Best Practices for Website Support Providers

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As any support developer can tell you, client-facing work and communications can at times be incredibly frustrating. Whether it be an email chain or a phone call, miscommunications can frustrate both you and the client or clients you are in communication with. As one of the support assistants for PaperStreet’s web hosting clients, my goal today is to write out a set of tips to help you minimize these miscommunications and most importantly minimize the opportunity for them to come up at all!

Keep It Simple

Keeping your client communications simple is easily the most important aspect of reducing miscommunication. Simple responses leave no room for miscommunication as there is very little to misinterpret or misunderstand. If a client presents you with a very complicated request or one that is very unclear, try asking for clarification or try to rewrite their request in a simpler way and ask if it is accurate in order to ensure that the correct request has been noted. Never be afraid to clarify a request if needed as your client will more than likely appreciate that you want to ensure their request is done correctly.

Stay On Topic

Another important thing in minimizing miscommunication is keeping everything on topic. Keeping your communications on topic would seem to be obvious but often times clients may veer the conversation in a different direction rather than focusing on the issue at hand. If possible, allow the client to finish their thought or topic and then try and steer the conversation back to the issue needing resolved.

Keep Your Cool

Its not uncommon for a client to mark a support request urgent , state something is an emergency, or call in claiming there site is undergoing a crisis and it is just a minor change or fix needed to get their site back to how they expect it to be. In these situations (especially if it is over the phone), its important to first allow the client to vent their frustration and/or explain the situation and reassure them that affix is on the way. Doing so will both put them at ease and allow you to calmly work on the fix rather than dealing with an angry client and resolving the issue at the same time. If you are communicating over the phone, ensure that you take notes or write down what it is they need as sometimes it is very difficult to get back into contact with them after the call ends. By doing so, you can ensure you are implementing the correct fix to the correct problem.

Remain Positive and Considerate

Lastly, always make sure to keep everything positive. I personally hate sounding like a robot or a generic support program and try to keep my client communications light-hearted while still remaining formal (you are working at a respectable business after all). On top of this, keeping positive will also help minimize a client’s frustrations, and even better, remind them that there is indeed another human being working to solve their problem on the other end.

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