Running a business is about making your customers happy, because happy customers are more loyal and are more likely to recommend your service to their friends and family.
You probably have experienced it yourself: you have a problem with a product, and the customer service you receive defines the way you relate to a company. Receiving great support makes me personally always want to marry the company, while bad support often makes me switch providers.
We've written about the fact that everyone at DNSimple does customer support and why it matters. For this post, I interviewed some of our team members about how they run customer support and what they would recommend to someone just starting, how they get better at supporting you, and what's their secret to make happy customers.
Sebastian's #1 tip is to read and search past support responses. That way you not only might find the answer but also the tone of the response, which is equally important.
Tip #2 is not to be afraid. Responding to customers, especially if you have never done first level support can be overwhelming. It was for most of us at first.
Also, #3, don't worry if it takes a lot of time to answer a ticket, your response time will speed up over time very quickly because you are doing the research. This is also a great way to learn about the product. Customers are best at finding glitches and edge cases you might not have thought of yourself. As a bonus you also determine where the product might need improving.
Maria's tip #1 is to empathize when doing support. When customers write to us they may already be frustrated, so being nice is a must.
Trick #2 is to avoid making assumptions. Never assume customers know something about our app and never assume that we know something about their lives and their backgrounds. Try to find the equilibrium between being very specific without a paternalist tone.
Also, expectation management is item #3 on her list. Please, never say something like "follow these ultra easy steps". They are easy for us because we have created them. People have mental tunnel vision to solve problems when they are upset or worried about something. If the customer does not understand those ultra easy steps very quickly their frustration will only grow.
His #1 tip is also not to be afraid to reply to customers. If you have never done support and you are someone that does not usually deal directly with customers, like most people working directly on a product, it can be a daunting task in the beginning.
You see that this is the #1 thing when you start doing customer support.
Trick #2 tip is to read what others are replying. That way you grasp the tone and voice how everyone on the teams deals with the customer. And you will soon find subtle differences and ways of dealing with customers, and you can start developing your style.
Especially follow tickets with difficult customers, people that complain and demand refunds. Because that's where the hard support work is done.
Luca's first rule is to keep in mind we are helping a person on the other side of the line. There may be anxiety because their business is in our hands. We must put ourselves in their shoes and reassure them that everything will be ok.
Tip #2 is to keep in mind that it takes time. When you first start helping support customers you probably won't understand what's going on, but as time passes, you'll be faster with acquired experience.
Luca's rule #3 while learning doing support is: It still takes time. There are edge cases, quirks, and unknowns that may happen. Don't be afraid to ask your peers.
Talking with the team about how we run customer support was a great exercise for me as well. It made it extra clear to me again that doing customer support is about dealing with humans. You need lots of empathy, putting yourself into the customer's shoes. Your customers have an external point of view to your product that, when applied properly, will make the product better and reduce the amount of support you need to do.
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