Studies have shown that some words have a greater effect on people than others. Just as "free" and "sale" entice consumers to buy, there are key words and phrases that we as customer support professionals can sprinkle into our calls and online help desk responses to make customers feel as warm and cozy as they do in their Snuggies at night.
Without a Doubt
No one likes to hear wishy-washy answers to their questions. But when customers ring up the customer support call center to ask for assistance, words like "definitely" and "absolutely" are music to their ears and show them you've got the can-do positive attitude to make things happen.
Few things instill fear and dread more in people than having to contact their credit card company's customer service department. Whether it's a billing issue, a lost card or an impending cancellation, many customers procrastinate initiating the inevitably unpleasant conversation that follows.
However, one company has completely revamped its customer service program, and what used to be an awful experience for callers has become a tool for building customer confidence and loyalty. So keep on reading for an inspirational story that could help you change the way you do business!
One of the best ways to both create a positive experience for your customers and provide them with exceptional support is to study real-world examples of business leaders who made customers their priority. There's nothing wrong with modeling your own company and customer support department after one that has seen a great deal of success. And when it comes to customer service, we here at FuseDesk think it's rare to find any business founder as diligent and successful as Mr. Charles Walgreen, founder of the national Walgreens drugstore chain.
According to Walgreens.com, Charles Walgreen worked at a variety of drugstores prior to opening his own, and though he may not have realized it at the time, each new job he took was an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of those before him. Walgreen was increasingly disappointed in each drugstore's lack of commitment to their customers, so he began hatching a plan for how he would improve efficiency and customer service in his own store.
It can be easy to forget yourself when you're the big kahuna of the office, but no matter how big your paycheck is, you've got to set a good example for those who work for you to keep your business afloat.
Head honcho status aside, always remember that customer support begins with you, and your actions have the ability to make or break your team, which in turn can affect your business.
Every second counts when you're in the process of helping a customer, and here at FuseDesk, we're fans of leaving the customer with a great impression of the company, from the moment your interaction begins, to the moment a support ticket is closed. Whether you're on a call or just typing a customer support response via email, there's a few things you can do to show your customers how much you care.
We often focus on the customers in need, those who are having a problem, the squeaky wheels. But how often are we simply reaching out with unprecedented customer support, just to check in on those who are ultimately responsible for keeping us all gainfully employed?
Sometimes a simple thank you email is the most influential thing a company can do to earn a customer's continued loyalty and support.
Recently, there have been a lot of companies under fire because of immature or burned-out employees insulting their customers. I'm sure you've heard some of the stories and they're really not worth repeating.
When you're in front of a computer or a telephone, you're in the position of power, but as Peter Parker's uncle once said, "with great power comes great responsibility." You might be forced to help a challenging customer that tests your patience, but before you step over the line by abusing your access to proprietary information or lashing out at a customer, the team here at FuseDesk would like to remind you of a few ways you can reduce stress during the work day so you can continue to offer your customers the friendly, helpful support they've come to expect!
Take Your Breaks
Common sense, right? And yet many customer support reps get so sucked into the job that they forfeit their right to tinkle at will. Or they consider staying at their desk to check email a break.
When we say take a break, we mean get away from the online help desk, go outside and take a walk. If you spend your whole day under the fluorescent lights without any fresh air or a change of scenery, pent-up energy and stress could take its toll on you. For your mental health, walk away and take those designated breaks. Indulge in your much-deserved free time, exhale, go scream in your car, sprint around the block, blast your favorite song in your ear buds and find ways to release your stress. Fifteen minutes is plenty of time to relax and rejuvenate for your next set of calls or emails.
Pick up a Stress Ball
Maybe you're having one of those weeks in which your breaks alone aren't cutting it. It may seem cliché or silly, but those little cushy stress balls can really help! When you feel like punching your fist through a wall, remember that A. that will hurt and B. upper management would probably frown upon that. So pick up a stress ball and squish the heck out of that instead!
Or, find other ways to keep your hands busy, like doodling on a note pad. As long as your stress-relieving hobby isn't interfering with your work, bothering your coworkers or negatively affecting the customer, then we say go for it! Anything to improve your mood and relax you so you continue treating your customers with the utmost respect and kindness.
Ask Not What You Can Do For Your Company
If stress on the job (or even at home) is starting to affect your health, then it's time to talk to your boss. Many companies have Employee Assistance programs that include complimentary therapy sessions, support groups and hotlines to help you talk out your feelings and stress with a great listener who may be able to offer some helpful advice.
If your company doesn't offer these types of programs, discuss taking some time off with your manager. Your job is not worth losing your cool over and you've got to protect the company at all costs. So if you feel like you're going to blow, step away from the computer, cool off and ask for help.
Accentuate the Positive
Managers and supervisors, there's an opportunity for you to help your customer support reps here too. Whenever a rep resolves a particularly challenging issue, make sure you give them the praise that is due for tackling that stressful situation head-on. Make their efforts known and use them as an example for other customer support reps. Put them on your office wall of fame or give them an extra break - just be sure to show them that their extra efforts have been worthwhile.
Remember, your job in costumer support is inherently more stressful than that of the general population. But while you have a responsibility to take care of customers, you also need to take care of yourself. So take your breaks - and just for the record, reading this article does not constitute a break! Now go on, get outta here!
When you're managing an online help desk, it can sometimes feel like you're a broken record, especially if your company has strict language that you must use when responding to customers, a la "Thank you for contacting 1-800-Support-a-Customer. We appreciate your business..."
But no matter how tedious writing customer support responses becomes, there's one thing we here at FuseDesk implore you not to do: please don't drop the ball.
Forrest Gump knew what he was talking about when he said life was like a box of chocolates. For customer support reps, some days on the job are like a rich truffle, while others are like those nasty drugstore fruit nougats. You may be nursing a killer headache, or falling asleep despite the 5-hour energy drink you just consumed.
But no matter how you're feeling, there's no excuse for dismissing a customer's concerns. If a chain of emails between you and a customer threatens to fly south for the winter, it's time to take a deep breath and bring in the big guns - the telephone. Let's break down a major customer support fail to see where and how the rep should have taken action. Documented on a blog called Technoracle, this customer support chain of emails deserves a place on the Wall of Shame.