Customer Service Basics: Workflow Counts

As we’ve noted before here in these pages, customer service boiled down to its bare essentials is really just Q&A. From that perspective, it may be a little easier to answer one of the more straightforward, and most pressing questions in customer service and support: How do we provide outstanding customer service?

Of course it’s not easy, but the rewards are huge. First things first, you must know your customers as well your company knows itself. Listen to what they ask for, let them know you’re listening, and do your best to fix their problems.

As a bonus, if you’re consistently helpful and aware of customer problems, they’ll be much more likely to respond when you ask for their help in the form of customer surveys and feedback.

Make friends, keep friends

The effort of building good customer relationships will be wasted if you don’t continue putting in the effort. When customers ask questions, it’s reasonable for them to expect you to do the footwork.

For example, if a customer e-mails you with a database issue, do some basic work to see if you can get it sorted out before contacting the customer. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with an automated notification to the customer, letting them know you have received the request; however, if you can fix the problem before contacting them again…GO FOR IT! Everybody wins.

The basic footwork

So, what kind of footwork can you do ahead of time? Well, not every customer understands an issue to explain it clearly. If don’t completely understand the issue, take a closer look, do a little research and see if you can figure it out.

If that doesn’t help, then go ahead and ask the customer for further information, but let them know you’ve put some thought into it. Explain your steps, and in doing so, you may help the customer better understand the issue they’re trying to describe.

At this point, if you can’t quite figure it out, ask for help. Escalation works when it’s necessary, and when the workflow is simple and straightforward.

PhaseWare Workflows

As part of the PhaseWare Tracker Platform, workflows play a major role in creating an easy-to-use tool for agile customer support organizations. Tracker Workflows allow multiple agents to work on a single ticket, they allow for quick escalation, clear communication, and a single view of all customer information.

By following these easy tips, treating your customers like they count, and being accountable for the work you do, outstanding customer service gets a few steps closer.


Many things become easier when following easy, step-by-step processes. Even drawing a bird
Pablo Picasso.

Image: Marion Deuchars’s Let’s Make Some Great Art (Laurence King Publishing, September)

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