Value those people who tell you the truth, not just those people who tell you what you want to hear.Pat Summitt
One of the most important aspects of providing support is the ability to be open and transparent with the information you are sharing… and knowing how best to provide that information.
Telling a customer the truth about a feature not working as expected, or perhaps not existing is much more valuable that find an obfuscated turn of phrase that is intended to provide an answer although not provide a solution. If you do not know, just say so!
Not knowing an answer is not necessarily a bad thing provided you let the customer know that is the case and also that you will find out what the answer is and get back to them with it. If you don’t find that answer, still get back to the customer with a response and let them know that, too.
Support is mostly about communication and building a rapport with the customers you are working with. These customers should know, or at the least be comfortable with, you will provide them the best, most truthful and complete answer you are able to.
Tell the truth… sugar-coat if you must but not so much you lost the customer. Going forward, you will both know you are starting from the same point and understanding.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything as if it were a nail. Abraham Maslow
Although pounding something into place may be satisfying and even possibly achieve the end results needed ultimately it may not have been the best approach to take.
Providing support requires you make certain the toolbox of resources you have at your disposal consists of more than a one-size fits all hammer. To continue with the analogy, you may need a screwdriver because it may be a screw you are faced with instead of a nail. Again, this doesn’t mean the hammer wouldn’t work but it’s not likely the right tool for the job.
Using what you believe to be the right tool for the job, aside from likely achieving the goal most effectively and efficiently also generally provides for the means to walk-back a solution if it turns out not to be correct.
Also to note, don’t just reach into your toolbox and be satisfied the first tool you grab will be the right one. Take time to review the problem and then look in your toolbox to see if you have the right tool for the job… and if you don’t, know where to get help with finding the right tool and learn how to add it to your toolbox.
One thing to remember, and often overlooked when you have a wide array of tools to choose from, if you are actually dealing with a nail go ahead and use your hammer.
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
Never give up! It’s a rather simple philosophy to consider and follow. If you have a goal you want to reach you simply must keep trying to reach it. Now, obviously, this does not mean you will reach it because it’s your goal only that you must focus on getting to it.
Sometimes goals are really easy and sometimes goals are near impossible although no matter the case it is still a goal and something to focus on.
Do you want to help people? Make the effort to learn what they need help with and share that knowledge to provide the assistance they need.
Do you want to write something? A book? A play? A piece of software? Put pen to paper, as they say, and start writing.
One of the biggest challenges of achieving one’s goals is not so much in setting ones that can be met (it’s often time better to set goals just beyond that point), it’s the whole point of getting started! If you never take that first step you will never finish the trip.
The greatest journey’s in life all begin with its first step … and sometimes that first step might not be the right direction although that’s OK, there’s nothing to say you cannot change directions mid-course. Just focus on the goals you have set and keep looking forward to achieving them. Follow the paths that will lead you to there and don’t worry if those paths are not the one everyone else has taken.
We are all individuals and each in their own right has to follow the best path for themselves.
… and just like customers are all individuals, sometimes you may have to lead them down a different path for them to see the same answers others have found already.
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.ancient proverb
When a person finds a solution themselves (with help from support) they will often times feel more empowered to use the product and promote its usefulness.
Leading a person from point A to point B may accomplish the short-term goal of getting them a resolution although it does nothing at all to really provide a takeaway that is going to be beneficial in the long-term.
Making the efforts to help a person understand the concern they are having, in a language they can relate to and understand, will more likely give them a better viewpoint on possible future similar issues they may come across and allow them to help themselves more easily.
Obviously, from the aspect of providing customer support, you should still let the person know you are there to help them no matter the case although ultimately they will be helping themselves all the same.
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.unknown
Always remember you may not know the circumstances another person is dealing with. An act of kindness, even the smallest and simplest ones, will go much further to improve any situation than almost anything else you can offer.
When dealing with a distraught person, and remember a customer is a person first and foremost, always remember to be at least considerate and that small act of kindness may be the key to resolving the issue at hand … and even if it doesn’t solve the issue you will see that it will have made it much easier to deal with. Give it a try!
Always be kind.
Those at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.unknown
Having a goal is as important as what the goal actually is although you must still work towards achieving that goal as it is not going to just happen because you want it to.
Much like Mallory said when he looked at Mount Everest, sometimes a goal is just because it’s there and often times not something you get done on your own. Always remember those who helped you climb the mountains of your goals as they deserve the recognition as much as you deserve to enjoy your achievement.
Wearing a smile is telling everyone you are here to help.
No matter the issue or question you are addressing and no matter how you are addressing it always smile. Smile in your heart and put a smile on your face, too!
When you communicate with a smile it comes through to the person you are having a conversation with and it will help keep things moving more smoothly and with less stress and frustration.
It’s much easier to work with people when you smile as you have a natural feeling of goodwill and empathy towards others built into every smile you share.
A smile is a great stress reliever and allows you to relax that much easier. Approaching the customer in a relaxed low-stress manner will also help difuse difficult situations.
Staying on course and getting to your destination is just as important as following your heart to the same place on the map.
Although it’s great to have a list of questions and answers to follow it is often better to know those questions and answers and be empowered to go off script as needed.
Great customer care comes from the intuition and empathy of the support team and they should be striving towards this at all times.
The key to having this “tribal knowledge” approach based on intuition and empathy is to use it as the basis for the common documentation all team members use.