Jan 23, 2024

How to Provide Excellent Customer Support

How to provide excellent customer support

Whether you staff a call center or assist customers in person, excellent customer support is crucial for maintaining a positive brand reputation and successful business. Think back to products and services that you have sought support from in the past—do you have a more favorable view of companies that went above and beyond with their customer service? You’re in good company; in fact, 81% of customers cite positive customer service experiences as the reason they make another purchase from a brand. Conversely, 61% of consumers have cut ties with a brand after a poor customer service experience. Therefore, ensuring you know how to provide excellent customer support is key to customer retention and maintaining your brand image.

At LCS, our Product Support Specialists are adept at providing excellent customer service. As a recipient of a Silver Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year, our support department knows how to go above and beyond for our Rent Manager users. Our customers and their experience with our products is of the utmost importance to us.

If you’re looking to take your support from ‘good’ to ‘exceptional,’ here are seven ways to provide excellent customer support.

Be Knowledgeable

First things first, to provide customers with the assistance they need, you need to know your product. Take the time to get familiar with all the ins and outs, its day-to-day uses, and the most common issues that customers may encounter. Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than having to explain basic things about a product to someone who should be helping them. Make sure you have a good grasp on common issues your customers face, and that you can position yourself as an expert. For managers, help your customer support team succeed by providing adequate and continuous training, especially if your product or service has frequent updates or changes.

Be Prompt

No one likes to wait, especially if they have a problem they need solved. If possible, responses to customer inquiries should be quick, ideally within a few minutes via call center or chat. The longer someone has to wait to talk about their problem, the less likely they are to view the customer service experience positively, no matter how good the service actually turns out. In fact, according to customer surveys, two-thirds of people say they’re only willing to wait on hold for two minutes or less, and 13% say there’s no amount of time they’d be okay with waiting. Make sure your support department has enough staff to manage the volume of customer inquiries you usually receive. And make sure your team is well-equipped to answer questions efficiently.

Be Empathetic

Customer support is, at its core, a human endeavor. Even when customers are frustrated or upset, being met with positivity, kindness, and empathy is the key to earning trust and loyalty. Keep a positive and patient attitude when working with customers, even in the face of difficult emotions. Try to understand where their frustration or problem lies and meet them with kindness and a genuine desire to help. Customers will notice and appreciate your commitment to helping them through their problems and how you treated them as a person, rather than a number on a queue.

Be An Active Listener

On a similar note to empathy, active listening skills pay off immensely when it comes to excellent customer service. Give customers your undivided attention when they’re explaining their problem, restate their issue for your understanding and clarity, and then provide feedback. By engaging with them and really hearing them, instead of trying to stick to a script, you can give them a more individualized experience, which also helps build trust and reputation.

Be Personal

The simple act of using a customer’s name can go a long way to establish a valuable connection. Greeting customers by name helps them to feel less like a number and more like a human being. You can also take being personable a step further and ask them questions about themselves, especially if there’s downtime while you’re waiting for an answer, escalation, or a system to load. As a company, sending surveys for personalized feedback also makes customers feel like their voice will be heard, so don’t be afraid to ask for feedback by email after the support interaction to show you genuinely care. 

Be Honest

Honesty and integrity are two values that are a must when it comes to customer support. People don’t want to feel like they’re being lied to or misled, so be honest with them! Don’t misrepresent your product’s capabilities, and if you don’t know the answer to a question, tell them that you’ll find out instead of making something up on the spot. In the same vein, make sure you don’t make promises you can’t keep, like offering a higher discount on a future purchase than you can give. Callers want to know that they can trust you and your organization, so it’s always better to under-promise and overdeliver on results instead of coming up short.

Be Creative

Finally, there is always some room for creative problem-solving when it comes to customer service. While you may be able to solve common problems with ease, if a customer has a unique issue, you may need to flex your brain a bit to come up with a resolution. If you’re open to out-of-the-box thinking or solutions, you may impress your customer by going above and beyond to help with their unusual problem. Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues for help or go to your manager for approval before trying something that’s off the beaten path. If you pull it off successfully, you’ll have gained a grateful consumer that’s more willing to purchase from you again.

Support Your Employees Like You Support Customers

At the end of the day, excellent customer support can be traced back to excellent employees. For managers and company owners, providing adequate training, good benefits, and a welcoming culture goes a long way toward improving your customer service potential. After all, happy employees provide better assistance and are more willing to go the extra mile to keep both the client and their company happy. Ensuring your customers are happy with your products allows for continued growth and success in many other facets of the company.

At LCS, we invest in and appreciate our support specialists, and it pays off year after year in many ways. If you’re looking for a career in customer support that will help you grow, check out our open positions and apply today.