10 Essential Skills for a Support Person

    10 Key Support Officer Skills

    Customers rarely notice what qualities your support team has. They simply compose and remember the overall impression of the contact. However, there are specific skills that define the difference between mediocre help and excellent customer support, communication with which increases the loyalty of even difficult customers.

    1. Patience


    This skill is important both when talking with a client, and in the process of solving his problems. Keeping cool and clarity of mind is an indispensable skill for a support employee. The client may grumble, not understand the “obvious” things, be nervous and blame the company for all the troubles. The employee is required to have full control over emotions, politeness and a clear desire to delve into the problem.

    Moreover, impatience not only interferes with the enjoyment of life, but also reduces the effectiveness in solving difficult problems .

    Change your attitude towards such “irritants”. When patience leaves you in difficult situations with clients, remind yourself that this is just a little discomfort, which will not be difficult to bear .

    2. Reading between the lines


    The client addresses the usual question. For example, asks how to search the site. Good support promptly and politely prompts. Excellent goes further: sees behind this appeal the need to move the search to a prominent place.

    The employee must understand not only what the client says, but also his main goals, which often remain unspoken . The task is not easy, therefore, the skill must be constantly developed. It all starts with the desire to delve into every detail.

    3. Thorough product knowledge


    Support should know the product along and across. Employees are required to understand how it works, what customers get when using it, because of what problems arise and how to fix them. Only in this case, customers can count on full assistance.

    Specialists who know the product better than others often receive positive feedback from customers . Information content and confidence of answers can even be the first step to concluding a deal. When the client sees that the employee “swam”, he immediately begins to doubt the product and the company as a whole.

    4. Clear statement of thoughts


    The client informs the essence of the problem as much as he can, but the employee should be able to determine the "savvy" of the client in order to respond clearly and easily. This is especially true for key issues in which double language and a large number of terms should be avoided.

    The customer understands the good answer the first time . If this does not happen, and you often wonder “what is incomprehensible here?”, Then you have something to work on.

    However, in an effort to answer as clearly as possible, it is important not to cross the line. No arrogance and scornful notes - before you is not a three-year-old child.

    5. Empathy


    Many experts consider the ability to put oneself in the place of the interlocutor the most important. An employee who is able to look at a problem through the eyes of a client and feel his emotions can really win the trust of even the most dissatisfied client .

    Carelessly following instructions, on the contrary, leads to the fact that the employee loses sight of the nuances important to the client, without which it is impossible to provide quality support.

    Get in touch with customers whose opinions differ from yours . With their help, you will learn to look at things from a different angle, which means that it is better to see the big picture and have a great understanding of the point of view of others.

    6. Time management


    This skill is necessary for everyone, without exception, because no one likes those who waste time. And yet, in the case of support, in addition to his time, the employee spends the time of the client, and this is a serious problem.

    On the one hand, you must be thorough in approaching each client’s question in order to provide cool support, and on the other, you need to act effectively. Therefore, it is necessary to quickly identify situations where you cannot help, and “hold the client’s hand” to specialists who can .

    7. Positive thinking


    The employee does not always have the opportunity to please the client. There are things that do not depend on him. Therefore, in unpleasant situations, it is important to minimize the chagrin of the client . Compare two examples:

    Answer 1: Sorry, but we will not be able to complete your order this week, only next. If we start on Monday, then we should be ready for Wednesday.

    Answer 2: We will begin to execute your order right on Monday morning and complete it in two business days. On Wednesday, the products will be shipped.

    Feel the difference? In the first version, there is a statement of facts that cause not the most pleasant emotions, and in the second - the employee focuses on the positive aspects. Most likely, the client will agree to wait.

    8. Reliability


    Great support - a bastion of reliability. During business hours, employees are always there, respond efficiently and quickly, do not disappear when emergency situations arise, and always do what they promised. The customer can rely on such support.

    Often it is the ability to constantly keep the bar high that distinguishes good support from first-class . Therefore, you need to regularly monitor performance indicators of employees and their motivation.

    9. Flexibility and creativity


    Sometimes there are problems whose solution requires deviation from the internal regulations of the company. It is good if the employee has the ability to think on the go. However, it is better to develop a system of actions in unusual situations in advance .

    Suppose we are faced with the task of deciding what to do when a client addresses an unfamiliar problem. Three questions will help us figure it out.

    Who! A person to turn to for help when we reach a dead end. First of all, the chief begs, but he should not be bothered on any issue, so you need to be careful when choosing a “victim”.

    What?If, in principle, you cannot afford a solution to the problem, what should be done to convey it to your colleague in the best possible way? Assign another person in charge, send all correspondence, unsubscribe only key points, or set a full-fledged task?

    How? What type of communication will be most effective: tickets, email, team chat or project management system?

    10. Continuous Improvement


    If you stopped improving your skills, it means that you are already behind those who work on themselves day after day . In no case should you stop.

    New trends appear, additional communication channels appear and improved versions of the company's product are released. Support staff cannot afford the luxury when customers find out about everything before and put them into a stupor with their questions.

    In addition to professional skills, it is necessary to improve performance indicators: the speed of the first answer, the number of answers before closing, the speed of closing calls and evaluating the quality of answers.

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    Regularly take the time to work on these skills, and you yourself will be surprised how quickly the level of support you provide is growing.

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