7 Customer Support Tips

Are your customers always complaining about you? Or maybe your customer support just isn’t as good as it could be. Stick with me until the end of this article so we can fix that. In this article, we’re going to go over seven easy ways for you to improve your customer support and start delighting your customers.

Tip #1: Stop using old-school e-mail and get a customer support ticketing system

My first tip is you’ve got to stop using old school email, get a customer support ticketing system if you don’t already have one. There are ton of platforms out there. For dedicated systems, you can check out things like Help Scout, Groove, or Zendesk. Or if you’re trying to bring in some shared email collaboration, you can use tools like Missive or Front.

I personally have used all of these platforms at some point in our company’s customer support journey and have landed on using Front more recently. But Missive is perfectly serviceable as well. The reason why having one of these platforms is so important in your business is because it allows you to streamline your responses across everybody that’s doing customer support. It allows you to assign tickets to certain people, follow up accordingly and track the statistics for every single person in your customer support team.

It’s also really great for cross team collaboration. So, in the case where somebody needs to loop in another person, all of these platforms have the ability for you to have side conversations that aren’t visible to the customer that you can resolve and then get back to the customer accordingly once you guys are on the same page.

This is a huge perk because this means that you don’t have to jump onto a Slack call to figure things out. Or a actual physical meeting in order to work through a customer complaint. Another huge benefit of these ticketing systems is that they often allow you to save templates. This allows you to save time and retyping a response that you constantly find yourself answering.

Tip #2: Create customer support values for your team.

My second big tip is to create customer support values for your team. This could be something along the lines of, always making sure that you respond to every customer ticket within one business day, or it could be something along the lines of making sure every response starts with a positive sentence such as, thanks so much for writing it.

By having these sorts of values in place, it makes it easier for your team to understand what you’re trying to achieve as a customer support team or in general, with your customer success. Whatever you settle on for values here, make sure that it’s super simple to remember for your team and that it doesn’t need to be referenced on another sheet of paper or something.

I recommend that you stick to just three to five core values that your team can easily remember. For my team, it came down to making sure we responded to every ticket within one business day, starting with a positive reaction that was empathetic and making sure that we follow up with customers that don’t necessarily respond back to us after we have given them a solution concept. This way, they would actually feel like they were taken care of a few days later.

It’s also really important here that you get everybody’s input when you’re building these values. Don’t make values that you yourself think are valuable for your company, but don’t actually have the buy in of your team.

If you do this, nobody’s going to actually follow your values. So, just hold a quick team meeting and rally everybody around this idea of what to deliver a consistent customer support experience.

Tip #3: Audit your customer support feedback.

The third tip is to audit your customer support feedback. Now that you’ve implemented a ticketing system, you’re going to have general metrics that you’re going to be able to reference based on everything that’s coming into your customer support line.

What this allows you to do is it allows you to see your customer success ratings while also allowing you to see whether or not you have a problem internally. One time I had somebody on my team that was really great with responsiveness, but her satisfaction ratings were terrible with the customer.

And so what these platforms allowed me to do was it allowed me to isolate three to five examples that I was then able to sit down with her and walk through specifically what was great about her response, but what could have been even better. From this coaching session, we were able to identify how she could be more helpful to the customer and improve her overall satisfaction ratings going forward.

You just have to make sure that you’re giving them the right tooling to do so and providing good coaching and mentorship to help them bridge any gap that they might have.

Tip #4: Set clear guidelines for what your team can and can’t do.

The fourth tip is to make sure that you set clear guidelines for what your team can and can’t do to delight a customer. There’ve been times in which I’ve had team members send a bouquet of flowers to a customer that I know is going through a tough personal time or a dozen donuts for the next staff meeting. Whatever it is, just make sure that you’re setting clear guidelines and boundaries as to what that your team members can do with, or without your permission.

This can be as simple as just saying, if anything is over $25, then it needs approval, but otherwise do whatever you need to do to delight your customer. Or it can be something along the lines of if you’ve already explored everything in the general customer support manual, and the customer is still unhappy these are the things that you can do, or that you have discretion to offer to the customer.

Tip #5: Tag team or follow up with your customers.

The fifth tip I have is to tag team or follow up with your customers. What I mean by this is even after your customers have solved their core problems, do a quick follow up check in with them a few weeks later to see if there’s anything else you can help them with. By doing so, you’re going to show your customers that you really, really care and it can be a good team building exercise in terms of emphasizing the importance of customer support.

Tip #6: Document everything that more than one customer struggles with.

The sixth tip I have for you is to document everything that more than one customer struggles with. Your goal should be to build out a comprehensive and epic help center that addresses 80 to 90 percent of the challenges that your customers face. This means having both written as well as video instructions to help them solve their problem.

After you build out your help center, start linking your help articles to your template of responses in your ticketing system, so that your customers can start to solve problems by themselves. You want to build a level of independence with your customers so that they’re not always emailing you every single time that they have a problem with your product or service.

So the key thing to remember here is anything that needs to be written out more than once needs to be documented, get it in the help center and then get it into the email template.

Tip #7: Use TextExpander to cut down on your support time.

The seventh tip I have for you is to use TextExpander to cut down on your support time. TextExpander allows you to build boilerplate, email templates, and other sorts of content. It makes it really easy to use. Quick search is to find templates and also abbreviations in order to trigger certain responses. So for example, whenever I want to say thank you to somebody, I just type in TY and TextExpander will automatically put in, thank you for me. Or whenever I’m sending off my emails with best comma Will, I just do semi-colon X and it will render all of that for me, with the proper formatting.

TextExpander is a huge time saver for me. And a really cool feature is that you can create folders that are shareable so that your team can continue adding to your library together as you build up your knowledge base.

Big Takeaways

Two big takeaways from today’s article:

  1. The first one is that good customer support starts with good customer support infrastructure. You need to make sure that you have the right tool, like a ticketing system, TextExpander, and clear guidelines for your team to follow.
  2. The second big takeaway is that great customer support ends with customer efficiency in mind. Once you have the infrastructure in place, it’s a good time for you to get more and more efficient as you create templates for yourself and streamline your help center in order to get responsiveness to be a central tenant of your customer support team.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might benefit from learning the seven tips when it comes to improving your customer support.