The Second Element of Great Customer Service: Quality of Information

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We are continuing our look into each element of great customer support from our popular November blog entry: The Three Basic Elements of Customer Support. Next element: Quality of Information.

[Q]uality answers and information can make or break a customer’s level of trust in the company as a whole. The sole customer support representative interacting with a customer will shape their opinion of your company, so customer support representatives giving quality information is key. If a customer is given bad information, then their opinion of the company will be bad. Bad news spreads quickly. However if they are given quality answers, their opinion will be positive and they will give your company glowing reviews.

Your customer support agents need to sound like they know what they are talking about. They also need to convey the same information regardless of channel, product, or service. If your company or customer support is siloed this will be an issue.

If your company or support department have grown and added products, services, or channels over time, it is possible that each area has cobbled together their own way of doing things and their own knowledge bases. With separate repositories of information and training/support practices, your company will begin to sound fragmented to your customers, particularly if they use more than one of your offerings.

Nothing is more frustrating than to be told different things by different people from the same company. Even when the products are different. It is time to consolidate those knowledge bases and training practices so everyone is on the same message. A particular question should receive the same answer by web customer portal, live chat, phone, or other interactive method.

Additionally, to make things easier for everyone, information should be presented in the knowledge base using the same conventions. Whether someone is looking up answers about widget A or sprocket B, the information should be presented in the same way. One way to accomplish this is by using templates for knowledge base article entry. With specific fields to fill out, articles become easier to reference.

Make all channels access the same knowledgebase and the siloes of inforamation disappear. With good editing, the article quality and completeness will improve. And creating a way to automatically check for same or similar information keeps duplication of effort down.

Agents will feel more confident if they know the answers are there, correct, and easily accessed. Customers will feel more confident of the answers they get to their problems. And your company will receive stellar reviews on its quality of customer service.

Who doesn’t want that?

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Jody’s article on the basic components of customer support is great. Too many companies don’t provide sufficient training or have appropriate software platforms in place to provide consistency among all channels of communication. Jody is 100% correct that when customers lose confidence because they keep on receiving different answers to the same questions they will not be happy. Everyone is too busy to be wasting their time contacting a company more than once just to get an answer that sounds like it’s right. Richard Shapiro, The Center For Client Retention

  2. Consistency is key. Customers don’t like hearing different answers. Employees don’t like not knowing the right answer. Knowledge infused support and knowledge centered support (KCS) is the only way to address this issue.

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