The road to hell is full of good intentions.
When a client writes with a problem, you want to do everything you can to make sure that your problem is resolved and that your experience in the service is sublime. You think you have gone beyond the call of duty to get the job done – you responded in time, your emails were grammatically correct and mentioned (several times) that you were happy to help. However, your client seems to like you less and less with every interaction – they do not want to hear from you, they’re tweeting behind their backs and they’ve gone so far as to ask for another support representative.
What could be the problem? It has something that is driving away its customers but you have no idea what. Was it something he said or did? Or is it one of these small sins of support with great consequences that we have listed below?
# 1 Drag when you made a mistake
It was a rookie error, but his client seems to have taken it to heart. You get a sad face on your satisfaction survey despite the series of bad tweets about your support. Now, you have two options – you can sweep everything under the carpet or you can apologize and try to fix it.
And, obviously, he ends up apologizing. A lot.
But there is a fine line between apologizing and kneeling. Just because you want to overcome remorse and do things right, this does not mean that you can bombard the customer with emails. Apologize gracefully, accept your mistake, and try to do things right for the client. Just once. If the customer is not willing to be lured back, respect your decision and do not try to overwhelm him.
# 2 Make the customer change communication channel
This is the first lesson of support through Twitter. Everyone knows it.
But what most people do not realize is that it does not just belong to Twitter. It is a rule for all channels – a rule that most reps tend to violate in favor of phone calls. Even if the customer is not too comfortable with the idea.
They argue that phone calls save the customer (and themselves) a lot of time. But I have to disagree. It is a sin because you are ignoring the customer’s preference. If the customer had wanted to call you over the phone, he would have contacted you by phone. You are in contact with you through a medium you prefer, so it is rude to ask them to switch to a medium that suits you, even if the problem will be solved faster that way.
I would say that you should change channels only if
A) The client requests it or
B) It is a matter of high priority that can not be resolved with a single email. Even then, I insist on politely consulting first before launching a call.
PS – It’s another story if your support number is not free.
# 3 Point out customer mistakes
“I’m always right, even when I’m bad … I’m right.”
I recently heard of an unpleasant service experience that seemed to fit perfectly with this post, so here it goes. My friend Jane told me that she had once misunderstood something the rep had requested and gave her the wrong information. This resulted in a long exchange that felt more like a battle of wit than a supportive interaction. His mistake was something the rep had brought a large amount. The representative did not fail to mention his mistake in the course of his exchange. So, unsurprisingly, at the end of the conversation, instead of proper resolution, Jane felt harassment and frustration.
Most customer service stories can be easily qualified in one of two classes – clients-of-hell and poor service. This story, on the other hand, did not come into any. This representative was proving that he was right all the time at the cost of hurting his client’s feelings. An old wise man once said, “The customer is always right.” While agents do not have to take whatever they throw at them, they have to choose their battles and learn to let some mistakes happen. After all, as Lo Marino told us in his interview, almost everyone relaxes when they help him take some of the blame.
# 4 Do not provide a reason why you are solving the ticket
Always, always, always must provide a reason for every move. Never leave anything in the air because you believe it is implied. Explain why you are reassigning the ticket, explain why you are lowering the priority, explain why you are resolving the ticket, put everything on a record for your director, as well as your customer, no matter when they come back for review. Your client is not omniscient, so do not leave anything to chance.
# 5 Use “but …” or “however …” immediately after “Thank you” or “Sorry”.
It was not until Carolyn Kopprasch escribií this excellent article about how he would refrain from using the word ‘actually’ and ‘but’ in their emails from customers, I realized how much that bothers me too . ‘In reality’ it carries an air of condescension with it, especially in a medium in which the tone is incapable of imparting a second meaning to the text. Also, I’ve always thought there’s something about the phrase “I’m sorry, but I can not help you with this …” as if you’re not really apologizing, just say it for the sake of posterity. .
So go ahead. Leave “in reality” and “but”. You will be amazed at the difference it makes in your emails.
# 6 Resorting to templates constantly
The way it works in most organizations is that every novice is given a set of response templates for each occasion before they are released to play with helpdesk. These templates are meant to provide guidance for newbies, to show them what is acceptable and what is not.
The problem occurs when people take the templates as their bible and try to incorporate their suggestions into each email in the same conversation. The template for the first acceptable response, but simply not enough when more interaction is required. Be repetitive but polite and friendly, it does seem robotic .
# 7 Cross the sales pitch
I would bet there is nothing more frustrating than writing for support and to come face to face with a type of sales. And let’s not forget that at first, almost everyone is the type of sales. They have good intentions; What they really want is to make you see how awesome their product is, so they are doing everything they can to make sure you get the best out of it. If that means trying to push a higher plan, then so be it, think. However, this does not always translate well. Because when the type of sales is seriously trying to convince you of a superior plan, the only thing the customer can really think is that they do not care about their problem, and they feel like just a number on a balance sheet.
So, until your customers ask for help exploring your options, please keep that sales pitch tucked away.