Give Great Support by Supporting Your Customer Support Team

c

Give them outlets

Many customer support people feel like the only thing that they are valued for is their contributions answering incoming tickets. Anyone who feels like they are destined to do the same thing day-in-and-day-out with little reprieve or challenge for growth is quickly going to get frustrated and disheartened.

Out of the queue time

Support people are some of the most insightful people at your company when it comes to what customers want.

Opportunities to specialize

After someone has been on your team for a while, you might notice that they start to exhibit interest or excellence in a specific area of support.

Channel switching

When you’re getting the same input in the exact same way on repeat, it can feel like torture.

An actual break

It is scientifically proven that taking short breaks from a main-focus task helps to improve focus. If none of these things are helping your employee to cool down, it might be time to offer a little break to reset. Maybe that looks like taking some time off to take a walk, maybe it looks like taking a whole afternoon or personal day or, if the issue is really deep, maybe it means that the employee needs to take a few days of staycation.

support people

How to talk to a customer support person after a rough interaction

If you’ve picked up on the fact that there’s an interaction in your inbox that could have gone better, take the time to assess all of the different facets of the conversation, and what could have changed. Maybe that means recognizing that there were opportunities for your employee to improve, but it also means understanding where a customer’s expectations might have been better set.

  • Addressing the issue so it doesn’t happen in the future,
  • Supporting your employee and their growth,
  • Setting up processes to proactively solve this issue moving forward, if possible.

Acknowledge

At the beginning of the conversation with your employee, acknowledge directly what happened.

Align

This is where you get on the same level as your employee.

Assure

Closing out the conversation, assure your team member that you’ve got their back and get where they’re coming from.

support people

Conclusion

Customer interactions are much more than the nuts and bolts that make them up — someone can have perfect grammar and follow all of the rules in your support handbook, but still have poor interactions with customers if they don’t feel good about themselves or the work that they are doing.

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Mercer

Mercer Smith-Looper

Mercer is the Head of Support at Appcues, a yoga fanatic, and strives to make the world a little bit happier one customer at a time. You can find her at mercenator.com and on Twitter at @mercenator.

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