Technical support representatives may be the first and only point of contact your customers have. Therefore they are often seen as the face of the company. Each positive interaction a customer has with a company can lead that individual to become not only a loyal customer but an evangelist.
Here are 10 tips that technical support representatives should always be aware of in order to maintain customer service excellence.
Tip #1. BE RESPECTFUL
Listen before providing a solution. Technical support representatives usually want to jump in and come up with a solution right away. Insufficient data may lead to misinterpretation. Be respectful by actively listening to the customer’s needs. Allow the customer ample time to report their situation and take notes. Too many times we believe we are listening, when in fact we are really thinking about what we are going to say next.
Tip #2. BE TRUSTWORTHY
Build trust with the customer by demonstrating your understanding of what was said. Repeat or paraphrase what you just heard. As a result, the end user or customer knows that you comprehend what was said and they can trust that you’re truly listening. As a best practice, always confirm with the customer that what you’ve paraphrased is correct.
Tip #3. BE GENUINE
It’s important that technical support representatives take a genuine interest in the customer’s questions or concerns. This will make the interaction more enjoyable for both the representative and the caller. Addressing technical support calls can be monotonous. Yet, the representatives should keep the call fresh and upbeat by expressing their genuine interest in each customer’s unique situation.
Tip #4. BE MOTIVATIONAL
Sometimes it can get frustrating for both the end user and representative, especially if the technical issue is a tricky one. The situation may get heated or even escalate to the point where the end user feel like giving up. One approach to keep the customer motivated is to make them feel as though they, along with the representative, are in this together. Use phrases like “we can” or “let’s try” gives the impression that it is a team effort.
Tip #5. BE CLEAR
Effective communication is key to ensure that the end user comprehends the information or solution provided by the representative. Learn more read Tips for Effective Communication in the Work Place.
Tip #6. BE CALM
When practicing patience, staying calm is essential. If, for example, the end user is hysteric, the representative can de-escalate the situation by maintaining a calm a collective demeanor. This can be achieved by maintaining an even tone and allowing the caller time to vent or share their frustration. There is a balance that must be met between staying calm and also having a sense of urgency. One objective is to ensure that the customer feels that the representative cares about the situation and is there to help.
Tip #7. BE MINDFUL
Be mindful that not everyone is tech savvy. If there is a direct solution, take your time to walk through it with the end user. Let the customer know that you will send an email that contains the steps in detail. This will put their mind at ease.
Tip #8. BE FLEXIBLE
It’s important for the representative to think outside the box and understand that sometimes a solution is not always black and white. A workaround may be necessary in order to get the desired result or something similar. Of course, this comes along with product knowledge which is developed over time.
Tip #9. BE HONEST
Should this be escalated to a higher tier of support? If the representative has tried to troubleshoot the issue with no success, it’s probably time to escalate to a higher tier of support. This new person may have more product knowledge or can catch something the representative might have missed.
Tip #10. BE ACTION-ORIENTED
A situation may arise where the representative may not be able to resolve the customer’s situation due to the fact that the feature or functionality does not currently exist in the product. Assure that the customer that their feedback or request has been heard by taking action and communicating the feature request internally. That information is invaluable to the development team as they work on enhancing the product for future release.
Since the technical support representative may not be privy to the plans of the product, they should refrain from using absolutes, such as “always” or “never,” when engaging with a customer. Who knows . . . the functionality that the customer is looking for just might be available in the next release of the product?
Your Quick Reference Guide
Click here to download a pdf of the Customer Service: 10 Tips for Technical Support Representatives Quick Reference Guide. Print it and keep it next to your phone.