Published on: July 8, 2016 by Sanjeev Jacob
Customers!!! It is the only reason for the existence of any company and employee. So it is imperative that customer support and their satisfaction is the core attribute for any organization to be competitive in this highly populated and competitive market.
Today’s clients are more educated, tech-savvy and most importantly have wider accessibility to alternatives. Customer satisfaction depends primarily on three pillars ie Quality, Price and Customer Support. Interestingly various studies prove that more than 50% clients leave an organization, not because of price or quality, but due to poor quality of customer support.
Being in the WebHosting support industry for years, I am fortunate enough to interact with different type of customers and issues, which varies from simple level1 helpdesk support to more advanced server management operations. For each client, his issue is of paramount interest as he makes his living through it. So the technical support person should have the wisdom to understand the client feelings, technical competency to resolve the issue and most importantly should possess the communication skills to carry out a healthy interaction with the client.
Here I am trying to give you some tips to encourage the transition of your clients to your company’s “raving fans”. Afterall “Word of Mouth” is the best form of publicity 🙂
We mostly interact with clients/customers through a Ticketing system, emails, and live chats. Here are some guidelines to improve your customer service skills in the appropriate platform:-
Every response should have a proper salutation. Using “Hello” is more formal and it is commonly used, but it still lacks the chord for a personal communication.
You can improve the feeling by simply using the customer name along with “Hello”. This would give a feel to the customer that he is taken care of personally. You can get the customer name either from his reply or from billing details.
The common communication etiquettes to be followed in email or help desk communications are outlined below.
a. Try to avoid the use of full names for salutation.
b. The first letter of salutation and name should be in capitals like the one below:-
c. Don’t use prefix like Mr, Mrs etc. with names as it will be too much formal.
For e.g. if the name is “Roger White”, you can either use:
d. Americans prefer calling them by their first name rather than the second name.
e. If you are unable to locate the name, then leaving it blank too is fine. But don’t use “Sir”, because some people may found it as offensive.
In ticketing system, you won’t need to provide the opening script in most cases since the client contacts us with an issue. However, on live chat and phone support, you will need to provide proper opening script.
Welcome to Live chat support. This is “your agent_name”. How may I help you today?
You may also use Icebreakers like “How are you doing today?” following the opening spell to show that you are more friendly so that the customer will feel more comfortable. However, this is applicable mostly during interaction through live chat, over phone or face to face.
But, be prepared to deal with angry customers also who may come up with negative replies to your ice breakers.
For example if a customer replies that “I am not feeling good just because of your hosting services” you will need to reply back with something like:-
That doesn’t sounds good. May I know the issue you are facing with your hosting account? Let me take care of that for you.
You will not be able to help the customer unless you understand his requirement/issue. If you are not clear with the requirement or issue, you will need to probe him with questions or paraphrase the issue to understand the issue better.
If you are not at all clear about the issue you can ask like:-
Sorry, I am not clear with your requirement. Could you please elaborate a little more on the issue?
In such cases, the client might try their level best to give you details about the issue. But in some cases, you may not be able to comprehend or deduct the exact issue due to the sheer volume of non-related data , absence of details or due to the usage of confusing terms.
For eg. They might give you multiple emails when the mail log or the header of a single mail is asked. Also the support query only will have a sentence like ” My database is gone”. Or interchangeably used the term “alias” both for email and for “parked domains”.
In such cases repeating the above query would definitely irritate and may some times makes the client furious. So a better approach would be paraphrasing.
“I understand that you are facing issues with —–. Am I correct?”
If you suspect the issue is a result of some changes made from the customer’s end. Going for a direct question may not be productive in some cases. You may use questions like:-
“When did the issue start? Was it working fine before? Did you make any changes from your end recently?”
4) Content Drafting
Below are the rules of thumb for any form of content drafting.
a. Beginning of every sentence and names should be capital.
b. Every punctuation should be followed with a space.
c. Make your reply more readable and organized. If it’s a long reply you can split it into paragraphs.
d. Use simple sentences and words.The content is not meant to prove your linguistic skills but for good communication, at least for technical support.
e. Double check your responses for any grammatical/spelling errors before posting them.
The last one is quite crucial, especially if you are not a native English speaker and works for an outsourced support company. You can avoid majority of spelling mistakes by using inbuilt dictionaries with the helpdesk or email client.
Other essential aspects for customer service are covered in the coming posts 🙂
Category : cPanel, General, Linux, Training
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