Even Computer Software is a People Business!
Nobody likes to feel like they’re just one cog in a giant machine. However, that’s the feeling many customers get when they call or email a company for support and get seemingly fed through a meat grinder before having their questions answered. “Press this button to go here.” Or “here’s my scripted answer.”
It’s unreasonable to expect every single customer service interaction to be the best moment of the customers’ lives, or even their day. No two conversations will be the same and some just don’t go as well as others. You can try, though, to make it seem like you and the customer are the only two people who exist during your conversation. This can at least make them feel special and give them the sense you’ll do anything to fix their issue.
Here are some tips to help you get started on developing this kind of specialized interaction.
1. Copious Notes
Whether you have five, fifty, or 500 customer service employees in the department, eventually two different people will end up helping the same customer. When this happens, you don’t want any mix-ups or miscommunication, and you don’t want the customer to get frustrated with answering the same questions every time they call.
That’s why it’s important to keep copious notes on each customer. Every single phone call, email, or interaction should be recorded and kept in a central location. Not only will this help you fix their issues, it can also build that one-on-one feeling with each and every person.
This is precisely why Team Support has an elaborate note-taking system that’s shared with every team member. Never worry about having the wrong info – or asking the customer to repeat themselves – ever again!
2. Find a Good Balance in the Conversation
There are a wide variety of bad customer service calls, but there are two that can really drive you crazy. Sometimes you call a company and get somebody on the other end who just won’t take your problem seriously. They keep changing the subject or cracking jokes and the call just seems to go on forever.
On the other hand you have the super serious, no nonsense customer service agent. They’re strictly about business almost to the point of rudeness – if you veer off track of the current issue, for example, they humorlessly guide you back to the point.
Try to find a balance for your own conversations. You don’t want to come off as a clown, but you also don’t want to act ice cold when someone calls or emails – remember this is still a people business. A good mix of the two worlds can endear you to even the most irritated customer, especially when you use charm to disarm them.
3. Understand Their Problems
This works particularly well if you have a customer who either contacts you frequently or simply has recurring problems. Rather than wait for them to call again, see what you can learn from their past conversations about what may be causing so many issues.
Often these little problems can point to a bigger problem. For example, if the customer calls up with a random bug they’ve experienced with your software, they may actually be having a larger computer issue.
By helping them fix this bigger problem (that may not even be part of your job) you’ve just ensured they’ll keep coming back. You’ve made them feel more like you were helping out part of your family rather than some random customer in the middle of nowhere, USA. This special feeling will last through the next time they have an issue and have to call again, which is also beneficial to customer retention.
What strategies do you use to help customers feel like they’ve received a personalized customer service?