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How to provide kick-ass support part 3: Support agent key characteristics

Tools, speed, and knowledge can only get you so far as a Support Agent.  Knowing everything about your product or service is great, but if your replies sound like they’re automated or coming from a robot, your customers are likely to be less than thrilled.

In this final part of our kick-ass support series, we’ll talk about some key basics to being an awesome support agent.

Be Personable

If you work in support, this should be a no brainer. You should remember that old adage that your Grandma told you: you can catch more flies with honey than with with vinegar.

It basically means to be nice to others. If you want to get through the day and enjoy what you do, be nice to people.

Little things like an added comment about how it's a great day can go a long way and will make the customer feel like they're not talking to a robot.

As an example, one of the common greetings that I use to greet customers that write in to us is:

"Thanks for reaching out! I hope your Thursday is going well so far!"

Right off the bat I've thanked them for reaching out to us for help, and I've expressed my wish that I hope they're having a great Thursday.

Little bits like this help the customer feel like they're talking to a real person a potential friend than a robot who's answering their question.

Know Your Product

This one ties back into understanding the issue. Knowing your way around the product or service that you're supporting will do amazing things for your level of support.

Think back to when you first started working in the role you're in. You were clicking around in your product like a newborn baby deer stumbling around trying to find its legs. That's how your customers are. You're their crutch while they learn, much like that girl sitting next to you that trained you was your crutch.

Taking the time to get to know your way around is part of the learning curve. It's unavoidable, but invaluable.

The more you remember where that button is that you have to click to make it do that thing, the faster you'll be able to point the customer to that button.

Don't Get Overwhelmed

It's easy to feel like the flow of cases is never ending and that you'll never get out from under the pile of cases waiting to be replied to.

Every one case you reply to, two more come in.

It's tough to not feel overwhelmed sometimes.

If that happens and you find yourself feeling edgy, step away from your desk for a minute or two. Stand up (unless you're already standing) and walk around the office a bit. There's no science behind this that I'm aware of, but stepping away for a few minutes helps clear your mind and refocus on the task(s) at hand.

Remember that you're part of a team and you don't have to do it all yourself.

Assume The Customer Knows Nothing

I approach replies to customers as if I'm responding to my mom. Not that there's anything wrong with my mom, it just helps me be in a mindset that the customer may not know as mud as I'm assuming they do.

Making an assumption that the customer's versed in your product can result in frustration for that customer.

When I'm on a call with a customer, I don't say "Go into your Admin," I ask "Do you know how to get to your Admin?"

Assuming they know how to get there may potentially lead to you having to backup and walk them through how to do what you've told them to anyway, so why not just do it that way from the get go?

Pretend every customer just signed up for your service and take the time to walk them through everything they want to know.

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