Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog

Guest Blog: 5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Answering Support Tickets

This week we feature an article by Belle Balace who talks about what you need to know about answering support tickets. There are different types of customers and it’s important to know how to deal with each one. – Shep Hyken

I have to be honest, answering support tickets or doing customer service isn’t the most thrilling job on earth but if you’re part of a startup or small business and you lack resources, you have no choice but to do it.

Just kidding, you actually have a choice to do it or not. BUT, if it’s not your passion or you have no interest at all, better ask someone to handle it for you or else you’ll cause a lot of damages.

If you like interacting or helping people or growing a business, then this is the job for you. It may not be the one of most exciting jobs in the world but it’s definitely one of the most important jobs in today’s digital age.

What You Need to Know About Answering Support Tickets

  1. You have to know EVERYTHING about your product or company.

From big data to the smallest details, you have to know everything. The worst thing that can happen to you is when a customer or potential user asks a simple question and you can’t answer it right then and there.

Who doesn’t appreciate fast customer service? We all do. We love it when people answer our questions right away. If you want to make your customers happier or impress potential clients, know the basics, or even everything, so you can answer their questions quick.

  1. When you don’t know the answer, ask for help.

To be realistic, there will always be times when you won’t know the answer to your customer’s question. And if you don’t know the answer, it’s completely fine to ask for help from your CEO or manager. They know the product or company better than you do.

What you never want to do is get back to a ticket you don’t know the answer to. Trust me, I’ve made this mistake before and it didn’t turn out so well. Save yourself from making a mistake and ask for help when you don’t know what to do.

  1. Answering fast can produce revenue.

This one is very true. I was just answering a very simple ticket from a curious person and after less than an hour that person made a purchase. And let me tell you, it felt amazing. The good news is this can also happen to you.

You may not be sure with the returns of your investments in marketing or advertising but here’s something certain, you can never go wrong with investing in customer service. As Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, said in his book Delivering Happiness, “Another common trap that many marketers fall into is focusing too much on trying to figure out how to generate a lot of buzz, when they should be focused on building engagement and trust.”

What matters to you more, building more brand awareness or helping more people?

  1. It’s never or will ever be about you.

There will be times when answering support tickets won’t make you excited as it did the other day but it’s part of the job. Just hang in there. Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about helping others and making your customers happier.

When you feel uninspired (which is totally normal because we’re not robots) you probably just need a little laugh. What I do is I watch a funny YouTube video until i feel better. Energy is contagious and when you’re answering support tickets, you always have express good energy or you just might transfer or attract bad energy. Feeling good makes you more patient with others.

  1. You have to know who your customers are.

Now when you’re doing customer service for a long time, you can easily identify what type of customer you’re talking to or dealing with. This is important because let’s face it, some customers are worth your time, some aren’t especially if it’s taking all of your resources just to keep them.

According to Dana Severson, director of marketing at promoter.io, there are three types of customers Promoter, Passive, and Detractor which he perfectly illustrated in this infographic made with Visme the differences and characteristics.

Belle Balace is growth specialist at Visme.co, a powerful online presentation, infographic, and data visualization tool.

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.

Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: How AI Can Help The Airlines (And Any Businesses) Heal Their ‘Black Eye’

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