Customers are the core of any business. But no two customers are the same. A career in customer support entails taxing interactions with the clients and to maintain an amicable rapport.
Handling emotions are pivotal in this process and require attention. In addition to that, maintaining a positive relationship by catering to the customer’s needs and improvising efficacy on a regular basis are the other crucial factors.
As a customer support executive, understanding the core emotions of the customer, drafting responses to queries/complaints, and communicating resolutions effectively are the key pillars of the business.
Customer support 101: Talk to them, literally.
Understanding emotions are easier if it is a voice process. Human interactions take precedence over any other forms of tech-based support. Comprehending them over emails and chats require a lot of training and experience.
To be in sync with the issues of the customer and to make them comfortable the agent has to be well versed with product research and experience. The best way to do this is to be in constant touch with the core product team of your company, who can help you in being updated on the day to day product releases and changes, which in turn helps you in predicting an error.
There are two features that support agents can implement to offer a seamless experience to customers:
- Empathy – Being empathetic is an ability to understand the perspective of the customer and to step in their situations before coming to a conclusion.
- Etiquettes– Politeness and good listening skills go a long way.
Using these two soft skills, a customer support agent is better equipped to handle difficult customer interactions.
Below are certain pointers that may help one frame appropriate responses
Your first response to the customer’s concern can do wonders. Understanding the exact requirement of the customer plays a vital role in how your discourse with them will pan out.
You can always ask for more details in your first email if you have any doubts regarding their concern. This also gives an impression that you are putting in the effort to assist them and adds to the clarity. Also, it’s a great idea to address them with their name as much as possible. Here’s a general template sample you could use:
“Hello ABC, Hope you are doing good. I will be assisting you with your requirement. Before that, could you please elaborate on your concern a bit more so that I can understand the same better and update you on it accordingly?”
If in case you have an idea about what the query is, you can confirm that as well, as mentioned in the example below:
“Hello ABC, Hope you are doing good. I will be glad to help you out with this. Before that I would like to confirm your requirement, to avoid any confusion. I understand you have a concern about the order you had placed recently on our platform and you are facing difficulty in getting in touch with the merchant, to trace the delivery. Kindly confirm if this is the issue you are facing so that I can assist you with this accordingly.”
Use Simple & Comprehensive Language
Avoid difficult/complicated words or jargon as much as possible. Not all customers are fluent in every language. When you respond to a query, make sure you write it in simple and basic English. Keep your statements crisp but don’t avoid any vital information.
Also, grammatical errors can be kept under control by proof-reading and using Grammar correction tools like Grammarly.
Refrain from Repetitions
At times, when the customer is unable to understand the response/resolution you provide, you tend to copy-paste the same response again. It leaves the problem unresolved. The reason the customer comes back with the same problem is the lack of clarity from the agent’s end.
An ideal way to deal with this is to change the format of your response. You can always try giving them step by step resolution instead of a paragraph, maybe attach a screenshot as well to guide them properly.
Example: The customer has inquired about changing his account username and you want to communicate the resolution for the same to him/her. You can use either of these 2 responses:
“I will be glad to run you through this process. Please login to your account, and you will be able to edit your username, under the ‘account settings’. Kindly try this method and feel free to get back to me if you have any further queries.”
“I will be glad to run you through this process. Please find the step by step process for your requirement:
- Log in to your account dashboard.
- Click on your profile image on the top right corner.
- Select ‘settings’, from the dropdown.
- Select ‘account settings’ in the following page.
- Click on ‘Edit username’ and you can update the same here.
Kindly try this method and feel free to get back to me if you have any further queries.”
Reduce Macros/Templates Usage
The more computerised responses you send, the more your probability of ruining your relationship with the customer. When a customer comes to you for a resolution, he/she is not expecting a bot to respond. Templates and macros are helpful for basic, general queries if a customer is looking for information on some topic.
Most of the time, when the requirement is specific, it is strongly recommended to NOT USE templated responses. Make it as personalized as you see fit. This helps in gaining the trust of the customer and to build rapport with them.
Here is a small tip/hack I can help you with for such scenarios. You can always create issue-specific templates and keep it handy. But make sure, that these templates will have certain blank spaces that have to be filled on a case to case basis. Here’s an example to refer to:
Hello ABC, Thank you for getting in touch with us regarding your refund case. This case(*mention the case ID here*) is already closed from our end in favor of the buyer on *mention the date here* and we have initiated the refund back to the source account from which the payment was made. It usually takes 5-7 business days for the amount to be credited back in the source account.”
In the above example, the bold texts are the ones you can edit before sending out the response.
Less is More – don’t keep apologising:
Empathy is one of the prerequisites for an agent. However, we tend to overuse this trait and dilute the essence of the job. It shouldn’t be used to just settle the distressed customers but should be a tool for understanding their needs and providing a resolution.
The customers are looking for more than a mere apology. Fundamentally, as an agent, make sure that you provide a resolution or a closure to the issue the customer raised with you. You might not have a resolution right away which can happen at times, especially when you have to rely on other teams for a resolution, but make sure you communicate that to the customer and provide a tentative resolution time.
These key factors can be used as a mini-guide to help tackle everyday issues and grievances with customers. Along with that, working on your instincts and acquiring a unique method of dealing with them will also help in finding your niche as a customer support executive.
At Instamojo, we try to imbibe all of the above to provide a better support experience to our customers. Get started with Instamojo to experience the future of payments in the simplest manner.