I’m in Austin this week on a semi-secret mission. More on that later. But this came up with a friend the other day so I thought I’d share.
He wanted to know a few things to work on that were simple and easy. I thought about it for a bit and came up with five things that he (and you) can do right now to be a better customer support rep.
#1 – Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
If you tell a customer that the order will be there by Friday, it better be there by Friday. If you can’t guarantee that, don’t tell it to the customer. It’s better to say it’ll be there by the weekend and then have it show up a few days early.
#2 – Help even if it’s not your product.
I get emails all the time about a customer’s Outlook not working or their phone getting Twitter messages as texts. It’s not an app that I provide support for but I still help out. Customers remember the people who help them.
#3 – Throw in a lagniappe if you can.
A lagniappe is a small gift throw in with a customers purchase like free shipping or an extra loaf of bread when you order a dozen. When someone pre-pays for 12 months at once, I usually throw in the 13th month free as a surprise. Customers love it.
#4 – Answer every complaint.
You’ll have customers that right in emails the length of short stories to complain about something. Answer them – it’s the very least you can do since they’ve spent the time telling you what’s not working for them.
#5 – Know when to stop.
Especially if you provide online customer support, it’s tempting to answer emails at all hours of the day. Sometimes you just need to disconnect from it. Don’t get burnt out answering emails all day because it’ll show up in your interactions with the customer.