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"I Have No Support and I Must Scream" | Function Point

“I Have No Support and I Must Scream”

The lifeblood of any SaaS organization is the level of support your staff can provide to your clients. This includes the ability to respond to, understand and communicate with clients in an effective and efficient manner. This ensures minimal wait time from ticket creation to support staff response and that issue(s) that the client are experiencing are resolved in a timely manner. The reason for this is because how you support your clients can be a game breaking reason why a client would either stay and continue to use your product or consider signing up with your product over the competition.

The following are the best 7 ways of supporting your clients so it ensure maximum customer retention and satisfaction.

1. Client Responsiveness is Key

Always try to respond to a client inquiry as soon as possible especially if what the client inquires is time sensitive. Avoid procrastination in all cases because a response of some kind will be required eventually therefore it doesn’t help the situation by putting it off. In the event where you are too swamped with other work or clients to assist the client with their issue you should at the very least notify them that you have received their request and will either be contacting them as soon as possible or that you will be investigating the matter as soon as possible. If possible, try to include a timeline or estimate on when you will be looking into the manner, the more precise the better.

In the event where a proper response or resolution will not be possible in a reasonable amount of time you should state that immediately to avoid the situation where the client might think they are being ignored or sidelined.

2. Listen to Your Clients and Avoid Assumptions 

Every client is unique and have different needs. It is extremely important to always listen to what your clients are trying to communicate with you and understand what they are trying to say over what you are assuming they are trying to say. Always ask for clarification on questions or statements that are either ambiguous or require additional explanation.

Listen to what their needs are, and then offer your suggestion on the best way to go about fulfilling their needs.

3. Update Clients on the Status of their Issue(s)

Always keep your clients updated with the status of their issues. Even if there is nothing significant to report you can still inform your client and keep them in the loop with respect to what you are working on and how things are progressing. If you come up on a roadblock or challenge of any kind inform the client of your discovery as well as any delays. This ensures clients are kept in the loop and gives the strong impression you have things firmly under control and that they can trust you.

4. Avoid Using Specialized Jargon or Terms

Avoid utilizing specialized jargon or words with clients to avoid any miscommunications or “lost in translation” situations. This ensures you can get your ideas and solutions across effectively when communicating with you client.

5. Patience is a Virtue

Always keep your cool and never lose your patience with a client where it will begin to reflect on your tone of voice or attitude. If you find yourself in a situation where a client has become extremely agitated or confrontational always keep a professional tone and attitude and never under any circumstances begin yelling or cursing at a client.

6. Knowledge is Critical

Having the proper knowledge to assist a client is extremely important because clients expect a product expert and knowledgeable individual assisting them with their respective challenges. Ensure you keep yourself update with your respective field. However there will be situations where a client will ask you a question where you can’t answer them immediately. In that situation, state that you will investigate the question for them and get back them ASAP.

7. Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep 

Only make promises you can keep. This ensures that if you promise something to a client you can deliver on your promises every time. In the event that you can’t deliver on your promise(s) or need more time beyond the promised deadline because of an unforeseen consequence or issue, you need to make sure you explain to the client what caused the delay and the step you are taking to rectify it.

Maintaining a professional, respectable and trustworthy relationship with a client is one of the most important requirements support staff can do because its really easy to lose the trust of a client and extremely difficult if not impossible to earn it back.

In any professional service company, relationship with the client is key, so please feel free to share your insights on how to better support clients.

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