Is Ditching Phone Customer Support a Smart Decision?

There’s an old saying – “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” – that sometimes rings all too true for customer support teams. When prioritizing support inquiries, there’s a hierarchy of channels. Email sits at the bottom, with response times ranging into hours or even days. Chat is somewhere in the middle, with customers expecting a response in a few minutes. Phone support sits at the very top. It’s common for customers to call in and expect to speak with a real person right away. If they’re left on hold, it’s a frustrating experience that contributes to driving customers away from a business.

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5 Customer Support Habits Your Team Should Always Follow

Maintaining good habits can be tough and breaking bad ones can be even more difficult. From simply taking a few minutes each morning to brush your teeth to running three miles a day, habits come in all shapes and sizes. One specific area where we develop many habits is in the workplace. Maybe we’ve grown accustomed to putting off calls until the end of day, but habits at work can be subconscious and might even be hurting your business. Here are five good customer support habits to make sure your team follows so you can keep customers happy…

Daily Habits

Be prompt with ticket responses – With so many people having internet access in their pocket, getting used to responding to tickets quickly is important. A good habit to acquire is double checking your ticket queue at the same times each day – maybe first thing in the morning, immediately after lunch, and right before you leave – to make sure no high severity tickets are outstanding. Even if there’s no pressing update for the customer, sometimes a “we’re still looking into this” response is a good practice so everyone is on the same page.

Be thorough when working with customers – As a support professional, the knowledge level of the customers you work with can vary greatly. One customer may know seemingly everything about your business, while another may be very new and still learning. Because of this, it’s good to get into the habit of not assuming customers always know what you’re talking about. Explain concepts and resolution strategies in detail and be precise to ensure your responses make sense. It’s often better to assume customers know too little than to think they know too much so you can avoid customer frustration.

Don’t forget to proofread written responses – This is an easy habit to start and maintain. While the immediacy of responses is obviously important, don’t sacrifice your quality of work by making simple mistakes. Take the time to double check your responses so they aren’t littered with misspellings and poor punctuation. Use templates when possible as a framework to minimize what needs to be edited and reviewed. If it’s a very important response, set aside time so you’re not distracted and even have a colleague review your reply as needed to be certain that it makes sense.

 

Big Picture Habits

Share customer support goals with all organization leaders – In the same way we don’t want to assume customers know everything, we don’t want to guess what our corporate leadership group knows either. On a regular basis, be it every month or quarter, set goals for customer support metrics (response times, number of tickets closed, etc.) and let this group know. By doing so, you’ll keep them apprised of what customer support is doing on a frequent basis. In addition, you’ll be surprised how sometimes your goals align with other departments such as sales and development. Overlap can be helpful for everyone to save time and money.

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Discuss collaboration (in relation to customer support) on a regular basis – The concept of collaboration is one of those things you hear about at an industry event that sounds promising. Maybe you’ve brought it up in a meeting before but it never catches on and the idea fades away. The key to turning collaboration into a good customer support habit is to make it easy and frequent. Choosing the right customer support software solution is a good backbone for collaboration and can spark many discussions. Set aside time, maybe a catered lunch once a month, where you can discuss how to use the software to work together more efficiently not only within the customer support team but with other departments as well.

 

Hopefully these habits are helpful in improving your customer service process. Make sure to keep daily habits practical and obtainable, like scheduling ticket review times or proofreading, so employees can feel accomplished when they complete them. By doing so, they’re more likely to “catch on” and become desired habits by everyone. For big picture habits, it’s important to plan them out in advance to ensure you’re successful with them right away. Don’t rush into a collaboration session or throw together some goals, sit down and plan correctly so new habits get started on the right foot. Creating good customer support habits may not be as easy (or fun) as making bad ones, but once they’re established the benefits can be substantial for your customer support team and the entire company.

 

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