There are many qualities that come together to create a fantastic customer support representative: Empathy, Creativity, and Friendliness, just to name a few! One of the top qualities one must possess to consistently deliver a great customer experience is knowledge of the product your users will be making a part of their daily lives.
Use the Product
The best way to get and maintain product knowledge is to use your product every day, and make it a part of your life too! Doing so allows you to know what it can do, if there are any workarounds for what it may not be able to do natively, develop shortcuts for longer processes that you can share with your users, and more.
Our Nimble team uses the product every day, for both personal and work purposes. Right from our first day, we are set up as a user on a large team account, as well as with an individual test Nimble account to dive into. We go through the onboarding processes and daily functions just like our users do: connecting email accounts, calendars, and social networks, importing and managing contacts, and becoming immersed in all that Nimble has to offer.
As part of a Support Team, it is especially important to understand all aspects of the product, even if the feature is not something you would personally use. For example, even if we don’t work with deals and reports in our day to day lives, we still create tons of example deals so that we can view reports and explore every caveat of these features. Taking the time to do this allows us to deliver thoughtful, quality answers to our customers who need to know how all features of Nimble can help to make them successful in their business workflow.
As new updates are rolled out for your product, you will also need to test those to learn what has changed between updates, and what is now the expected behavior. In addition to expanding what you know, you may also find triggers for issues that will need to be fixed. This is another way that extensive product knowledge leads to the delivery of great customer service – discovering and resolving issues before they affect your user base! (This is also one reason we call our Support Team “Care Ninjas”!)
The full scope of what your product is capable of is vast! Sometimes weeks can go by where none of your customers ask about a specific feature, and with many other questions, tasks, and other details being top of mind, there is a lot to remember and only so much your mind can hold at one time. It is important to keep a detailed note system on hand that will allow you to easily reference topics when needed.
Here at Nimble, our Care Ninjas like to use a myriad of tools to store notes about Nimble – pen and paper, Google Docs, and local word processing tools on our laptops such as Microsoft Word or TextEdit. If you are keeping notes in an electronic fashion, be sure to group them by topic, with a title comprised of keywords that will allow you to make use of your search and find keyboard shortcut!
For your most frequently received questions, notes that find their way into your response emails most often can be pre-formatted and submitted into a text expanding tool. If your Care Team uses Chrome, a great resource can be found in AutoTextExpander! However, nobody likes to receive a canned response. Always be sure to customize your expanded text to fit the question at hand by using the same language the customer used, so that you are giving each new case the personalized attention it deserves.
Use Your Resources
While using your product every day, keeping notes, and answering similar questions will certainly help you to build an encyclopedia of knowledge, it’s okay to not know the answer to every question. Thanks to the Internet, company databases, and your fellow teammates, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips that will allow you to give your customers the most helpful answers to their queries.
Your product’s Knowledge Base isn’t only for customers! If the most eloquent answer to a question is just on the tip of your tongue, don’t be afraid to find the topic in your Support Channel and peruse it for inspiration. You might also choose to share the most relevant snippet of information, and then include the link to the support article as an additional resource for your customer. Additionally, the Knowledge Base is a great place to visit during downtime to gain even more product knowledge that will help you in assisting your users.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your colleagues and ask questions when needed. Here at Nimble, our whole team is well versed in our CRM, and they also have their own areas of expertise that make them a valuable resource to turn to when the answer requires a deeper look into a certain subject matter. Many teams now use some form of instant messaging, such as Slack or Google Hangouts, and that makes it easy to have a quick conversation about any topic! Many of these chat programs also allow you to archive your conversations and refer to them as needed.
In utilizing your product every day, as well as creating your own resources and using those already available, you will build an extensive library of product knowledge to draw upon whenever needed. This will lead to confidence in answering any question for your customers in a thorough manner, and helping your users to get the most out of your product in their daily workflow.