I’m often asked about how we provide customer service. As a general guideline, our support and service can be summed up by “doing the right thing”. As cliche as that sounds, this is an easy guideline to follow. It lets us remove most of the process from providing support, and relying on our team’s judgement and skills.
In the end, our level of service comes down to 3 simple, important tips.
1 – Listen to the customer
We currently get just under 1500 support requests per day on average. It’s easy to assume all the requests fall within just a few categories. It’s even easier to assume the problems being reported are not “our” problems, but something the customer did.
We’ve all called our personal internet providers to report some issue. Most of the time, I call mine because the speed gets too low to do anything online. And I always, without question, always get told the problem is on my end and to call a network technician. I understand why, these companies get thousands of calls every day, and I’m sure some really are because of a customer’s networking setup causing problems. However, sometimes it can be something on your side too that needs to be fixed.
Listen to your customer. Hear what they’re telling you. You can learn a lot about your customer, their skill set, what they’re comfortable with, what do they do, are they technical or not. You might come back to the very same conclusion, but how you get there matters a lot when it comes to customer service. Believing your platform is perfect and your customer’s problem isn’t yours is easy. Too easy.
2 – Validate the problem
Once you get an idea of what problem your customer is reporting, it’s time to validate it. Never assume anything, and always assume the problem can be from anywhere. Keep a wide open mind in this step, because it’s important. If you think you know where the problem is, by all means, test your theory out. And if it’s not there, go through your problem solving logic.
Never assume the problem is “out of scope” or something the “customer did”. Again, those are too easy.
Validating a problem a customer reports can be extremely helpful not just for that customer, but for other customers too. It’s how you scale support and service. Every time a customer reports a problem, and it becomes validated, the fix should be immediately applied for the customer, and sent over to our Systems team so it can be applied for all customers.
3 – Be human
We aren’t robots, so let’s not act like them. Customers are the reason we’re in business, which means we should treat every customer like a human being, not an automated bug reporter.
One thing we need to remember, every single day, is that while we might see the same problem reported multiple times per day, our customer doesn’t. To them, this is a real problem affecting them. It’s important enough to them that they report it to us, and have an expectation that we’ll fix it.
This means always being professional. Giving simple, accurate explanations that give context, reasons and actions to the reported problem. And most importantly, to have empathy, because a problem is a problem, and problems are always pains in the behind.
By following those 3 guidelines, we provide what we believe to be really solid support and service. It’s not hard to do. Just be there for your customers.