Note: This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.
We all know good customer service is an important part of running a successful business. Providing customer support can be the difference between gaining referrals, long term customers, gathering important feedback and giving your buyers a frustrating experience.
At Envato, authors are encouraged to provide support for their items and although it is often seen as a hassle, giving good support is a huge benefit for authors and buyers alike.
We’ve got ten tips to help you take your support to the next level.
As many authors know, we have been working on improving and upgrading our current item support system, especially for ThemeForest. There are going to be some exciting announcements about this in the near future. In the mean time, here are a few tips to get you thinking about your approach to support and what you can personally do to improve buyer experience.
1 ) Good documentation:
Envato requires you to include item documentation for particular items, use it to your benefit. Providing clear concise documentation will give a great foundation to your customer support. If you’ve covered all FAQ’s and provided all the troubleshooting tips buyers may need, it will reduce the amount of people contacting you for support.
2 ) Label everything clearly:
One of the biggest issues buyers have is not being able to find the documentation and files after downloading the item. Make your files easy to find and identify and you won’t get frustrated buyers saying they haven’t received the correct files.
3 ) Easy to follow advice:
When giving support make sure you give clear and basic answers. The buyer might not have your practical experience and will need to know the simplest way to overcome their problem. Giving easy to follow advice will help the buyer understand and put your words to practice.
4 ) Keep your cool:
Maintain a professional and calm manner when dealing with support issues. This is especially important when faced with frustrated buyers. Treat your buyers with respect, regardless of how they are behaving. Your best option is to conduct your business in the most admirable way possible. That way other buyers can see that you always do your best, even when someone is behaving inappropriately.
5 ) Set up a system that works for you:
Make sure you set up a support system that works for you. Take time to plan your support strategy and integrate support duties into your daily routine. Putting aside time for support will help you deal with it consistently and help you manage your time.
6 ) Try to respond quickly and appropriately:
The hardest part when providing support is replying promptly, especially when you are swamped by support requests. Do your best to communicate with your buyers and if unable to answer their question straight away, let them know. For example: “Hey, I’m in the process of answering your support query but it will take another day before I am able to get back to you.”
7 ) Apologize if you’ve done something wrong, and put it right:
Everyone makes mistakes and if you have made an error or done something wrong, be the first to acknowledge it and apologize, then do your best to fix it. This attitude shows that you care about your business, didn’t intend to make a mistake and are responsible for your own actions. Dealing with conflict and issues in an admirable way speaks volumes about you as an author and person.
8 ) Respond to feedback and suggestions:
Resolving problems promptly and engaging customers is a great way to build rapport. Use your social media networks to speak to your customers and help resolve their problems. Social media is often a faster way of dealing with simple support problems and you can informally reassure your buyers that you are looking into the issue.
9 ) Listen properly to complaints:
Complaints are a valuable source of feedback and the best bit is they are free! Some people complain even if service is awesome and sadly you can never avoid dealing with complaints! The positive in this situation is that listening to critical feedback gives you a great opportunity to listen and correct problems.
10 ) Be a customer:
Most fast food chains suggest their new recruits do this and it is an interesting and often eye opening experience. Be the customer, shop for items, wait in the queues, deal with the customer support and it will help you give better support! If you experience the process from the customer’s point of view you will quickly see how to improve any issues.
Giving spot on support is not always easy and the bigger your company and client base, the harder it can be. Customer support is a huge learning experience and even we are constantly trying to improve and upgrade our system to keep our authors and buyers happy.
The simple truth to remember is that helping people who purchase your products is part of your job. If you do it well, you will reap the rewards. We hope you find these tips helpful and that they inspire you to think about and streamline your support service.