Customer support can be a costly proposition to companies. However, providing a solid online customer service structure will stop customer erosion and add long-term repeat customers.
Some argue that only small companies can supply a high level of customer service; that high levels of customer touch “don’t scale” to larger contact centers. But supporting your customers well is a critical company commitment. If the corporate culture believes in strong customer relations, quality customer service can scale to even the largest of companies.
Here are a few suggestions to get your contact center started on the path to stellar customer service.
Hire the right people
Don’t use the lack of local talent as an excuse for less than stellar support staff. Think creatively. Hire a small, talented core group. Use the mentor system. Divide the staff into units of expertise. Create a tiered system of talent. A well thought-out escalation path can resolve problems quickly while using the resources of existing staff. Scaling the support staff to remain equal with business growth will form naturally with this support model.
Have a good script for learning purposes
Note that a script should be a guideline, not an ending point. See the next point for more on that.
Don’t depend on scripts alone
Scripts alone just don’t work.
Computers and the Internet are complicated things with endless possible problems. One symptom can have dozens of different causes. If a script doesn’t cover a particular problem or address a specific customer need but you require your tech support team to stick to the script, you put your reps in a bad spot.
Teach your support team to have patience and compassion
Let your contact center team know what your company’s moral core consists of and teach them how to portray that image consistently. When working with a customer, a positive attitude should be considered as important, if not more so, than technical accuracy.
Empower your customer service department
Allow your contact center team to “do the right thing.” Let customer service agents know that you trust their decision making capabilities.
Let your support reps vent
Be a willing ear when your tech support reps need to let off steam. In addition, your support staff is your company’s eyes and ears into the customer psyche. From agents’ rants, you gain valuable information about product direction, determine missing features, understand which tools might be helpful to agents, and find product weaknesses.
Use metrics to understand where you stand
There are many metrics to help you understand customer experience and the effectiveness of customer service: NPS, CSAT, CES and more. Start by measuring where you are today and creating a baseline. Then compare your progress against those metrics, continuing to measure to how much you have improved and where you can continue to improve.
Use the RIGHT metrics
That said, make sure you are using the right metrics. For example, you might be measuring average call handling time. However, if agents don’t achieve the goal (e.g., desired length of call) but accomplish more during their calls, maybe you are not using the right metric. And always keep in mind that sometimes a little bit of rule-breaking today will result in a long-term happy customer.
Use the right tools to encourage collaboration
It is so much easier to see and fix customers’ problems when you can see their screen, rather then trying to describe and diagnose the problem blindly over the phone. Invest in cobrowsing and screen sharing to instantly cut through frustration on both the customers’ and the tech support side.
Read: What is Cobrowsing?
Always put your customers first
Customers may not always be right, but they are always your customers. Be there to help out. And if you are out of options, be polite but be honest. Honesty, transparency, and respect are vital to providing excellent customer service.
Ready for more tips for how to improve customer service? Download the free eBook today: How to Use Remote Collaboration Solutions to Create Amazing Customer Experiences and Gain Quick ROI.
About Glance Networks
Glance helps enterprise organizations create the ultimate customer experience with smart, omni-channel visual engagement solutions based around integrated cobrowse, screen share, and one-way agent video. We are one of the world’s simplest, most reliable and secure platforms that enable companies to see, show and share anything online, creating a frictionless path to great experiences in sales, support and customer service. The result is improved customer satisfaction and loyalty, increased revenue growth and operational savings. From financial services and healthcare to retail and travel and leisure, even the most advanced technology and SaaS organizations – we transform the customer experience for today’s business. Learn More »