Customers place quality phone support as a high priority when choosing a service. When using software or another digital service you don’t fully understand, the ability to call knowledgeable staff 24/7 is invaluable.
Therefore, if they don’t find that service to be adequate, it could mean lost customers. Research shows that when you lose a single customer, you could also lose up to 16 referrals from unhappy customers who spread the word about their bad service experience.
Furthermore, as you improve your support systems, you’ll have higher retention rates. Retention is the number one method of improving your bottom line since 86 percent of customers are willing to pay more if it means they have a better customer service experience.
It pays to have great customer tech support. If you want to improve your bottom line and maintain the customers you have, here are some key suggestions for improving tech phone support:
1. Reduce the hoops your customers must jump through.
Everyone has experienced a lengthy customer service call in which they met an unhelpful automated system, followed by multiple transfers, during which they were put on hold for 10 minutes at a time. That leaves a pretty bad taste in customers’ mouths. How can this be improved?
If possible, connect customers to the right department from the start. Instead of asking for their information first, listen to the issue. Transfer them to the right department, and let them handle the rest.
2. Use a better ticketing system.
You’re probably already using a ticketing system to manage your service requests, but it might be time to change your current system. Look for a ticketing system or help desk software that can improve customer service by:
- automating ticket assignments
- accurately transferring the customer information on time
- recording ticketing history
- creating reports and analyses to improve technician performance
- being easy to use for your customer service team
Software is constantly evolving A ticketing system investment can be game changing for your organization.
3. Offer solutions for a problem clearly and quickly.
When customers call you, they’re probably already frustrated. You can alleviate much of their stress by letting them know you’re on top of things. Let callers know you have solutions up your sleeve as soon as the issue is made known. As long as you’re actively working towards fixing the issue and getting the consumers back on track, you’ll win favor in their eyes.
4. Try implementing gamification for more engaged employees.
Working at a call center can sometimes be dull and difficult, which creates less engaged employees and increases the risk of dissatisfied customers. By implementing a gamification element, you can add some fun to the position and generate higher performance.
Gamification in customer service organizations comes in a variety of styles. You might try badging, leader boards, prize pools, contests, and other “games” to relieve monotony and give your staff something to look forward to.
5. Provide a variety of support options including mobile.
Phone support is great, but it’s not the only option. Customers often prefer an alternative source of communication for their tech problems, including live chat.
Mobile support is also a very popular solution today, even though very few businesses have a mobile customer support strategy. This is unfortunate since companies with mobile support have seen high success.
6. Be a little more social.
About 80 percent of customers will call customer support, but it’s good to expand your reach. Social media has become the number one online activity to field customer service issues to date. You can provide customer support lines through messaging, hashtags, and other social signals, letting customers know you have their back wherever they go.
7. Extend your support hours.
Around the clock customer support is recommended, if possible. Not everyone will have the bandwidth or man power to field phone calls night and day, but you could at least extend your hours. Instead of providing support Monday through Friday when the majority of your customers are at work, offer a 12-hour window six days per week, say from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
If you’re not able to answer calls after hours, make it easy for customers to reach out to you. Provide an automated message that states your service hours. You might also offer an emergency phone number, depending on the nature of your service.
8. Value empathy above all else.
It’s true that customers love speed and employees who know what they’re talking about, but research shows that empathy is actually the most important factor in customer tech support. In fact, a survey from Genesys showed that a majority of people—about 40 percent—said that more human and empathetic service was their biggest wish in great customer support.
Your customer support may not be perfect, but by implementing some of these measures, your team can build reputation and leave your customers smiling.