I've been lucky enough to be invited to speak at a few tech conferences and webinars recently.
It seems a good gauge of interest levels during any presentation these days, is by the number of people taking photos of individual slides! Most of mine are just images, however there's one part of my speech which constantly has people snapping away and talking to me about afterwards. I've also had emails thanking me for the tip too, which has surprised me.
I speak a lot around the theme of human customer service - making your business more human - remembering the humans on the end of the end points. We are easily forgotten, as we focus on automation and processes. I aim to bring a little balance to the Force.
Make this one change today
I'm assuming pretty much everyone reading this will have some kind of ticketing system.
Based on my straw polls, there's also a very strong likelihood your automated response to any ticket will look something like this:
It's an automated response which is likely the default one, which shipped with the system.
Are you guilty?
Think about a customer raising a ticket for a moment.
The chances are they are stressed, something's not right, they can't get something done and they turn to their helpdesk for support.
Receiving a message like this does nothing for confidence. It's robotic, unfriendly, doesn't set expectations and is certainly not going to cheer up anyone currently embroiled in an IT mishap.
I'd like you to think about an alternative way.
Spend 5 minutes customising this message. Aim to put a smile on your customers' faces.
How about this to start ...?
Firstly - use a <FIRSTNAME> tag - make it immediately personal.
Secondly - set expectations. Make it clear how long you will take to respond – and of course, under promise and over deliver. This is so important. If people know it’ll be 4 hours – they can plan their day – they can put something off – get on with another task for 4 hours. If you say 1 hour and it takes 24 hours – that’s just disrespectful.
Respect a customer’s time always – they can’t get it back!
Can you also see the human, friendly tone?
Let's continue with the second half of the message …
Of course - I think it's still important to provide a ticket ID - but perhaps don't refer to it as a 'ticket ID' - that's for your internal use only.
Giving a phone number is helpful, as is pointing to a Knowledgebase or FAQ for self-service if you have such a facility. If you don't - you should think about that too.
Finally - perhaps the most important element of your newly revised message - sign off with a REAL HUMAN! Add your name. Add someone from your team - it doesn't matter - but make it personal!
So - what do you think?
It's not going to change your business overnight - however if you continue to layer on additional tweaks every week or month - imagine the effect this might have on your recommendations / referrals...
People buy from people. Get humanizing today!
About the Author: Mark Copeman is the producer and presenter of the IT customer service training program, Helpdesk Habits, based on his book, of the same name. Mark also talks regularly at conferences and delivers customised face to face training alongside his online program. Follow Mark Copeman on Twitter, LinkedIn or Website