In the past year, crooner Sam Smith has got us belting out that we’re “Too Good at Goodbyes.” Too often, this cuts right to the heart of customer support.
The nature of customer support is fast-paced, and even faster now that we can order guacamole or a jump rope and have it delivered to us within a couple of hours. These expectations then put pressure on support teams to send customers on their way, saying goodbye just as swiftly as they came through the door.
At Leadpages + Drip, we make a dedicated effort to guide the customer along the way, because we want to be there for that moment of success. We call this paving a path to resolution.
There are a few common pitfalls that get in the way of the path’s construction. These annotated excerpts of a chat conversation of Betsy's show how to avoid them, and what she did instead:
If you’re about to say, “You could…” “You should…” or “You would…” these types of words beg for further explanation after using them.
Instead of, “We have an article that will walk you through that here [insert article],” give the customer some context as to what they’re about to embark on. Paraphrase what they’ll be doing in order to accomplish that task. Even better, make them a video!
We do not want to stifle the customer on chat. Instead, we want them to drive the conversation.
Ask if the customer needs clarification if you haven’t heard from them in the last few minutes rather than if they have any other questions. Let them decide the destination and let yourself be the navigator.
Empower the customer with the tools to troubleshoot independently and walk away assured the issue is resolved. Therefore, look out for being too quick to ask, “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”
For example, if we supply a link to an article or a custom video and the customer hasn’t responded, a better question than the one above would be, “Were you able to check out that article[video]?” Or, “Let me know if you have any questions after taking a look at that article[video]!”
Instead of asking, “Did you have any more questions,” when they haven’t replied since we answered their initial question, we should reach out to make sure their silence isn’t because our answer was difficult to implement or they fainted because it wasn’t the answer they expected.
Instead, we should reach out with phrases like, “Is there anything I can clarify about that?” or “I’d be happy to expand upon any of that if needed!”
This way, the customer doesn’t get a sense that we are pushing them out of the chat.
Speaking of empowering the customer, we empower our customers every single day in every single interaction to take steps to either resolve an issue or roadblock they’re having with our products, or simply to further educate themselves on how they can utilize our tools within their business.
We pave the path, they take the test drive.
When we decide to go rogue and abandon this mission by either editing a customer’s account or page etc., we strip them of the independence we have the opportunity to give them.
Therefore, make sure your troubleshooting involves clear and detailed steps the customer can take, on their own, to independently meet their resolution.
Part of our job is to know what the customer needs before they do.
Remember to probe with more questions for customers to guide them on their journey with the product.
We want to acknowledge the fact that the path to resolution is much more expansive in the broader scope of the customer’s success.
Think about the customer's next question before they ask it.
We follow up after every chat or phone call with a an email to the customer, customized to the interaction we had.
Giving the customer even one sentence of personalized text goes a long way for the experience we give them and furthers that promise that we want to see them through to the resolution.
Many times, there’s an article we can send to supplement our interaction with them, or maybe even reference the screenshot or video we sent them during a chat so they don’t have to go searching through the transcript.
Case in point, “Too Good at Goodbyes” is best left at the karaoke bar, whilst paving a path to resolution for customers is more in tune with our efforts to help them succeed.
Accomplishing this will not only resolve issues in the moment but transform a passive audience of users into singing promoters of your brand.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in giving your team's service a moment in the Spotlight.
Until next week, may your customers be friendly and may your knowledge base articles be up-to-date. Adieu!