6 tips to better handle working with remote customers

02 Apr 2020 5 min read
Written by Iulia Balan, Customer Support Team Leader

Providing high-quality services to international clients is a continuous challenge. When a big part of the communication is done remotely, even if you have the proper tools, misunderstanding issues may intervene. A negative customer experience proves to be the reason why 86 percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company, therefore you always need to address any miscommunication to properly overcome it and to continue having a successful collaboration.

Maintaining and constantly improving communication with your customers is the key to building long term relationships and achieving great customer satisfaction.
We share a few tips learned along the years of providing successful customer support services:

1. Try to respond to requests as quickly as possible

If possible we should reply to customer requests with a fix as soon as they arrive. But we all know tackling support tickets can be time-consuming and often involves multiple levels of escalation. However, providing that initial response as quickly as possible, saying that the issue is being worked on, is very valuable. It only takes a couple of minutes, yet it reassures the client that the team is aware of their problem and they’re doing everything in their power to have it fixed.

2. Never take it personally and always remain professional

It is very easy to get a bit frustrated when receiving an angry reply from one of your clients (knowing that you are doing your best). However, in such cases, always remember to not take things personally and to keep on being objective. Maintaining your professional attitude helps you have control over how you respond, communicate and further handle the situation.

3. Empathize and don't hesitate to apologize when needed

While you communicate that you are doing the best to understand the problem, you have to really mean it by trying to put yourself in the client’s shoes and see things from his perspective. This not only helps in your analysis but also in establishing how critical the issue actually is and its potential consequences. The client needs to feel that you are empathizing and that you’re not undermining his issue.
Don’t hesitate to apologize when needed and be real, but not just for the sake of it - we all know that true apologies go a long way. This helps keep the communication in a positive tone and it reassures the client you are actually going a long way to fix the inconvenient situation. 

4. Understand the issue to make sure you have all the information

You need to ask yourself at what point the client became unhappy and why. So step out of the box and review the issue, the steps done so far to make sure you have understood the actual/functional need and that you are on the same page with the client.   
Make sure that communication on the issue was effective and don’t hesitate to ask more details that would properly guide you in understanding his use case and finding the best solution.

5. Explain your business model, and the overall value you are delivering

You may have had cases when the requested services are out of the scope of the client’s contract. You need to kindly explain your business model, the limits of your services and why you have set them in place. It may happen that the client misunderstood them and had greater expectations which would explain his frustrations.  
However, remember that sometimes you may want to see the bigger picture and go beyond the current limits for a client (for example if for a contract you had a low consumption rate over the year, you may want to handle a client’s request even if it’s not included in his contract as a proactive task). This will provide additional value to your collaboration.

6. Always care about how the conversation ends

At the end of your issue, it is very important that things are well clarified on both sides so that you and the client remain on the same page and with a positive outcome.
Don’t hesitate to establish a call with the client to discuss your processes and clarify expectations. You can also agree on some general guidelines on how you can communicate better, to improve and strengthen your relationship.

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