Customer Support maintains the relationships that drive business, and like all relationships, there are no shortcuts.
At Unbabel, we follow 7 rules in every customer interaction. We find that having a short list of principles to guide our Customer Support efforts helps us stay focused on what’s truly important as our team grows and our response protocols change.
Here’s a look at how Unbabel thinks about customer support. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments!
1. Be Honest
Whether it is a faulty product, poor service, or simply a misunderstanding, be honest with your customers. Admitting mistakes and/or shortcomings humanizes you and allows your customers the chance to empathize rather than fume. Admitting mistakes is not easy, but transparent communication as you work toward solutions is always appreciated and will result in higher retention rates over the long run.
2. Stay Positive
Everyone has an ego and no one likes to be wrong. When it comes to customer relations, it takes a lot of strength to stay cool, especially when the customer is making mistakes and you’re taking heat. Support agents need to master the art of apologizing and explaining solutions without pointing out customer mistakes. Always channel positive energy toward your customers and you can expect them to (eventually) do the same.
3. Deliver Value
Each customer interaction should deliver value to the customer. Receiving quick, solid answers to an issue is what every customer expects. Support agents often combine problem solving and creative thinking with relationship building. Be friendly, but make sure to communicate efficiently. This will save everyone time and lessen potential confusion.
4. Treat Every Issue As Equal
The issues reported by customers are not equally urgent, important or severe. Still, Support needs to make sure to devote enough attention to each customer and offer a customized approach to their individual needs. Customer Support should ensure that attention is given to every issue, no matter how seemingly trivial.
5. Empower Your Users
Good customer service should transform customers into fully functional and independent users of your service or product. Empower your users by assisting them during all stages of the onboarding and initial usage process. Adjust your service to meet their individual needs and listen carefully to their feedback. This last part is especially important: customers are expert users of your product; always welcome their suggestions and accept their criticisms.
6. Keep A Good Bar
Any decent barkeep – perhaps the oldest of support agents – knows his/her customers’ inside out, from what they drink to their kids’ successes to how things are going at work…you get the picture. They learn about their customers and carry that knowledge forward in every interaction. Doing the same will not only help you deliver great service but also earn your customers’ fondness.
Note that you don’t need beer to get familiar with your customers’ requirements and preferences. But it helps
7. Do Maintenance
Gaining your customers’ loyalty and trust is a rewarding experience and a crucial achievement. But it doesn’t end there. The last step is in maintaining the relationship. How do you do that? Review: be honest, channel positive energy, empower your customers, deliver value with each interaction, offer a customized approach, and know your customers well. Rinse. Wash. Repeat. Ad Infinitum.
We hope you found this article helpful in framing your own thoughts on what guides your Customer Support efforts. If you are interested in learning more about how Unbabel can help your Support team connect and build relationships with customers all over the world, take a look at our Zendesk integration.