Effective Customer Support System: Proactively Building on What Works

It takes teamwork to make the dream work – especially in customer support.

Is customer support one of your business’s priorities? It’s the front-line response in many industries, but especially in retail, sales, and the service sectors. Successful businesses put a premium on their customers, from start-ups to conglomerates. It’s no surprise, considering the pull social media and feedback platforms have on public perception.

An effective customer support system anticipates concerns and complaints, resolves these, and prevents potential backlash caused by insufficient or inefficient response. In any case, your customer support team should have these key attitudes by default, if you want to maintain positive feedback and reputation:

1. Be Available – is your support team available to respond to customers 24/7, across different time zones? How about on holidays? What’s the current response rate of your customer support teams, across the categories of user concerns (billing, refund, replacement, cancellations)? If you can maintain immediate (lightning-fast) response rates to concerns, your team will likely be on the good side of customers, reassuring even the most irate person you’re on their side. You want the matter resolved as much as they do.

2. Be Proactive – this can save you a lot of potential trouble! Negative feedback can spread like wildfire, especially if the flak comes from an influencer in the community. Evaluate the bulk of concerns handled so far, shortlist the most pressing issues, and anticipate these moving forward. This improves the quality of your resolutions, and may even spare you lawsuits and settlements caused by warranted complaints.

3. Treat All Customers as Priorities – it’s true you’ll eventually see patterns as you resolve customer concerns, but it’s best to think of each complaint and inquiry unique from the rest. You’ll be more attentive to specifics of concerns, when you resolve emails or phone calls like you would if you met customers in person. Custom messages are more personal, even for canned and automated responses. Recipients will also know the difference between lip and excellent service.

4. Build on What Works – if you’ve determined what aspects and processes work, by all means capitalize and build on these, make the process more efficient. It might involve schedules, queuing, quality control, or delegation; you can improve on weak areas once your strengths are defined and developed.

Prevention is better than damage control, but hopefully you won’t have to choose either of these. With an efficient, accurate customer support system, you’ll have fewer doubts of having rogue customers ruining your company’s reputation. In any case, you’ll at least able to fend off complaints with airtight, documented processes and resolutions.

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