Every companies have different departments. Every departments have different goals and operating procedures. But to a customer, they don’t see these different departments – they only see one company. So, it’s very important everyone in the company work as a team. Finding the key for team work success can be summarized in the following steps:
- Prepare to succeed.
- State your positive intent.
- Describe the issue fairly.
- Facilitate the discussion.
- Gain agreement on next steps.
It comes down to persistence and positive thinking. Refrain from blaming each other. Do understand what others are going through. Focus on helping the customer.
Most of all, follow through on the agreed next steps. Nothing is more rewarding than a happy (and returning) customer!
Listening is an obvious skill everyone must have. In business, it’s especially critical. Companies must listen to their customers. Supervisors must listen to their subordinates. Peers must listen to each other. The key is removing the emotions and focus on the following actions:
- Evaluate the need to listen.
- Manage internal and external noises.
- Demonstrate a curious and open mind.
- Manage the flow of conversation.
Effective listening is critical to sorting through and keeping up with the information needed to get results.
Throughout my years of doing tech support, I learned a few things about doing the job, without driving myself (or the customer) crazy. Here are a few action plans:
- Always stay calm.
- Be helpful to customers. Ninety-nine percent of the time, customers are nicer when they are given options to solve their problems.
- Document the issues in an electronic log (such as customer service knowledge base) that are search-able, for future reference.
- Stay up-to-date with the company’s products.
- Stay current with technology advances and industry standards.
- Get along with the other tech support peers. Hang out with them, share your stories, and vent some frustration with each other. Group therapy is good therapy. Most importantly, laugh it up together.
- Don’t stay at Level 1 tech support too long. Make it a goal to move up, and handle more challenging questions to keep the job more interesting.
Finally, keep a sense of humor. At the end of the day, it’s only a job, and life goes on.