Seven Ways To Delight Customers Even Before They Talk To You


It’s the little things that matter in the end, especially in a field like customer service. You might be spending a lot of time and effort making sure every experience you deliver to customers is mind-blowing (including how good your processes are and how helpful and nice your agents are), but none of that matters if you don’t make a good first impression.

The little things you do before customers contact your support team make a lot of difference. If you can tune up your website to help your customers find information quicker and delight them in ways they haven’t even imagined, you can create a lot of goodwill even before they reach your support team. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

1. Proactively Provide a Support Number When Users Are about to Leave provides a customer support number to users who are about to leave their web page. Out of the blue (literally), you’ll find their customer support number on the screen.

By doing this, Housing makes sure users always have access to help, even if they don’t actively search for it. This also gives Housing a shot at retaining customers by offering them a way to vent and report problems.

This little piece of JavaScript can help you accomplish just about the same thing on your site by allowing you to create a popup for displaying your customer support hotline.

2. Direct People to the Right Department

More often than not, customer support questions get lost when they are tossed around among different teams in your organization. Sometimes your customers are unsure if they need to contact sales or billing when they need a refund. Other times, customers spend a day waiting to get their questions answered when they could have just looked them up in the FAQ section.

The right thing to do would be to make it really easy for customers to reach the right department so things could go through your flow clearly and your customers could end up getting faster service.

WooThemes does this pretty well. They clearly distinguish where customers need to go by providing them the right examples: If users have a basic question about what themes are or how things work, they are directed to the FAQ section. Existing customers who may have technical questions are asked to file a ticket. And, people who are close to buying themes are led to complete a form.

This is much better than just listing three different email addresses for different purposes, and the banner does a good job of handholding. If you have a help desk, you probably have rules set up in order for different kinds of questions to reach the right folks in your company; so, all you need to do is put a little more thought into making things clearer on the front end for users.

3. Send More Than Just a Meaningless Thank You for a Support Request

Have you ever submitted a ticket on a site only to have the form tell you they’re looking into the issue and that they’ll get back to you shortly? That’s sort of like a clear precedent for another automated message in a few minutes (we’ve never been wrong about this one).

GoFundMe, a site that makes it easy for you to raise funds, has put some thought into the thank you message that appears when you try contacting them with a question. Besides just an assurance that they’ve received your message, you get a pretty note that says different things based on the time of day.

When I tried to contact them, the form told me I would hear back “first thing in the morning.”

There is a world of difference between this and standard, meaningless thank yous that make you just want to close the tab and move away. Putting in a custom message can go a long way toward leaving a good impression among potential customers as well.

4. Ask Users How Savvy They Are, So You Can Help Them Better

If you have a global customer base, you’re probably dealing with several different kinds of users: some may be tech savvy, some may want you to type out detailed instructions in bullets, while others might want you to get on a call with them and break down everything with a screencast. While psychic abilities are useful here, you also can ask users upfront how much help they require.

DreamHost does this beautifully by asking users how well versed they are with issues they’re trying to talk to customer support about. This way, support folks can save time by giving power users high level instructions and, at other times, earn praise and build goodwill by handholding the less tech-savvy customers.

If you have a contact form, just add a little field that asks users about their expertise levels so you can score one for your thoughtfulness.

5. Make Your Support Hotline Google Friendly

Have you ever Googled for HP’s customer support number and seen it listed right away on the search results page? Or McDonald’s, for that matter? Or Amazon’s? Take a look.

If you have a support hotline, you probably have it listed on the footer of your support portal. But, the way to make it 10x more discoverable is to get it listed on Google’s search results. It’s not rocket science; all you need to do is incorporate a few lines of code to let search engines know where exactly your customer support number is embedded on your website.

There are attributes you can use to specify if the number is toll free and/or regional and to specify which department it routes calls to (billing, customer service, technical support, and the like). Here’s some sample code you can tinker with and, later, incorporate on your site:

<script type="application/ld+json">
{ "@context" : "",
"@type" : "Organization",
"url" : "",
"contactPoint" : [
{ "@type" : "ContactPoint",
"telephone" : "+1-866-832-3090",
"contactType" : "customer service",
"contactOption" : "TollFree",
"areaServed" : "US"
} , {
"@type" : "ContactPoint",
"telephone" : "+44-800-808-5790",
"contactType" : "customer service",
"areaServed" : "UK"
} ] }

There are a bunch of other things you can do (if you know your way with schema) to make your customers’ experiences better online, and this post has more details on how you can go about accomplishing them.

6. Offer Help While Customers Are Waiting

One does not simply get answers the very next minute when one sends out a question. Often, it takes a while for support reps to get back, and people are left without any hope for light at the end of the tunnel. However, there are a bunch of ways you can make a bitter waiting experience a little smoother.

Apple, for instance, provides FAQs to solve questions that customers might have while they’re waiting for an Apple Genius to connect with them on live chat. Tumblr parses every support request it gets and sends back some assistance via email based on keywords.

Or, you can use the help of some really interesting hold music. While Uberconference isn’t a tool you’d use for customer support, their brilliant idea of letting people customize hold music when they’re waiting is well-documented and always gets raved about.

7. Set Expectations Right by Showing Average Wait Time

When customers email you, they may be looking for a response in a day or two, but they never know how busy your support is. By being transparent about how quickly your support team is resolving queries at the time, you can clearly set customers’ expectations and ensure they’re not frustrated when they don’t hear back as quickly as they assumed.

Zapier does this well by letting users know the average response time when they submit a question using the contact page on the site. Customers know when they can expect to hear back, and they won’t go to social media if they don’t get a response in seconds!

Now, what little change can you make today that will leave a lasting impression on your customers? You really don’t have to spend a day or a week on it; the little things can go a long way in making an impact. So, go back to your support desk, your portal, and see how you can delight your customers in ways they may not have even thought of.

About the Author: Shankar Ganesh is a Marketing Analyst at Freshdesk, a leading provider of support software that makes customer happiness refreshingly easy. When he’s not working, he’s probably checking out the latest and greatest apps, or tweeting tech on: @_shankarganesh

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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