Principles of Great Customer Support

Listen and cater to your customers to remove the roadblocks preventing them from experiencing your products

Updated on September 8, 2022

Great acts of customer service aren’t isolated events. Team members depend on leadership that gives them the freedom to do the right thing over and over again.

Every Issue is an Opportunity for Engagement

It's not everyday that we get to speak with the people that love and use our products. It can be difficult to get feedback, upsell, or otherwise interact with your customers. Your support inbox is the gateway to your customers hearts and minds. It's where you have their full attention, but of course, start by solving their problems to warm their hearts and increase their receptiveness to your goal.

Great Support is Unconditional

Impressions drive customer sentiment, and customers are most impressionable at their times of need. That is also when they are the most vulnerable. This is when you get to make your mark and leave a lasting impression that they will echo to their friends, peers, and family. Do right by them and you will win their loyalty for years to come.

Great Support is Centralized and Omnichannel

Modern tools such as Front and Zendesk allow you to connect multiple channels into the same system, including email, text, voice, WhatsApp, social media and others. Centralizing your communications in one hub is crucial for observability to ensure that conversations do not get lost in agent's inboxes and are visible to the rest of their team.

Great Support is Personal

People prefer interacting with other people, because it's what they know best. Especially in situations where they find themselves in need of help. While we have been taught to rely on ourselves to find solutions to our problems, your users may not feel that way, even if you create self-serve guides for them to follow, they still need to be able to reach you when they need to. Most importantly, Don't make your customers feel like it's the first time they're contacting you, pull up their information and make sure they are valued for their loyalty.

Great Support is Consistent

While I might not be able to build a personal relationship with my support agent or account manager, I should be able to build a relationship with the brand, and in order for that to happen, the mannerisms and expectations should be consistent across interaction points and team members. All members of your company should follow certain guidelines wihen interacting with customers — keep your verbiage and message aligned across teams. e.g. use the same terms, tone and nomenclature when agents interacting with customers and when technical support engineers write documentation.

Great Support is Educational

Customers's familiarity with your products and understanding of the possibilities are determined by how well you educate them about the different knobs and whistles that they should know. Sometimes they are unaware of how to interact with your products or services or may be doing so in suboptimal ways. It is your responsibility to ensure they are sufficiently learned to maximize their experience.

Great Support is Fast

The sooner a boulder is removed from one's path, the sooner they are able to continue their journey unabated. It' important to respond quickly to all inquiries, even if it is only to say you are looking into the issue and will be back in touch. Some response is always better than none so the customer doesn't feel ignored.

Great Support is Enabling

Based on where a given user is in the lifecycle of their use of your product, you likely have a better understanding of what they should be doing to achieve their goals when it comes to your products. Share that knowledge with them right when they need it or just as they're about to.

Great Support is Non-Blocking

It may be frustrating when a customer gets blocked by your software or even a third party software. Sometimes you need to help them navigate software that isn't your own, and knowing they can lean on you for more than just your product helps build that relationship. Support isn't just needed when things go wrong, it's needed every step of the way. Your goal should be to help people realize the full potential of what's possible with your products.

Great Support is Compound

Providing excellent customer service starts with a genuine desire to delight your customers, but you also have to think beyond selling your products or services. You need to consider the cumulative experience your customers have when they visit your store or website, what they think and feel, and what you can do to make it better.