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  • To get this key, you need to love your job and care for your company. If you do not care about your employer's business, you will not care about its customers.
    This is not just a duplicate key but a more powerful key as it is gets closer to responding to the needs, questions, issues, and wants of the customer. This requires diligence in understanding the information supplied by the customer including links and attachments. You need focus and concentration as well as eagerness to satisfy and delight the customer.

    You should know why a potential customer has asked you for help. Many customers are shopping for better service because of dissatisfaction with the current provider. Others do for new ventures. You must regard both opportunities as golden and therefore resolve to seize them. When you win them over, appreciate the process the customer would go through in migrating or onboarding to your product/service.
    When the customer hears or reads back his problem - or better yet when you expressed it better than he did - he surely knows that you were listening and not just hearing, attentive not dismissive, eager and not lazy to help. The customer experiences that you and your company value him and his business. He would naturally respond back in kind and with patience if echoing the problem is not exactly  correct.

    In nearly every issue, customer expects (and rightly so) that you can solve the problem considering you are his support. You already ascertained the correct problem (the 4th key) so a solution should be readily apparent to you. To the eyes of the customer, your competence is a given, without regard to your being a junior or a new starter.

    To keep customer satisfaction, you must be able to solve the problem. To increase customer confidence and happiness, you must solve it right the first time.

    Do not ask the customer again for more information if you could, especially in mail support. Each time you go back to the customer without a solution makes you less competent in his eyes, no ifs and buts.   

    Despite under time constraint or standard, you need to consider possible causes and solutions and choose a suitable answer, the best one if possible.

    If you need more time, advise the customer immediately. Get some help from more experienced or senior colleague to assist. Do not get embarrassed to your colleague as it is more embarrassing to the customer if you come back with nothing or save yourself with some lame excuses. The customer may not be technical but can recognize BS when he sees it and can see right through BS.

    When you are able to replicate the issue (e.g. tracker shows email is accepted but recipient does not in fact receive it), just say so and no need to provide evidence to the customer.

    Do not blame others (e.g. the customer's previous service provider) and never blame the customer (e.g. his files). Focus on solving problem. Do not offer excuses to prepare the customer for your possible failure.  When you promise an update after a given time, give the update after that given time and not later. Do not BS, tell the truth of the situation.

    Compensate does not mean monetary payment but rather offer some extra value or a gesture that make amends (e.g. extended support hours, free stuff). When you fail to provide something the customer paid for, you breached your contractual promise. When you fail to provide something you said is free, you still breached your promise. For the customer, this compensating gesture will go a long way!

    When a customer, out of reasonable dissatisfaction over customer support and not over your company's product or service, expresses his intention to take his business elsewhere, you are forsaking an opportunity to keep going an otherwise good business for your company. Worse and shameful of you if you offer, lead or facilitate the customer how to cancel just because you do not care or you prefer the customer to leave.

    Do your employer a favor, if you do not care of doing all you can to save, let alone boost, your employer's business, find another job elsewhere as you just would lose a customer forever. Surely, more will be lost as the customer will spread about your customer disservice.

    Fortunately, a dissatisfied customer is almost always open to remedies and you making it up.  So rather than showing him the door straight away, show him how you can win his confidence back. Honest, sincere apologies surely helps, especially if a member of management does it.

    If you are taking over an existing issue when a customer asks for another support member, supervisor or manager, do not ask the customer "how can I help" or asking the customer what is the problem without doing the key steps 1 to 8 above. You would certainly annoy a customer if you ask him to repeat what he already said or wrote to your other colleague over whom you are taking over.

    If you cannot be bothered to read the prior chat transcript or email thread or find out a prior conversation with your other colleague by the customer then you are worse than your other colleague. You and your other colleague are then wisely advised to find alternate careers as customer service does not fit your interest and motivation.  

    When a customer comes to you with an issue or problem, understand that he is already worried, anxious, even frightened (e.g. his website is down) or angry (e.g. his website is down for very long). Emphatize with the customer and really listen. Choose your words and never argue with the customer. Worst of it all, do not be a smart a**.  


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