Improving Customer Support

Excellent customer support is crucial to most any business. When improving customer support you must examine how your employees and customers interact. You must also choose the proper tools so that your customer support department can most effectively do its task. Following these simple guidelines will aid you in improving your customer live support.

Good Customer Support Starts at the Top

If you have a customer support methodology, then you must show your employees how it works by example. Management personnel must be the model for customer support and its chief evangelist. It's not enough to put up posters or simply tell your employees that customer support is important; customer support should become part of the corporate ideology. Customer support should be a keystone in the hiring and firing of employees. During annual performance reviews, supervisors should rate employees on their customer support performance. Such performance should be attached to measurable goals.

Greener Customer Support

"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" also applies to customer support. By keeping tabs on the customer support of your competitors, you can often learn valuable lessons on what to do-and what not to do. You can easily see what they are doing by browsing their websites and even placing a call to their customer service center. If you really want to improve your customer support, have a look at companies outside of your industry. See what they're doing right, what works for them and try to adapt their customer support strategies to your business.

Keeping Up with the Jones's

Almost no industry remains static for an extended period. Doing business means changing and evolving. For this reason, you should periodically evaluate your customer support programs. You should ask yourself what can be done differently, what can be improved, and where your weaknesses are. Technological advances, particularly in the field of web communication technologies, offer new opportunities that were unheard of a year ago. The implementation of such technologies can be a simple way to boost your level of customer live support.

Get One on One

Customer support with a sense of warmth and personality will make a favorable impression on people who come in contact with your company. One way to do this would be to put the names and photos of your customer support staff on an online customer support page. Customers could then click on email address of that specific person if they need assistance. Many online chat systems allow you to post the photo of the rep in the chat window, so the customer can see who he is talking to. These touches can make interaction more intimate than just swapping text messages back and forth.

Data Overload

Many corporate websites offer a plethora of sales and support information for their products. However, even when such information is easily accessible, some customers may simply not want to bother looking for it themselves, or they simply don't have the time. Many customers may have a question and want an immediate answer and may simply be unable to receive your e-mail reply. When such self-service fails, the customer should be able to get help as soon as possible through either phone support or live support through your website.

Better than Email

Email is an acceptable form of communication, but live customer support is still more desirable. The enormous amount of information available online can overwhelm your customers, especially if they are not experienced with the Internet. You can make your company stand out by providing customers with real-time communication with a live person through your website. Your website visitors would simply click on a live support button on your website to get help right away.

Your Best Critics

If you're plumb out of ideas on how to improve your customer support, then ask the people who would know best-your customers. When customers call, it's a simple matter to query them to find out what can be done to your improve customer support. That answers you receive might be revealing. Such information can by be gleaned from website visitors with simple questionnaires that can fill out on leaving the site. To increase your number of responses, you can offer a small incentive, such as a discount off their next purchase.

Test Drive your Customer Support

Customer support chat should be evaluated on an ongoing basis. The best way to do this is to pretend you are a customer and try out your customer service. Go to your website and try navigating and finding information there. Is the visit it a pleasant experience? Was it useful or frustrating? How accessible was information? Was it difficult to contact your customer support staff through your website? How long did it take for them to answer your questions? Site visitation is a bar-none excellent way to test your customer support.

We are here to serve YOU!

It is not sufficient to train agents how to handle customers; customer support must become part of the corporate culture of your company. It must be reinforced and ongoing. A good idea would be to provide employee incentives to reward good customer service. For example, employees that achieve a certain benchmark in customer service after a specified period can be given paid vacation time. Employees on point-based benchmarking systems can cash in those points for company merchandise.

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