Good customer service - what's important for your customers

While each company has its own special cases and tricks to make their customers happy, there are several general rules of good customer service.
customer service back and forth
Understand the problem

This is an obvious yet common mistake. Sometimes customers are not clear with describing their problem. However, your customer service representative needs to make sure he 100% understands what the issue is about, especially when it comes to a techy product. This might require several rounds of questions and answers (and it irritates customers sometimes), but it's a necessary step.
Answer all questions

Customers may drop a ton of questions, and even some seem to be dead obvious, your support agents need to answer them all. Address every issue and explain the details - people love when they are being treated seriously. An informative answer to a client's request shows that your company cares.
reply time
Short reply time

If you have an opportunity to improve your respond time - use it. Today people are less and less willing to wait. They want results here and now (and that's one of the reasons knowledge bases are becoming popular). If you manage to answer customer requests asap, it will create a very positive image of the company in general. You can also set you helpdesk software to notify you if a query is being unanswered for longer than appropriate. For example, you can set a separate view in Zendesk for such tickets.
is outsourcing a good idea
Build customer relationship

This is an extra step that quietly becomes a necessity. Great customer support service today means that your customers have positive and warm feelings about your brand. You're not just a company anymore, you're part of their life. This emotional bond is what keeps your customers loyal. And to win customer satisfaction, your client support agents need to master relationship development. Simple yet catchy phrases ("How was your day?") work wonders.
customer service complaints
Settle all complaints

Complaints are not a tragedy but an opportunity to see your business weak spots. It's easier to work on your mistakes if you certainly know where to look for them. Address public complaints and offer help or solution - it will create a positive image and evoke positive emotions in those who can read your public comments.
keep the word
Keep your word

If you promise your customer to do something - you have to do it. Sometimes your support agents can say something like "I'll update you later" but never come back to that case. This must be avoided hands down. Good customer service is about honest and respectful relationship with clients. And it's an ugly gesture of disrespect when you forget about your promise.
Train, create cases, learn

At some point you will come to a decision: you need a QA engineer in your customer support team. He will be responsible for training new people, checking quality of all working agents and creating special cases for them to learn. With practice your agents will encounter complicated and unique issues that will require individual approach. Such issues are perfect material for learning and improving skills, that's why QA engineers turns them into training cases.
Help customers even if it's not your specialty

Sometimes you can give a valuable advice that is not related to your product or brand. That's a wonderful opportunity to build relationship with customers! Good advice evokes positive emotions, and what's more important - improves customer service experience.
add a little extra
Add a little extra

This is another unnecessary step that is becoming a must-have. Basically anything that customers do not expect can create wow-effect. This is what you play with. A little souvenir with the order, or a free trial for one of your online services when they register at your portal.
All in all good customer service is achievable, and there are several definite steps you need to take to be proud of your customer support department.