Here at PARiM, our client is our everything, and in addition to building software, we are also constantly learning how to deliver even faster, friendlier and overall excellent customer support. We found a few articles that represent our own principles and views on everything related to client support quite well, and what we'll do is link you to them and also point out a few key ideas we especially agree with. Here we go!
The people of KISSmetrics have written a long and thorough article on increasing customer lifetime value and loyalty that you can read here, but the one piece of advice that popped out to us most is this - make quality a priority.
This is where everything begins - you can have the best product or service in the world, but if your customer support team doesn't know what they're doing or more importantly - doesn't enjoy what they're doing - then you're in pretty big doodoo right from the very start. You only have one shot at a first impression when a client comes to you for help, so don't mess it up - make their support experience not just good, but great - they'll come back to you AND tell their friends/coworkers/family/cat about it. Everybody wins!
Olark makes awesome live chat software and they are also masters of delivering amazing customer support. This little article has a fair amount of good points, but here's something that we always try to keep in mind (and think you should, too!) - form a real bond with your customers. We're not robots - we're people. With lives. Seriously!
Let your clients know there are actual real human beings on the other end of the line who genuinely care about their well-being. Don't call them and ask if they got enough protein with their breakfast - that's just creepy. Come on. But do ask them how they're doing and what they're up to every once in a while - it's very much your business.
Hubspot is all about marketing, but that doesn't mean they don't know how important good customer relationships are, and they have tips – 11 of them, to be exact, but the one we love most is the last one - say "Thank you". This is super important - your clients are the reason you're even doing business to begin with, and you should always remember that.
This doesn't mean going over the top with showing gratitude and sending them baskets full of freshly baked cookies along with thank you notes hand carved in stone every five minutes, but - just let them know they're appreciated - listen to them, accept their feedback and put it into good use. And then thank them.
Learn the best way to say "no"
Sometimes you just can't make it happen. Freshdesk tells you all about how to make that “no” a little bit better. We hate saying no to our clients as much as everyone else, but what you can do instead is, as the clever people at Freshdesk said as well - solve their problem anyway. Saying no doesn't mean it's the end of everything right there and then - find out what it is that they actually want or are trying to do, and try your best to work around it - even if it ends up not working out anyway, your client will still appreciate and remember your efforts.
We'd love to hear your opinion as well!
Obviously there's more to delivering awesome customer support than what we've highlighted here, but those four points - keeping quality in mind, forming a bond, showing appreciation and knowing how to deal with difficult situations - are what we consider the foundation to everything else.
What are your views on the topic? Comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org - we'd love to have a chat!