Having excellent customer support and services is crucial to the success of your business, whether you run an online shop, run a major retail outlet, or even if you simply provide a service to your local community.

Dealing with customer queries can take as few as ten minutes a day, but as your company grows and becomes more successful, your customer enquiries and requests grow in number and soon you will need to consider the most efficient and practical way to manage your customer support services.

Here are our top ten customer support tips:

1. Establish a clear set of customer support guidelines for your business, identify a standard greeting and set ideal turnaround times for all queries and issues.

2. Make sure that where possible, your customer support desk is available within working hours in your customer’s time zone.

3. Always respond promptly to let your customers know that they are a valued aspect of your business.

4. Try your best to resolve your customer’s problem, and if you can’t, let them know that you’re going to escalate the problem to someone who can help them further. Staying in touch is vital for customer satisfaction.

5. Always log your customer’s call, email or enquiry: it’s important to keep detailed record for each customer, and each enquiry so that you can learn from their comments and improve your business.

6. Use up-to-date relevant customer support software like Desk.com or Freshdesk to prioritise customer issues and keep on top of demands and deadlines.

7. Always respond in a friendly manner to encourage interaction and let customers know that they’re important.

8. Remember: happy customers are the best form of marketing. If they’re happy with your service, they’ll tell a friend. If they’re unhappy with your service, they’ll tell 10.

9. Make sure that you have a dedicated customer support professional ready to answer calls, maintain online chat enquiries, respond to emails, and check online website communications.

10. Go the extra mile! Give your customer a discount for online purchases, throw in something special for their next order, or give them a special rate for future services. Going the extra mile will make your company stand out from the rest.

Why you should use virtual assistance services for customer support

If business is booming and you’re getting more queries than normal, why not outsource the additional customer support to a virtual services professional? They’re trained in the best practices for a successful customer service team, and can take over the management, application and operations of your customer service department on a by-the-hour basis.

No need to train them in customer support basics or explain how the most popular software works: they already know. You also don’t need to worry about ongoing or permanent contracts, getting people onto payroll, or sorting out an extra workstation. No fuss, no hassles.

Whether you’re looking to add more team members to your customer service centre for Christmas, or you want someone to come in and handle all of your queries on a daily or weekly basis, working with a trained virtual professional gives you flexibility and reliability to suit your business requirements.