SMBs often spend considerable resources on marketing and branding, but don’t put the same resources into customer support. However, a large part of your reputation depends on how customers feel you respond to their questions and problems. Improve your customer support with some of these easy tips:
Use Multiple Platforms
- Some people feel the need to speak directly with a person if they have a complaint. Others prefer to use texting, emails, live chats, or other formats. To provide the best service to your customers, use as many of these formats as you can.
- Establish a presence on Twitter and Facebook and be sure to respond as seriously to customer issues on these platforms as you would if they called your support line.
- Your ticketing system should take this multi-channel approach into account. No matter how a customer first reaches out, it should be converted into a ticket that can be accessed by support agents manning the other channels for seamless support.
Be Aware of Your Hours
- Problems don’t always occur between 9am and 5pm, and even when they do, customers cannot always call at this time. Customers prefer to have 24/7 support so they can get help whenever they need it. If this is not feasible for your business, extended night and weekend hours can provide similar benefits at less cost to your SMB.
- Peak hours should have extra staffing. Holidays are a time that many customer support lines get heavy traffic. Whatever your peak times are, be sure to have enough staff on duty to respond to customer questions.
Respect Your Customers
- Support staff should validate customer complaints and take ownership of the problem. Support should always be given in clear, direct language so there is no confusion.
- Long wait times on hold can be discouraging. If possible, have a live person answer the phone to direct the call. Offering a call-back option is also helpful.
Hire Good People
- A good support representative will be able to make the customer feel important while solving the problem quickly. Support your agents by allowing them some flexibility to solve problems. While you should have certain limits in place, agents should be able to act under their own discretion to provide the best service to that customer.
With these simple steps you can improve your customer support and your reputation.