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Tips for providing excellent customer service and support
 
Ensuring your clients get a top-class level of service 


The thing that most companies miss in their design of customer service systems is people are EMOTIONAL.  However you or your customer service team handles any contact will end up with an emotional response. Designing a positive emotional response will usually mean good customer service, a negative emotional response will usually mean bad service. Mr or Mrs Jones wants to FEEL like you care about them and their issue.

We design and teach customer service at All About Business from this perspective.

There are plenty of different ways you can handle a customer's issues in your business, online or offline. - different solutions exist for different sized companies (and levels of technical ability).

Traditional methods of support (i.e. telephone / fax) still feature in the modern customer support model since they can offer a faster resolution to the customer's problem(s) than some of the more readily-deployed ticket-based systems.

The downside to giving great customer service by phone is that it is incredibly labor-intensive. Your company will need dedicated and ongoing resources to deliver this form of support. At the same time, in our world of cutting costs and animated menus people still appreciate and responded better to faster, personal service.

Another way of helping customer (prevalent in the Internet industry) is e-mail ticket systems. E-Mail systems allow you to receive, queue, prioritize, respond to and track queries efficiently and in a centralized way. This has enormous benefits but can often frustrate customers where queries are left unanswered for any period of time.

This solution is generally accepted as a good starting point, and although it won't always be to everyone's satisfaction (particularly those who expect immediate, 24x7 answers... in minutes) it is a good catch-all solution.

Some other things to watch out for, if employing a ticket-based e-mail system (often referred to as a 'help-desk') include registrations and e-mail verification processes. These can be seen by your customers as unnecessary barriers to receiving what they need, so take care to explain them carefully to the user.

More and more people are starting to turn to help desk software to handle their requests. Although this is generally one of the best methods for the companies that use them, they can be troublesome to the customer.

The objectives of your query-handling design should be not only to proved great customer experience but also to minimize the numbers of refund and charge-back requests. This will have the combined effect of increasing sales (through the good service you provide) and reducing costs (from charge-backs). Designing good support can, in this way, have a marked impact on your profitability.

Whichever design you employ in handling inbound questions and complaints, always remember that you will create an emotional atmosphere with your clients. Be sure to respond promptly, courteously and with a relevant answer.

ABOUT Dean Phillips - Dean previously built 2 very successful franchises that he sold for a nice profit prior to starting All About Business in 2005. His previous experience includes:

  • Franchisee of the Year Award 1998 which included a nice Cayman Islands Vacation from Franchisor
  • Excellence in Leadership Award 2001
  • $3,000,000 in Sales Award
  • Top 10% Earners Cruise to the Caribbean
  • Served on the Franchisor’ National Advertising & Advisory Counsel
  • National Advertising & Advisory Award
  • Several Awards for Industry Specific Services
  • Several Personal Achievement Awards

Author: Dean Phillips, 11/8/2013

 

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