Tackling the more technical side of customer service can be tricky, and communication means everything. When you, as the customer, need help managing your product or service, your IT vendors and service partners should use the right skills to connect with clients in a way that leaves them satisfied and confident in the brand.
Here are 7 customer service keys MD practices should expect from IT vendors and service partners.
- They go the extra mile
In every customer interaction, there’s a basic level of performance — the business does what’s required to meet the consumer’s need and the transaction is completed. But sometimes it takes going beyond standard company protocol in your best interest, as the customer.
At LightSpeed, for example, we have a customer submitted ticketing system for IT issues that we need for regulation purposes – and to track help requests. In cases where the customer may forget to submit their ticket, we will do it for them. In other instances when installing new software for a client, the coordinator generally may not know the software. We will spend at least 30 minutes of our time to level set and give and update on the new system.
It’s important that your service partner is willing to do what it takes to get the job done, which helps to foster a great relationship of trust and loyalty.
- They provide a personal touch
Fostering relationships with customers can significantly increase the likelihood of exceeding their expectations, turning them into brand advocates. That’s what your IT vendors should keep in mind when working with you from day to day.
Whether in person or over the phone, your IT vendors should be genuine, timely and authentic when engaging your needs. Asking about your day. Taking interest in your actual job. Small talk. Keeping it light. They should get to know you, and let you get to know them.
In today’s fast-paced world, the personal touch is vital. Make sure the companies you do business with treat you more like an individual than a number.
- They have low response times and maintain high standards
There may be nothing worse than non-responsiveness when you’re trying to get help or resolve an issue. It’s important that your IT vendor responds quickly to all inquiries, even if it is only to say they are looking into the issue and will be back in touch.
For example, a good rule of thumb for email is to reply back to an inquiry within the hour (30 minutes or less, if possible). But also keep in mind that quick is good, but it’s not appreciated if the answer is not correct. It’s important that your service provider works to anticipate their customers’ needs, and proactively work to meet their needs.
- They use clear understandable communication
A recent survey called Customer Rage Study, demonstrated that 76% of customers who sought assistance or wanted to be spoken to in everyday language instead of a scripted response. Yet, only 32% of them were spoken to casually.
Any solutions your partners offer, even if they are pre-created, should be as clear to follow as possible. They should avoid getting too technical, keep things short, and whenever it makes sense to do so, take you through the solution step by step.
Customers want conversations, not “correspondence.” And it’s imperative for the communication to fit your level of understanding.
- They have a positive outlook on problem solving
Positivity places focus on the proposed solution, and is more likely to satisfy customers.
For example, in working with several different EMRs, our tech team members know what we can and cannot do within each platform. If the customer has a request that is outside of our scope, instead of responding with phrases like “I’m sorry, that can’t be done” or “I don’t know” it would be better to respond with a more positive, “Let’s see what we can do,” even as we work within our parameters. That could be something as simple as directing them to the EMR’s own customer service or website.
Maintaining a sense of positivity gives confidence that the problem can be solved, and it begins with word choice. Agents should use positive phrases such as “I can,” “I will,” and “I understand” to connect with customers. Such language is reassuring, proactive and empathetic.
- They follow up after a problem is solved
Great customer service extends to clients even after the initial interaction. Once your issue is resolved, your IT vendor should stay in touch with you, following up to make sure the issue stays fixed and that you were satisfied with the service.
Sending an email, or even a feedback survey is an excellent way to let you know we’re still on your side. At the very least, you should receive a sincere “Thank you!” The goal here is for your service partner to make a lasting impression, earn your loyalty and show you that your business is appreciated.
- They ask you for feedback
To learn about the good, the bad and the ugly experience customers have, there should be an easily accessible way for customers to give feedback.
Whether it’s a phone survey at the end of a service call, an email survey or a form on the “Contact Us” page, creating a means for customers to give feedback makes it easier for vendors to learn what needs improvement. It helps them discover touchpoints and skills that need improvement, and gives them the opportunity to show you that they are dedicated to providing top-notch, proactive customer service.
Successful tech support from IT vendors is all about tackling challenges as they come and finding ways to make life easier for customers while solving their high-tech troubles efficiently. Paired with different support options and the right approach, these tips will ensure a lasting relationship between you and your IT vendor partners. Customer service representatives are the face of any company, and it is important to appropriately display the skill and high quality support and communication.