How to craft great customer conversations as a support professional

Constructing great customer conversations can amount to great customer experiences. Better customer experiences lead to better retention and longer customer relations.
Priyanshu Anand
December 21, 2023

How to craft great customer conversations as a support professional

Constructing great customer conversations can amount to great customer experiences. Better customer experiences lead to better retention and longer customer relations.
Priyanshu Anand
December 21, 2023

How to craft great customer conversations as a support professional

Constructing great customer conversations can amount to great customer experiences. Better customer experiences lead to better retention and longer customer relations.
Priyanshu Anand
December 18, 2023

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In the realm of customer support, the difference between a satisfactory experience and an exceptional one often boils down to the quality of the conversation. It's not just about resolving queries; it's about building rapport, showcasing empathy, and making each interaction memorable. Let's delve into the key strategies that can elevate customer conversations from mundane to memorable.

Personalize Your Approach

The first step to winning a customer's heart is through personalization. Address them by their name, and if possible, reference something unique to them, like their location or job. This not only demonstrates your attention to detail but also sets the stage for a more engaged conversation.

Example:"Hey, [customer_name], how's the weather in California? Sorry to hear about your issue with [problem]. I'm here to help!"

The Power of Listening

Active listening is the cornerstone of effective customer engagement. It's not just about waiting for your turn to speak; it's about genuinely understanding the customer's perspective.

  • Full Attention: Eliminate distractions. Maintain eye contact in person and avoid multitasking during calls.
  • Reflect and Clarify: Paraphrase their concerns for better understanding. "So, the main issue is..."
  • Interactive Engagement: Use acknowledgments like "I see" or "Go on" to show you're following along.
  • Patient Problem-Solving: Resist the urge to jump in with solutions. Let them complete their narrative.
  • Probing Questions: Ask questions that delve deeper into the issue.
  • Summarize and Verify: Confirm understanding before moving on to solutions.

Tone Matters

Maintaining a consistent, friendly, but professional tone is crucial. Questions like “Anything else?” and “What else can I help you with?” may ask the same thing, but their tones are worlds apart. The right tone can make interactions feel more personal and less scripted.

Positive and Inclusive Language

Transform the conversation from a 'you' vs 'us' to a collaborative 'we'. Avoid phrases like "You need to" and instead use inclusive language that shows empathy and understanding.

Bad Example:Customer: "I can't access my account."Agent: "Try resetting your password again."

Good Example:Customer: "I can't access my account."Agent: "That must be frustrating. Let's troubleshoot this together. What steps have you taken?"

Talk How They Talk

Mirror your customer’s tone and manner of speaking. If they’re informal and curious, respond similarly. However, always maintain professionalism, especially with customers who are formal or distressed. It doesn’t harm to be quirky or add a touch of humor to your interactions but you need to be able to read your customer before you proceed with this. Being overly humorous with a customer who has consistently spoken to you in a formal manner might tick them off or cause frustration. Sometimes, as a support professional, you need to also be able to read between the lines and understand things that might not be obvious.  

Brevity with Warmth

Customers are likely to ignore lengthy replies. Keep sentences and paragraphs short, and use multimedia resources like images, videos, or knowledge base links for concise yet informative responses. The goal is to answer their queries while making them feel heard but at the same time be respectful of their time and not expect them to spend more than a few minutes reading and understanding your answer.

If, however, certain solutions are unavoidably long - convery the message to the customer beforehand about the same and invite them to have a short call if that can speed up the process. On the other hand, if they are okay with a longer answer and not get on a call, then you can proceed. The key here is to clarify or potentially prepare the customer for a longer answer than to directly communicate first.  

Templates for Efficiency

From a support agent perspective, there can be hundreds of tickets or customer concerns that arise every day and more importantly, some might be repetitive. Having to build out a response from scratch every time a new concern is raised is not a very efficient use of time. Building a library of templates for common inquiries can help agents time while also ensuring that they’re not effectively communicating with the customers. The key is to customize these templates to make sure the customers feel valued.

The Don'ts of Customer Conversations

  • Avoid Jargon: Use simple, understandable language. Jargon can be confusing and a lot of it is understood by internal teams or technical people. Better customer support lies in being able to explain something as easily as possible.
  • No Assumptions: Ask open-ended questions to understand their needs. The last thing you want is to waste both your and your customer’s time by misunderstanding the concern or talking about something irrelevant.
  • No Interruptions: Let them complete their thoughts. This becomes even more important for support calls. You need to realize that if you’re having a call with a customer, the problem has probably caused some frustration on their end. It’s best to tread as politely as possible and stay as calm as possible.
  • Avoid Scripted Responses: Personalize your communication and acknowledge the specifics of a customer’s concern. This reinstates the fact that the customer is important to you and does not frustrate the customer any further with repetitive and scripted responses.
  • Follow-Up: Check back to ensure their issue is resolved. Customers usually stop communicating once their issues are resolved but that doesn’t mean you should leave the conversation on ‘assumptions’. Follow-up and ensure that the customer is satisfied and does not have any followups.

Consistency is key to great communication

Great customer experiences stem from small efforts. Although each of these tips individually might not seem like a lot but these small efforts can compound into a great customer experience. Making great communication a part of your customer support foundation will ensure better customer experiences over time which is detrimental to long-term customer relations and retention.

In the realm of customer support, the difference between a satisfactory experience and an exceptional one often boils down to the quality of the conversation. It's not just about resolving queries; it's about building rapport, showcasing empathy, and making each interaction memorable. Let's delve into the key strategies that can elevate customer conversations from mundane to memorable.

Personalize Your Approach

The first step to winning a customer's heart is through personalization. Address them by their name, and if possible, reference something unique to them, like their location or job. This not only demonstrates your attention to detail but also sets the stage for a more engaged conversation.

Example:"Hey, [customer_name], how's the weather in California? Sorry to hear about your issue with [problem]. I'm here to help!"

The Power of Listening

Active listening is the cornerstone of effective customer engagement. It's not just about waiting for your turn to speak; it's about genuinely understanding the customer's perspective.

  • Full Attention: Eliminate distractions. Maintain eye contact in person and avoid multitasking during calls.
  • Reflect and Clarify: Paraphrase their concerns for better understanding. "So, the main issue is..."
  • Interactive Engagement: Use acknowledgments like "I see" or "Go on" to show you're following along.
  • Patient Problem-Solving: Resist the urge to jump in with solutions. Let them complete their narrative.
  • Probing Questions: Ask questions that delve deeper into the issue.
  • Summarize and Verify: Confirm understanding before moving on to solutions.

Tone Matters

Maintaining a consistent, friendly, but professional tone is crucial. Questions like “Anything else?” and “What else can I help you with?” may ask the same thing, but their tones are worlds apart. The right tone can make interactions feel more personal and less scripted.

Positive and Inclusive Language

Transform the conversation from a 'you' vs 'us' to a collaborative 'we'. Avoid phrases like "You need to" and instead use inclusive language that shows empathy and understanding.

Bad Example:Customer: "I can't access my account."Agent: "Try resetting your password again."

Good Example:Customer: "I can't access my account."Agent: "That must be frustrating. Let's troubleshoot this together. What steps have you taken?"

Talk How They Talk

Mirror your customer’s tone and manner of speaking. If they’re informal and curious, respond similarly. However, always maintain professionalism, especially with customers who are formal or distressed. It doesn’t harm to be quirky or add a touch of humor to your interactions but you need to be able to read your customer before you proceed with this. Being overly humorous with a customer who has consistently spoken to you in a formal manner might tick them off or cause frustration. Sometimes, as a support professional, you need to also be able to read between the lines and understand things that might not be obvious.  

Brevity with Warmth

Customers are likely to ignore lengthy replies. Keep sentences and paragraphs short, and use multimedia resources like images, videos, or knowledge base links for concise yet informative responses. The goal is to answer their queries while making them feel heard but at the same time be respectful of their time and not expect them to spend more than a few minutes reading and understanding your answer.

If, however, certain solutions are unavoidably long - convery the message to the customer beforehand about the same and invite them to have a short call if that can speed up the process. On the other hand, if they are okay with a longer answer and not get on a call, then you can proceed. The key here is to clarify or potentially prepare the customer for a longer answer than to directly communicate first.  

Templates for Efficiency

From a support agent perspective, there can be hundreds of tickets or customer concerns that arise every day and more importantly, some might be repetitive. Having to build out a response from scratch every time a new concern is raised is not a very efficient use of time. Building a library of templates for common inquiries can help agents time while also ensuring that they’re not effectively communicating with the customers. The key is to customize these templates to make sure the customers feel valued.

The Don'ts of Customer Conversations

  • Avoid Jargon: Use simple, understandable language. Jargon can be confusing and a lot of it is understood by internal teams or technical people. Better customer support lies in being able to explain something as easily as possible.
  • No Assumptions: Ask open-ended questions to understand their needs. The last thing you want is to waste both your and your customer’s time by misunderstanding the concern or talking about something irrelevant.
  • No Interruptions: Let them complete their thoughts. This becomes even more important for support calls. You need to realize that if you’re having a call with a customer, the problem has probably caused some frustration on their end. It’s best to tread as politely as possible and stay as calm as possible.
  • Avoid Scripted Responses: Personalize your communication and acknowledge the specifics of a customer’s concern. This reinstates the fact that the customer is important to you and does not frustrate the customer any further with repetitive and scripted responses.
  • Follow-Up: Check back to ensure their issue is resolved. Customers usually stop communicating once their issues are resolved but that doesn’t mean you should leave the conversation on ‘assumptions’. Follow-up and ensure that the customer is satisfied and does not have any followups.

Consistency is key to great communication

Great customer experiences stem from small efforts. Although each of these tips individually might not seem like a lot but these small efforts can compound into a great customer experience. Making great communication a part of your customer support foundation will ensure better customer experiences over time which is detrimental to long-term customer relations and retention.

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