The 5 Indispensable Best Practices of Customer Service

Created: March 28th 2019 By: Chris Sinibaldi - SVP TechLink Services

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At some point, your customers are going to need help. It might just be a simple question about using one of your products.

Nonetheless, this is an opportunity to show them just how much you value their business. If you drop the ball now, rest assured, they’ll remember how that felt when it comes time to reconsider your services.

5 Customer Service Principles Every Support Team Must Implement

Fortunately, learning how to treat a customer so they feel valued and important isn’t difficult. Implement the following five customer service best practices with your help desk team, and you’ll soon feel greater appreciation in return.

1. It Starts with the Right People

If you don’t have the right staff operating your help desk, you can’t expect much in terms of results.

Hire the right customer support people by looking for the following skills:

  • Experience providing support through whichever channels you use (g., phone, chat, social media, email, etc.)
  • Some familiarity with the tech you use
  • An understanding of your industry

This last piece is extremely important.

While you certainly want your customer service team to excel in compassion and patience, remember that the people who need help will have technical questions and only expect that the person from your help desk will have a basic understanding of your field.

2. Prioritize Every Interaction

We all know about the importance of making a good first impression.

Don’t let your help desk staff overlook this when dealing with your customers. Some will contact you with problems so simple you’ll wonder if they gave much thought to them. Others will call about problems that have nothing to do with your service.

Whatever the case, customers must be treated with the utmost respect and understanding. Do not take for granted that your people are already doing this. Train them to and then confirm they are practicing this.

Customers tell twice as many people about bad experiences as they do about the good ones. Worse yet, if the story about a good experience reaches someone who’s already heard about one of the bad ones, it might be too late to change their mind.

3. Teach Proactivity

Far too often, customer care comes “too late.”

The customer is already upset. They’re just looking for you to make things right before they take their business elsewhere (and one of those aforementioned stories with them).

Avoid this situation at all costs by providing the best products and services possible. This probably seems like an obvious piece of advice, but it also entails listening to the feedback you receive from the customers who reach out to your help desk.

Are these complaints really opportunities to improve what you offer?

Could you simply provide better instructions?

Regularly survey your staff to find out what they hear most from customers who need help.

Doing this will also make it easier to train your staff, too. Go over the most common requests your customer service team receives and the best possible way to respond.

4. Provide a Seamless Experience

Customers may request your help through your website chat portal, a mobile app, email, the phone, social media accounts, or a number of other different ways.

While the medium your customer support representative will use for responding may change, the experience they provide should remain consistent. Customers shouldn’t have to wait until they can call you because they know the help-desk representative on your chat portal won’t be as helpful.

Furthermore, provide them with a seamless experience, so if they have to leave the call early, they can email your customer service team with their ticket number and pick up right where they left off.

5. Treat Every Customer as an Individual

The most important part of learning how to treat a customer is learning how to see each of them as an individual.

Even though you should constantly review the most common requests, that doesn’t mean your representatives should be retrofitting them into a prearranged script.

Train your people to take the time to listen to the customer’s entire problem. If your customer service representative jumps to a conclusion and tries addressing it right away, they’ll only be making matters worse.

Making Customer Service a Priority

It can be all-too-easy to think of customer support as a secondary service to the ones you provide clients.

Unfortunately, this type of thinking makes it easy for your clients to consider your competitors.

As you can see, the five customer service best practices we just outlined are easy to implement. The key is to be consistent with them. Stress to your customer support team that their role is one of the most important to your company’s future and then treat it that way.

Regularly audit their performance and hold training sessions as necessary. You’ll soon find that your customers feel much more valued and, in turn, value your company more, too.

Author: Chris Sinibaldi - SVP TechLink Services

Senior Vice President and General Manager of Parts for Depot International, Chris Sinibaldi is a recognized industry expert in the distribution and remanufacturing of laser printer parts and certified pre-owned printers. Sinibaldi has been in the industry for nearly 20 years and is known for helping service organizations, copier resellers and dealers significantly grow their businesses.

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