As customers and service providers, we have learned a few things regarding great customer service. The following list explains the lessons that we have found most helpful.
- Communicate with customers every step of the way. “Customers just want to know that they are in line to be helped,” says Mark Freeman, Director of Support Services at NuPark. “Communicate timelines, even if the customer won’t find them as favorable, since not getting back to them with any information is worse than providing them what they might not want to hear.” Jason Berger, NuPark’s Senior Support Engineer, emphasizes the importance of keeping customers in the loop. “Even if there is no update, a message indicating there is no update does a world of good in letting your customer know you haven’t forgotten about them.”
- Understand the customer’s perspective. “If I have a problem,” Jason says, “I am looking for the customer service to either make that problem go away or mitigate it with the least amount of pain and headache for me.” Heather Snead, Software Engineer at NuPark, suggests, “Look at the issue/request from the customer’s point of view and understand how it affects them."
- Emphasize proactive, not reactive, problem solving. Heather says that after adding another support person to their staff, “We made sure everybody knows certain things, like how to restart their job if they get stuck, look up information, and set up different tasks.” This enables the support staff to work behind the scenes to find solutions before their customers need to ask for help. You can also help your customers to be proactive, Mark says. “If you can send them a message pointing out something that makes their operations run better, then this is a big win for you. For example, pointing out that an employee of theirs needs a little training, because you notice that they are not completing the correct fields, will save them time later.”
- Create a service-oriented mentality. Heather explains that she and others on her team try to help their customers with whatever they need or want. “Sometimes it’s more difficult,” she says, “but we always try to help because it helps them do their jobs.” Mark adds, “Let your customers know that they are important to you, and understand that they see customer service as the main reason for being with your company."
- Give your employees the flexibility to find solutions on their own. “When your customer service people are overworked and overwhelmed, everybody suffers,” Jason explains. Heather suggests: “Invest in great people and give them the power to address their customer’s needs.”
As vital as these tips are, it’s impossible to provide top-quality customer service if you aren’t truly understanding your customer’s needs. At NuPark, we have designed our team to focus on customer service. In all aspects of NuPark’s workflow, the customer’s interests and needs are at the forefront of our decisions.