Customer support issues come in a variety of forms and topical relationships, and not all of them are the fault of the company nor the user, but it has to be one or the other. The thing is, you can’t really hold it against customers when it’s their fault, and ideally, they should have some sympathy and understanding when it’s your fault – within reason at least.
I’ve pointed out on many occasions that when it comes to customer support issues, one of the most constructive, effective and proactive things you can do is to actually have contingencies worked out for as many as you possibly can. These will vary wildly depending on your service, demographic and corporate culture, so it’s hard to write a definitive list of known issues everyone will face. There are, however, a few that fit this bill, and that’s what we’re going to look at today.
Let’s see what the biggest three issues are that customers will contact you for, and maybe look at a couple issues in customer support as a system that need addressed if there’s time.
#1 – Billing Problems
This one’s a big one, and it’s rather distressing to customers. This can come in several forms, from a bill not being received, a payment not posting right, or a customer accidentally making a fatal mistake with the payment or filing of the bill.
Expect customers to be distraught and impatient. Also, expect them to be mildly hostile if they suspect this issue to be your company’s fault. To prepare for this, look over the billing system and cycles, and work out to your best ability where and how things can go wrong, and be ready to address this at your own expense if necessary.
#2 – Unrealistic Service Requests
These are common and require patience from your customer support people above all else. Customers may call in asking for changes or modifications of service that are not possible to do. ISPs and communications/utilities companies get this a lot, and could write a book on how to handle these.
In fact, many professionals from these fields have written extensive case studies on this, so they’re good reading for having contingencies for this scenario. This is one of the more common issues that tends to come up, so expect it contingencies for this to relieve a lot of problems.
#3 – Outages
If you provide a service, rather than a product, then outages will be another big one. These should be relegated to technical support, but will often enter the system via customer support, which isn’t entirely the same thing. Have your agents trained to at least surmise what’s probably generally wrong, so they can redirect customers to the appropriate tech support department with minimal delay. Don’t have them have to call back to a different number, this is a big mistake a lot of companies make, and it’s a calamitous one.
Of notable mention, as far as performance issues in customer support, communications and rapport need to be improved in most cases, and this should be a constant unattainable goal of improvement on your company’s part.
These are the three biggest customer support issues, and if this is the only contingency list like this anyone ever writes, I’m confident in these being the best ones to walk away with.
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