By Carrie Dagenhard (Tech Writer)
Are challenging or frustrated customers stressing your IT team out? Here are four useful tips customer service help desk pros can use to keep calm and make their workday a little easier while keeping their customers happy.
One of the best parts about working in customer service or tech support is having an opportunity to help people. Overcoming complicated technical issues is a bit like solving a puzzle, which is satisfying on its own — and then there’s the added bonus of improving someone’s day.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Because, while most customers are a pleasure to work with, others are a nightmare. And those less-than-enjoyable conversations will likely always be a part of your job. After all, some things (like outages) are beyond your control.
Ready for the good news? There are a few things you can do to make it easier.
Take a Breather
Stop and breathe. This tip may seem simple and obvious, but it’s one we often ignore.
After you’ve finished a call or chat session with a particularly difficult, rude, or angry customer, it’s natural to feel defeated and mentally exhausted. And if you’re not careful, you’ll bring that lukewarm attitude into your next customer interaction, which can create a domino effect of not-so-great engagements.
If someone has knocked the wind from your sails, step away for a few minutes. Take some deep breaths, grab a cup of coffee, watch a funny video, text a friend — do whatever it takes to let go of the frustration, and get some pep back in your step. Not only will you be in a better mood, but you’ll be better prepared to provide the high-quality service your customers expect.
If you’ve been feeling a little more irritable than usual, you’re not alone. The combination of uncertainty and too much time at home is getting to everyone — including your customers.
While the last thing you want is to deal with someone who is ill-tempered and snappy, take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. For example, maybe they’re upset because technical issues interrupted their workday, and they’re scared they’re going to lose their job. Or perhaps the problem that’s prompted them to call you was the last straw in an already challenging day.
Chances are if a customer becomes irate, it likely has nothing to do with you at all. Remember: Everyone is fighting their own battles. Calmly assist them the best that you can, and then move on.
Speaking of short fuses — customers today don’t only expect you to solve their problems, but they also expect you to do it fast. (And who can blame them? Instant gratification has become a cornerstone of the digital age).
One of the best ways customer service help desk pros can improve experiences and reduce time to resolution is by developing a culture of knowledge-sharing. In other words, when you or a colleague resolves an issue, don’t keep it to yourself! Share that wisdom.
And an easy way to share knowledge across your team is through a knowledge base. This should include tips and advice for addressing frequently asked questions and concerns and resources for working through more complex challenges. You might even consider creating a customer accessible knowledgebase, so users have an opportunity to resolve issues on their own.
Just ensure you’re leveraging a user-friendly knowledgebase tool that makes it easy to find what you need when you need it.
Invest in Better Help Desk Software
A knowledgebase isn’t the only technology you need to eliminate the friction and help resolve challenges fast. If you’re constantly grappling with frustrated customers, it may be a process problem.
For example, if someone has to contact your organization multiple times to resolve one issue or they’ve reached out several times with no help, it’s no wonder they’re a little pissed.
A robust customer service help desk software will help eliminate those frustrations by giving customers more visibility into the process. And it will help your team by keeping tickets organized and easy to understand. This way, you can focus on resolving challenges and delighting your customers rather than chasing down information and responding to endless status check-ins.
No matter how stellar your service, or well-trained your team, you’ll likely always encounter a few frustrating customers. That’s simply the nature of running a customer service help desk. But, by stepping away when you’re stressed, using empathy, creating a culture of knowledge-sharing, and investing in the best help desk software, you’ll be ready.