How to Train Your Customer Service Agents for Tech Support

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Con­trary to what some peo­ple might think, cus­tomer ser­vice and tech sup­port are not the same role. The type of train­ing and ser­vice offered are quite dif­fer­ent, though many of the skills — such as empathic lis­ten­ing, prob­lem solv­ing, and the abil­ity to de-escalate a prob­lem – are rel­e­vant in both roles.

If you need to ask your cus­tomer ser­vice agents to han­dle tech­ni­cal sup­port issues, make sure you take them through the appro­pri­ate train­ing so that they can suc­cess­fully help callers nav­i­gate tech issues. Below are five train­ing tips to incor­po­rate into your pro­gram so that your cus­tomer ser­vice agents won’t feel un-prepared when tech sup­port calls start com­ing in.

Step 1: It starts with the greeting

How a tech­ni­cal sup­port call begins is impor­tant. Have your team start the call off on the right foot with the cus­tomer by under­stand­ing how to deliver a greet­ing that is not overly curt, nor too lengthy. Here are a few pointers:

  • Estab­lish in the greet­ing that the caller has reached tech sup­port. Have the agent pro­vide his or her name to make the call more personal.
  • Don’t use greet­ings that are too lengthy – keep the greet­ing short, descrip­tive, and to-the-point.
  • Coach your team to sound friendly and happy to help solve the issue.

Step 2: Active listening

Fol­low­ing the greet­ing, your agents should ask what type of issue the caller is deal­ing with. In this active lis­ten­ing phase, the agent should care­fully lis­ten as the caller describes the prob­lem. Make sure the agent gath­ers per­ti­nent infor­ma­tion, such as the soft­ware ver­sion the caller is using, the year/model, and any other tech­ni­cal aspects that will aid in diag­nos­ing and fix­ing the problem.

After the caller has described the issue, the agent should para­phrase the prob­lem back. This serves two pur­poses: It com­mu­ni­cates to the caller that the agent has heard and is lis­ten­ing, and it ensures that the cor­rect issue is noted.

Step 3: Apol­o­gize, empathize, reassure

In the third step, the agent will reas­sure the caller that the issue will be han­dled prop­erly. The agent should apol­o­gize only when your com­pany, company’s prod­uct, or a sup­plier to your com­pany is to blame for the prod­uct defect. Then, the agent can offer empathic words, such as “I know this must be really frus­trat­ing for you, and I’m sorry it’s tak­ing time out of your day to work on this issue.” Finally, the agent can offer reas­sur­ance to the caller, let­ting the cus­tomer know that the agent will per­son­ally over­see res­o­lu­tion to the problem.

Step 4: Solv­ing the problem

In great tech sup­port, the actual prob­lem solv­ing doesn’t hap­pen until the fourth step. This is when the agent will look up the issue and take steps to solve the prob­lem. If the agent needs to ask the caller to wait while the prob­lem is being researched, make sure the agent checks in peri­od­i­cally with the caller to let the cus­tomer know that the agent is research­ing and work­ing on the issue.

Step 5: Con­fir­ma­tion that the tech sup­port call was a success

The last step in a tech sup­port call is one of the most impor­tant steps: Ensur­ing that the caller believes the prob­lem was suf­fi­ciently solved. The agent should say some­thing like, “Did we solve the prob­lem that you were call­ing about? Is there any­thing else that I can help you with?”

Ask­ing this final ques­tion closes the call and gives the tech sup­port agent con­fir­ma­tion that the issue was indeed solved, and it allows the cus­tomer to con­firm that he or she feels sat­is­fied with how the call went.

Give your cus­tomer ser­vice agents con­fi­dence to han­dle tech sup­port issues

Tech sup­port and cus­tomer sup­port are tra­di­tion­ally dif­fer­ent depart­ments, but cus­tomer ser­vice agents can assist in tech sup­port when they under­stand the tech­ni­cal aspects of the prob­lem, and they apply the right prob­lem solv­ing steps to the issue.

With some train­ing and guid­ance, your cus­tomer ser­vice agents will have the con­fi­dence they need to han­dle tech support.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodi Beuder
We help organizations create a positive connection between customers and brands. We promote synergy through integration as it builds on the decades of collective history of renowned expertise. MHI Global is your comprehensive source for customer-management excellence solutions to compete in today's ever-changing, customer-centric environment.

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