Delivering customer support excellence can be a challenge. Here are 5 of the most common blunders to avoid.
1) Viewing Customer Support As An Expense To Be Minimized
Good customer support is essential because it is the front line interface between your customer and your business. Customer support should not be viewed as a necessary evil, but as an opportunity to meet and exceed your customer’s expectations and build upon your relationship.
By implementing an interactive set of features on your website for support, your company can allow customers to interact real-time with support staff and other customers; as well as research and identify possible solutions.
Instead of waiting for customers to call up with questions one after another, your agents can multi-task and field questions concurrently. After normal business hours, your support website can still be available 24×7 to let customers know that their issue has been recognized and confirmed and help is on the way. In addition to the good will that you build up with the customer, automated help desk solutions means savings in productivity and employee morale.
2) Being Reactive, not Proactive
Most business managers have no vision or foresight because they don’t know what they don’t know. It’s not that they’re dumb or incapable, it’s just that they’re spending all of their time maintaining, updating, and trying to keep the old processes and systems running. They put all of their focus on projects and deadlines until things go wrong. And only then will they spend 10 times the time and money trying to fix a problem that could have been prevented with a little foresight. And these days, foresight means getting a cloud-based customer support solution. With cloud-based computing, you are renting a service that is provided, provisioned, maintained, and operated offsite. Your customer care team simply invokes their web browsers to connect to customers and customer computers. Don’t let the wave of cloud computing wash your business away.
3) Working the Process Rather Than the Problem
Your support staff should not be blindly focused on completing a pre-defined process. Their focus should be on solving the customer’s problem and identifying opportunities to extend the relationship with the customer. If your agents spend more time on the paperwork and loading software and filling out forms than resolving customer issues you need to change the process. Or your customer will change theirs.
4) Under-Delivering or Over-Selling
You know that your product is the best solution for your customer’s problem. You should remind them of that fact as often as you can. But if a competitor’s product can do the job just as well or better in some circumstances, you better get with engineering or operations to make sure that your product soon meets and exceeds the other guy’s. And if you let customers know when your company has made a mistake, you are simply humanizing your brand. Customers connect to humans, not corporate behemoths. Never let your customers wonder who they’re doing business with, or if they’ve been over-promised and over-sold.
5) Deploying Faulty Technology and Technicians
If your customer support and help desk software is poorly chosen, poorly configured, poorly implemented, or installed on bad or out-dated hardware, you will be re-doing it. And if the software is not manageable, configurable, or customizable, you will be spending more money modifying it than buying it. And if the customer support software is being used by poorly trained managers and technicians, and customer problems fall through the cracks, unresolved, you will be hearing about it. Don’t become monolithic, inflexible, or unable to keep up. In today’s ultra-competitive business landscape, loyalty is awarded in months, not years. Your competitors are a mouse click away. Don’t give your customer a reason to click away.
About the Author
Marv Toyer is the founder of eBLVD.com, a privately held pioneer of cloud-based communication software and professional remote access tools.