That was the main-takeaway from Dennis Ng, Cybersite’s customer service representative veteran who has been in this role for 14 years.
“The customer may be anxious, frustrated or simply looking for reassurance on a tech issue. I have to pinpoint what they are seeking from me as a company representative because it isn’t just about the problem that they are telling me,” Dennis laughs.
Customer support, a vital accessory in all parts of the customer journey is a profession that requires very high level of empathy and patience. Their involvement can begin as early as answering key queries of potential customers to troubleshooting problems of signed-on customers. At Cybersite, a one-stop service provider of cloud hosting and communications service, their customers come from all walks of life. For a company that delivers technical solutions, the customer service representative must be able to effectively communicate with people with varying levels of technical knowledge.
In this article, we invite Dennis to share his insights on what it takes to deliver a good customer support experience.
“Ultimately every customer wants a quick resolution to their problem. They want to cross the problem off their to-do list and not have to deal with the problem two weeks later.”
Fact is when any customer signs a contract that ties them to a company for a product or service, they simply want things to work. They may or may not want to understand the technicalities but it has to deliver the outcome as promised. For a customer service representative, recognising the importance of service recovery is the crux.
“We do have internal service level guidelines so that customers receive a response within stipulated times to avoid unnecessary delays to their issues.”
Every organisation has its own practices and infrastructures which shape how products and services are delivered and executed for the customer.
“I do wish I could resolve most problems by myself but it is usually a multi-departmental effort. Thankfully the IT and technical departments are a few clicks away and I can easily share the cases with them.”
“For me, the most ideal outcome lies in delivering a seamless experience for the customer to avoid unneeded transfers.”
Product & Service Knowledge
“I am proud to say that I understand Cybersite products inside-out. Domain hosting, web hosting, web design, cloud virtual private servers, email hosting…things that were once Greek to me are now products that I can easily explain to customers with little tech background. When Cybersite joined ZONE Telecom, a telecommunications company, in 2012, I pushed myself to pick up telco knowledge as fast as I could. How else can I perform my role as a customer service officer if I do not have the relevant product knowledge?”
Strong intuition aka “mind reading”
Providing customer service can be very challenging if the entire exchange is limited to only text or voice unlike face-to-face interactions which provides a lot more cues to the customers’ emotions and thoughts. With these limited sources of information, the customer service officer needs to accurately assess a customer’s needs.
“Realistically, a problem-free product or service is rare and most customers understand that. They reach out to us because they have encountered a problem that they are unable to resolve but they may also be facing pressures that is causing them anxiety or discomfort. I have learnt to pay attention to these nuances over a call or email and thus, will phrase my technical solutions such that they allay their concerns as well.”
“There are numerous guides on how to become a great customer service officer but I would say the key really lies in being empathetic. Every customer service officer has their own style and ways to assist customers and as long as the problem is solved, the company has another happy customer.”