Written by Matt Stenson in

Tricks For Smarter Follow-up With Your Customers

Request follow-up is a critical part of creating happy and satisfied support customers. We've compiled a few techniques that will help you be smarter about how you follow-up with your customers.

Think Carefully About Auto Responders

When a Helpdesk system is implemented it's easy to want to turn on every notification option available. Having more email doesn't necessarily mean a better experience for customers. Take some time to think about the feeling that you want your customer's to have when they email you. Do you want it to feel like they are using a ticketing system or do you want it to feel like they are having a one on one interaction with one of your agents? If you are looking to create a personal touch, autoresponders may not be the way to go.

Also, think about your response time. An autoresponder that emails customers as soon as they send in a ticket notifying them that their request is being looked at can be nice. But be careful if you aren't able to respond for say 72 hours. You may create the feeling of being "lost in the system" instead of being valued and cared for.

Use Rules to Escalate Stagnant Tickets

Depending on you ticket volume, it can be easy to have requests that are stagnant fall through the cracks. Using a tool like HelpSpot you can create escalation rules that remind your agents to follow-up with customers who haven't replied. Make this follow-up personal instead of an automated message. Having an organization, personally and proactively follow-up is a sure way to earn yourself some customer love.

Always Ask If The Problem Is Fixed

When following up with customers always end your messages by asking if their problem is corrected. Sending a set of instructions without any prompt at the end can come off as cold and is frustrating if your response does not solve the problem. End you message with something that leaves the door open to responses from your customers. For example, "Let me know if these steps correct the issue for you!". Or, "If this doesn't fix your issue or if you have additional questions, let us know."

Sort Requests Oldest to Newest

This might sound simple, well it is, but it can make a huge difference. When looking at your requests sort them oldest to newest and start from the top to bottom when doing your follow-up. This will ensure that all of your customers receive reasonable follow-up times and that certain requests don't fall through the cracks.

Make Follow-up and Initial Responses Two Separate Tasks

Making follow-up and initial responses two different tasks during your day allows you to focus on providing good follow-up and achieving final resolutions faster. For example, you could dedicate time first thing in the morning to doing initial replies and then when all of the overnight issues have been cleared, do follow-ups for 45 minutes before going back to initial replies. Using a technique like this allows you to make time for more complex issues in your day that might otherwise get pushed off for multiple days.

This is Just the Beginning

Beyond these tips, there are lots of other items to think about in your follow-up strategy. Start thinking about how your follow-up is messaged and how you handle communicating issue escalation. Think about what method you use to follow-up. Do you match the customer's original contact method (ie: if they originally called in, do you call back or email). Taking time to think about how you follow-up will make your support efforts more efficient and will increase your customer satisfaction.

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About the author

Matt Stenson of UserScape

Matt is a Support Engineer at UserScape and writer on the HelpSpot Blog.

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