Finally, the day I reapply to Automattic has come!🎉🎉 Although this page was initially intended as a place for me to articulate my support philosophy in preparation for this reapplication, I plan on maintaining it and revising it as I learn and grow. While I do not believe the core of these philosophies will change much, my desire is to keep an open mind, improve on myself and incorporate the best practices and beliefs I see in others.
Thank you for reading!
- Practical Support Practices (denoted “P-#”)
- Fundamental Support Beliefs (denoted “F-#”)
Practical Support Practices
P-1. Begin with Warm Greetings and Conclude with Welcoming Farewells
Always greet the person with the most personal and appropriate name I have access to. (E.g. Use real name over forum ID when possible.)
Always end conversations with a beckoning for them to come back again if they need. Never cutoff communication just because (I think) a resolution has been reached. Make the final words with every customer personal.
P-2. Be Friendly, Positive and Enthusiastic at All Times
Every customer interaction I have is just as valuable as the next – regardless of how big that customer’s financial contributions have been to the company. Each customer deserves to be treated as if they are the most important customer to the company. My attitude towards them must always convey that.
Both calm and upset customers contact us because they need help. My attitude and tone of language towards them is what will contribute most to reassuring them and helping them down the right path. I will take every customer enquiry sincerely, but never personally, so as not to affect my attitude to them or to the rest of my day’s work – the other customers I will serve.
P-3. Always Thank Customers
In every interaction, no matter how large or small, I will thank customers. Ultimately, customers are who put food on my table. Customers are the reason why I have a job (hopefully at Automattic 😊) which I can take pride in and invest in each day. Customers are the incentive behind developing and providing the best service I can.
If a customer is reaching out about a purchase, I will thank them for that. If they are reaching out about a system failure, I will thank them for pointing it out. If they are disgruntled and ready to leave, I will still thank them for the business they have done with us and wish them the best in their endeavors. No customer is ever unworthy of a sincere “Thank You”.
P-4. Never Point – Always Lead To Their Destination
Every book I have read mentions customers should never be given directions just with pointing or verbally. As much as possible, the attending staff should take them to their destination, or as far as the customer feels is necessary.
The same can be done in cyberspace. Don’t just tell them to go to a site or look something up themselves. Always take them to their destination with a URL and a set of instructions. The closer the URL will take the customer to their destination, the better. (A link to a specific page within a site would generally be better than the top page of that site.)
P-5. Find Best Practices and Keep an Easy Reference to Them Nearby
A personalized support experience is probably an all-too-commonly unrealised dream of customers. Every one of my interactions with a customer ought to be different and unique with an individual flavor.
At the same time, there are tried and tested words and phrases which almost always work great (or horribly) with customers. I will study the service interactions of my colleagues, those documented in books and resources and also in my personal work life which can be deemed as “best practices” for the environment I work in. I will proactively incorporate these into my own service encounters by keeping easily accessible notes by me until they become second nature to me.
Fundamental Support Beliefs
F-1. Believe I Have Been Empowered And Entrusted To Solve Any Situation
My company (hopefully Automattic 😊) trusts me and my judgement when serving customers. They understand I have a sincere desire to help people. They have hired me because they see my passion and want me to join them in this endeavour – providing excellent customer support.
So have confidence! Get out there and do what I know I enjoy doing – Serving Others!
F-2. Never Shy From Asking For Help
While my company (hopefully Automattic 😊) believes in me and my desire to help others, they also understand I am human and am far from perfect. If I don’t know something, I can ask for help. If I need direction, or even encouragement, they are there for me.
Don’t believe I know everything. Remember we work as a team and I am allowed – expected – to genuinely ask for help. I can be confident I will not be judged for doing so.
F-3. Never Miss an Opportunity to Help My Colleagues
No employee can work on their own. Even the most talented CEOs need their team to help them reach their goal. My mission is to serve “others” and my colleagues are no exception. I will seek out opportunities to assist them, not just in technical or work-related ways, but as a friend walking the same path towards the same destination, as set out by our company. I am here for them, just as they are here for me.
F-4. Never Stop Learning
My journey of learning will never cease. I will study the customers I serve. I will study the products I support to better relate to the customers I serve. I will study the advancements in technology around us. I will study new methods of customer service. I will never stop putting in that little bit of effort to become a better ME!
This list was compiled having been influenced by many sources. The past work experiences I’ve had, the books and articles I’ve read, the practical experience in the WordPress.com forums, even the training I received from Mum and Dad growing up… these have all come together to produce… ME!
If you are specifically interested in reading my “book reviews” about books I have read over the last few months, please check out this posts, too!
My review on “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless” will be here in a few more days! Stay tuned!