A company I work with (not mine), has challenged themselves to take their customer support to the next level. As a part of that objective, I documented my ideas on what it takes to provide excellent customer support. I've enjoyed taking the time to write everything down, and found some lessons I could apply to my own business.

  1. I want to remember that anything simple and obvious to me is probably far outside of what the client might know or remember. I do this all the time, they don’t. Surely they are an expert in an area where I am a total novice.
  2. I’ll give every interaction a quick initial reply.
  3. I want to listen and understand my client’s issues and frustrations as if I were experiencing them myself. I will try to convey my understanding to the client.
  4. I’ll be friendly, clear, and concise whenever possible.
  5. I’ll inform the client of what I’ve done with specific details. I’ll explain it all, step by step, to help them understand or learn. Not every client will care, but they can decide how much detail they will review. I'll provide an overview for those not interested in the details.
  6. I’ll make use of the formatting to provide clear and readable written responses.
  7. I’ll use private staff-only notes to keep other staff members informed on key aspects of the case, and anything not obvious from my public reply.
  8. I’ll offer to further explain anything I didn’t explain well. I’ll also offer to help with other concerns or issues. “We’re standing by and always happy to help.”
  9. I’ll take the time I need to provide a complete resolution, without excessive back and forth replies.
  10. If I can’t help, I’ll apologize that I couldn’t do more. When possible, I’ll find helpful documentation, or a staff member who can help.
  11. I'll ask every client to give us a review. Feedback is hard to get, but when they do share feedback, it will help me improve and help the company grow.
  12. I'll use account level sticky notes to track important information about a client that myself or other staff members may need in the future. I'll keep the notes succinct and edit them so they stay up to date.
  13. Where necessary, I'll update our internal documentation or public KB to proactively assist future cases and our staff.
  14. I’ll follow up as necessary, to ensure that things are now working as expected, there are no issues, or remind a client when it’s time for us or them to start/do something.
  15. For long term cases, I’ll flag the case to myself or the appropriate staff member. I’ll check in with my long term cases daily or weekly so they know I haven’t forgotten them.