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Three Common Support Blunders You Should Avoid

In our last blog post, we outlined three of the most common blunders a customer support agent can make that could turn an easy solution into a disaster. But then we got to thinking… these are not the only blunders that can cause a disaster! If you’ve been in support for a while, you know that there are several ways a support conversation can go wrong.

Before we get into more blunders, let’s review the three we talked about before:

Failing to read the entire ticket

Always read the entire ticket and double check that you have addressed all of the questions before replying.

Failing to have a working knowledge of the product

Every agent should be briefed each morning on updates and changes to the products they provide support for.

Failing to own up to a mistake

When you make a mistake, own up to it. this is a golden opportunity to prove to the customer that you aren’t a robot.

Here are three more blunders you should avoid as a customer support agent.

Failing to go the extra mile

Quick tip 4Go above and beyond to help everyone out and researching especially frustrated customers are both best practices. This will help prevent being blindsided by a social media blow-up. If your company is especially sensitive to social media feedback, shape your strategy carefully and be sure to step lightly when it comes to  people who are centers of influence. You should have a policy in place for when you can or should “bend” policy.

Quick Tip: Define how carefully your team should weigh feedback on social media and determine a policy for when to make an exception on something like a post-warranty refund, or return.


Failing to personalize snippets

Quick tip 5In the support world, “snippets” (agreed upon text to address specific recurring issues) are a must for time-saving and consistency purposes. Avoid using only snippets. Of course, you should use snippets — but you should edit them to give them a personal voice, and to reflect to the customer that you’ve read the ticket.

The more legal the issue, the more you want to stick to the snippet, since you want a “unified” response to these sensitive issues; toward the troubleshooting/technical end, always make sure to edit your reply to reflect that you’ve actually read their message. Did they mention they’re a teacher? Wish them best of luck on the coming semester. Did they say they’re frustrated? Acknowledge their frustration, and briefly describe having had a similar issue; add that, given similar circumstances, you might not have been so understanding.

Quick Tip: Always make sure to edit your reply to reflect that you’ve actually read their message.


Failing to respond to a serious issue in a timely manner

Quick tip 6If you have a good-sized queue, one that stretches back even a day or two, make sure you designate someone to tackle both the front and the end of the queue. A team lead, or manager, should make a cursory assessment of what’s going on at the moment each day, and delegate/direct the work flow according to what she/he finds. Having an issue creep up on you at the end of the queue can be unsettling, embarrassing, and costly to clean up; stay informed so that you aren’t caught unaware.

Quick Tip: Check long queues for major issues before diving in.

Here’s a quick list to summarize. Write it down and keep it in front of you to remind you to not make these mistakes:

  1. Read your tickets completely.
  2. Know the product you provide support for.
  3. Own up to your mistakes.
  4. Go the extra mile.
  5. Be personal.
  6. Scan a long queue for major issues before diving in.


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