Customer support is the delivery of service at every stage of a buying process. It begins with a customer’s initial inquiry and extends throughout the sales process and into the after-sale experience. The perception of success of these interactions depends heavily on how well employees “can adapt themselves to that of the customer”. Support in all its forms is an art form and understanding the art means developing an appreciation for all aspects of customer support.

For each stage, there will be different types of customers supporting agents. In a technical problem setting, there will be technical problem solvers and network specialists. In a service concern, there will be service representatives and sales agents. In every management scenario, there will be support team members performing various duties. While the general purpose for most employees performing Customer Support is to resolve Customer Support issues, there are specific roles that must be fulfilled by each member of the support team. This is what will be discussed in this article.

The first role of Customer Support agents is to manage the dialogue that takes place between the company and its customers. The success or failure of Customer Support lies largely in the effectiveness of the communication between the customer and the company. Properly managed Customer Support agents will understand the customer’s needs and expectations. They will also be able to anticipate problems and potential issues that may arise in future customer interactions. To this end, these individuals will facilitate dialogue, clarify expectations, define responsibilities, and monitor customer service.

The second responsibility of Customer Support agents is to take action in response to Customer Support queries which have been forwarded by qualified Customer Support representatives. The actions taken will depend on the nature of the query and will vary according to each customer support function. For example, in a technical problem setting, a simple enquiry like ‘how do I turn on the printer?’ may bring about an entire chain of related instructions and actions. On the other hand, a language support question like ‘where did you hear about the defect?’

Language support is a crucial element in ensuring long-term interactions with customers. Customers expect an answer to their questions, which is timely and that provides detailed information. A long-term relationship is only established through effective and responsive Customer Support.

Great customer support also involves resolving situations when customers are not happy. Sometimes, resolving a particular situation will simply be resolved, but resolving the underlying causes that triggered the unhappy customer will help resolve future problematic interactions between the customer and the company. Therefore, resolving such situations will not only ensure that the interaction between the two parties does not recur, it will also help to strengthen the relationship between them. In fact, a good customer support functions as a great relationship binder, keeping customers happy and satisfied throughout the life of the contract. The above mentioned are just some of the important aspects that form a solid foundation for great customer support.

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