂
Category : Customer Care, General, Linux