What skills are needed for a support service?

    15 years ago customer service is a hot line, today it includes a lot more. Internet, email, chat and social media - customers contact you as they please. Many customers still prefer to contact companies by phone. From the point of view of companies, the phone is not always the most effective channel, especially for large companies facing a large flow of customer calls. Basic skills for providing telephone support, such as empathy, the ability to "read" the client’s emotional state, etiquette, friendliness, remain important, but additional skills for new channels need to be developed to make these channels more attractive to customers. In this article, we will examine the channels of communication between clients and companies and the methods that are used by the best support agents.


    • Smile. A smile is transmitted over the phone, because your voice sounds friendlier and softer. But be careful not to smile at a very angry customer. Wait for the right moment. You should always be only one tone higher in emotional state than the client.
    • Mirror. Try to reflect their tone and emotions. Reflection does not mean that you need to yell at the client, if he screams, it’s also not worth mimicking. It is important to know how to adjust the volume, speed of speech, pitch. Mirror is the best way to come to a quick agreement.
    • Listen up. When a customer is upset or disappointed, he may not be able to accept what you say, even if that is the correct answer. First, you need to really listen to help him calm down. Having spoken, he is likely to be able to listen to the solution that you are proposing.
    • Confession. Tell the client that you understand his problem and the reason he called, acknowledge that what he is talking about is important. Make sure he hears you.
    • Give me time. Let the customer speak up even if you already understand what he wants to say. People often need to throw out emotions before they are ready to continue.
    • Summarize. Repeat in other words what the client said. But in no case do not do this if he has already clearly articulated the problem. Beware of meaningless repetition of the client's words. “I want to know when the payment will come!” “Do you want to know the date the payment arrived?”
    • Warn about the timeout. Before you hang the client on hold, make sure that he does not mind. The basic rule: come back to it every one to two minutes, do not make you wait and be nervous. Offer to call back if you understand that you need a timeout.


    • Improve your writing skills. Email requires you to be fluent in writing. This means writing concisely, clearly and competently.
    • Use templates wisely. Do not use the same pre-written texts for everyone. Even the most similar at first glance, the treatment may differ in detail. Take a simple, standard template and edit it to suit your customers.
    • Add a personal attitude. Feel free to use your own voice and approach. You can reflect your company profile and philosophy in your own way. Use different captions depending on the tone and outcome of the dialogue.
    • Set the time frame. Make sure all emails will be answered or reached the maximum number within a certain period of time. The first response time is critical, so set the processing time for calls for the team and the response time for customers. System notifications should always be used so that the letters do not stale. Make sure you have a systematic process in place to inform clients of your response time.
    • Do not be a robot. The letter should reflect what a living person writes. Use simple vocabulary and grammatical constructions. Write clearly, as if answering by phone.
    • Set priorities. If you process calls in priority only by the time of receipt, then when you get to the letter from an angry client that required urgent attention, it may be too late. Make the principle by which letters await their turn more flexible.


    • Combines skills for email and phone. Chat is very similar to a phone, since it is a real-time conversation and like email, chat requires writing skills.
    • Tone and vocabulary. It is often difficult to convey mood in short messages, but you can use a smile to show emotion. The fewer words, the more difficult it is to choose the right ones. There is no time to pour water in the chat, write on the case.
    • Multitasking. An experienced support agent can conduct several dialogs simultaneously, but this should not affect the quality of the consultation. Take on only what you can handle. If your clients wait more than a minute or two between answers, then it may be worth taking a timeout. Treat them the same way you would answer a phone call and ask for a waiting time.
    • Mindfulness. As with email, customers are often less able to express and explain problems in writing. Read carefully and ask questions. Do not rush to conclusions.

    Social media

    • The confirmation. Let me know that you saw a client’s tweet, post on Facebook or in Contact.
    • Get in touch quickly. Appear in the comments as quickly as possible, within 10 minutes it will be optimal.
    • Do not respond to bullying or obvious attempts to drag you into a meaningless quarrel in public space. No one will benefit from this interaction.
    • Forward positive tweets to marketing. They may want to retweet them or contact the customer.
    • Answer. If the information is not related to personal data, respond here publicly, and do not ask for contacts to transfer the dialogue to other channels. It is much faster.
    • Create tickets. If you report a problem that requires troubleshooting or additional investigation and the help of other departments, create a ticket with a link to a tweet or post. After solving the problem, unsubscribe in public.

    It doesn’t matter which channel you use, in communicating with customers, the main thing is to always keep them informed of your every step in the process of resolving the issue and after, to make sure that they are satisfied.

    Also popular now: