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Business Tips

How to Take Ownership in Customer Service

February 24, 2021
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If you decide to create a customer service business, you will have to solve many technical and organizational issues. Recruiting and training employees is the most difficult aspect compared to taking ownership customer service. Why is it difficult? Because customer service taking ownership requires all members of your team to be ready to offer a competent solution to any problem.

What Does Take Ownership Mean?

An essential part of any major service is highly qualified customer support. But technical support as customer service comes with certain difficulties. We all understand that it's one thing to know, and quite another thing to be able to convey the information, to provide it in the most comprehensible and detailed way, even if the question seems elementary and the solution is obvious. It is not easy to give the same information over and over again calmly and with confidence, so that each client gets a complete answer instead of a wave-off, learns something new and really feels supported - sometimes even mentally.

How to get employees to take ownership? The employee needs to have nerves of steel, patience, the ability to express their thoughts clearly, and the desire to help. They should not destroy a client's desires to use your service during communication, just like a good teacher does not destroy a student's interest in learning, but only awakens it. Our customer support experience proves that fast and efficient help (especially at the stage of getting acquainted with the service) is one of the necessary components of success.

Clients of other services have contacted us about working with a third-party system because they could not reach or get a sensible answer from their tech support. Some customers have directly stated that they left a resource because of low-quality support service or no support service at all. 

Learning the secrets of taking ownership in customer service can come in handy both in dealing with users and in everyday life.

Calmness and professionalism

Don't accidentally upset your user. This is important. The customer doesn't mean to piss you off or provoke you on purpose, they are just very annoyed because something is not working. Your response should not depend on the mood of the user. Don't take negative words personally, don't be aggressive, and don't let your emotions take over. Treat it like a professional. As a result, you will be surprised how many words of gratitude you will receive from the client when their problem has been solved.

Understanding of the problem

Sometimes it seems that some people phrase their questions in a way specifically aimed to test how strong your telepathic abilities are. But remember what we said above - keep calm and ask for clarifications. Sometimes it's better to ask immediately than to misunderstand and continue the dialogue, moving farther and farther away from the solution. However, don't get carried away in the questioning! Try to figure out the problem as well as possible, and then ask questions if you are confused. Asking for clarifications on the case will show you are interested in solving the problem, and idle questions may create an impression that you are not listening/reading attentively.

If it is a telephone conversation and you have to interrupt the client, apologize for that. Don't forget to thank for the provided information after the clarification. Try to put yourself in the client's shoes, accept their problem, and the understanding or the right questions will come faster. 

There are different ways to ask for clarifications. A lot depends on the situation and the client. Here are some examples:

"Do I understand this correctly: you mean...";

"If I understand you correctly, you want to do the following... To do this, you need: …»

If there is still uncertainty about the understanding, mention it at the end, for example: "If we misunderstood your question, please rephrase."

Okay, that's clear. Now, what if you understand the question perfectly, but don't know how to solve it right now?

The most important thing is to let the client know that their issue is something non-trivial(which is often the case in reality). Never say "I don't know". The client needs to be confident in your competence, otherwise, they will start feeling insecure and nervous, which can gradually lead to a conflict.

And another important rule: never take a guess at the solution, because a wrong guess can lead to new complications, with all the ensuing consequences. Gather as much information about the problem as you can inform the user that you need time to solve it, and start looking for an answer. For example: "Your situation is unusual and we need time to investigate it in detail. As soon as more information is available, we'll contact you right away.”

Sequence of actions and the imperative

This is good for written responses. Most of them can be presented as a mini-guide, and most guides have step-by-step instructions. It is easier to follow that way.

The steps should be precise; one step is one action, as a rule. It's like a route to a goal - the more points, the easier it will be to get there and not get lost.

Start with stating the cause of the problem before you begin your list of steps. Client is less likely to repeat their mistakes if they know the cause-and-effect connection. Next, think through the logical connection of the steps. Try not to interrupt the chain of actions with a lot of subparagraphs. For easier perception, indent between paragraphs.

Use the imperative - the user will take it as a reference, a clear instruction, a specific directive to action. In cases where several questions are asked at once, don’t forget to consider the sequence. This is quite important. You need to answer the questions in the order in which they come. Number your answers to avoid confusion. It's not uncommon to get lost in the topics and have to go back in conversation history when you open the last letter in a chain. A "paraphrased question-your answer" template will make life easier for the user.

Screenshots

A picture says a thousand words, and if you forget it, you can look at it again. Add a screenshot to your answer and indicate exactly where the user needs to click or where to see the information. Here are two answers, compare them:

"Click publish page" - understandable, but you could do better: "Click on the green "Publish page" button in the upper right corner."

Don't be lazy, and you'll end up saving your own time, because you will be understood faster!

Links and text highlighting

Put links at the end of your answer or a paragraph. Not highlighted links get lost in the text, and if they come too soon, clicking on them distracts from the unread response.

Improve the text readability by using bold, italics, or underlined text.  This will help you to underline the key point in your response.

Highlight the most important points in the text and let the customer know what the reference is for. Guide their actions - that's the aim of their request.

Summary of your work on the problem

In the end, list what has been done to solve the problem. Try to keep the question monitored until you receive confirmation from the client that the problem has been solved.

Be sure to politely ask if there are any more questions if you are ending an online dialogue or telephone conversation.

The user's satisfaction is the main result of your work. You have to give an explanation of why the problem occured, and to offer possible alternative solutions to the problem even if the client’s question has not been solved.

Terms

Don't let down the user's expectations, especially when it comes to the terms. Give them an approximate time frame if the problem requires a long time to be dealt with. The client should not be left in the dark.

Conclusion

Every professional customer service agent certainly has their own tricks for communicating to increase user loyalty. We mentioned only a small part of the secrets of taking ownership in customer service. Take this advice and do not forget about calm and respectful communication, understanding and using all opportunities to solve the problem. This is the most important thing. And then you will get much more positive feedback, and your service will be recommended to friends!

If you are looking for an outsourced call center that will meet 100% of your and your clients’ expectations, contact us! Simply Contact works according to the best international service standards.

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