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Here’s a stat we’re really proud of: More than 90% of our customers plan on sticking with TazWorks for at least the next 3 years.

This is an almost unheard of number. So the big question is: WHY? What are we doing so differently, and how can you, as a CRA, make sure the same holds true for your clients?

Obviously having a great product is key, and if you’re already using our software, you’re well on your way to success in that area. But the thing that keeps our customers loyal isn’t just our software—it’s our service. Our customers have given the employee interactions they’ve had with our company a whopping 93% satisfaction rating.

We’ve focused on making our customer service the best in the industry, and those who work with us can tell. Here are our top tips to help you stand out from your competition and see the same rates of success we have.

1. Be loyal to your users above all.

Customer service is all about loyalty to your users. At TazWorks, we think of our customer support approach as "friends first." If you’re not loyal to them, why should they be loyal to you? We know that our success only comes if our CRAs and their clients are successful, so this is our biggest priority.

2. Choose being responsive over being right.

Responsiveness is one of the most important skills you can have—and it's usually more important than knowing the answer. Responding personally to let them know immediately that you'll look into it, even if you don't have the answer right then, is always better than waiting several hours and then giving them the correct answer. And it will build trust and a real relationship as the customer feels like they're connecting with a human being rather than something automated.

We have set a goal for ourselves to answer support emails in less than an hour and phone calls within 30 seconds to help all our support employees recognize the importance of this and make sure they are as responsive as possible. When else have you called a company and been able to talk to a real human being in 30 seconds?

3. Help however you can, even if it's not your job.

You also have to be committed to helping them solve any problem—sometimes even if they're not problems with your own software. We've helped people with printer difficulties, browser issues, and other things in order to help them get the best experience possible.

4. Go beyond—communicate and advocate.

It's not just about fixing the problem. You have to really care about the person you're talking to, be an advocate for them, keep them updated, and constantly work with them until their problem is fixed.

5. Hire the right people.

For customer service positions, we hire first and foremost based on personality, because it's the one thing that can't be taught. They have to genuinely care about people, know how to work with them, and want to work with them. Everything else—process, knowledge, etc.—can be taught, but personality and empathy can't.

6. Use automation to connect even better.

Since converting to a ticketing system, we have been able to do way more with the same headcount. There’s a risk that technology can make it less personal, but if you use it right, it can allow you to provide even better service, cutting out the steps that distract you from doing your best, so you can focus purely on the people who need your help.

7. Always keep a human touch at the core of what you do.

While automation can allow you to do more, don’t go overboard. We don’t send automated responses to support requests because it feels impersonal, instead focusing on responding directly as quickly as we can to at least touch base. Having canned responses to common issues is a big advantage that allows support representatives to keep from retaking screenshots or writing out basic steps over and over again, wasting time overall and slowing down their ability to respond promptly to individual customers, but personalizing them for each individual case is vital.

When you partner with your customers and treat them like friends and equals rather than to-do items, you create loyalty that can’t be rivaled. And not only does that mean your clients are more likely to stick around, it means they’re going to tell everyone else they know too, so that your service can become one of your greatest marketing and sales tools as well.