Learn how to resolve the contact using customer service best practices.
- Now that we have arrived at a diagnosis, it's time to resolve the issue. Applying a resolution will vary by organization and your specific type of service desk. It could be applying a technical resolution to resolve an incident. It could be applying a quick fix to restore service or a workaround. It could be giving information to answer a question. No matter what type of resolution we're providing, our goal is to provide it as quickly and effectively as possible. The first step in resolution is to leverage and use your resources.
Resources can come in many forms, such as a knowledge base, standard operating procedures, anywhere that solutions and fixes and step-by-step procedures are documented. Resources could also be peers, other team members, vendors, documentation and web sites. It's really important to know what resources exist in your organization. The goal is to utilize your resources so that we can resolve as quickly and consistently as possible. Why spend more time than needed if the fix has already been identified and documented for reuse? There is no time to reinvent the wheel in technical support.
Let's take a moment to document your organization's available resources in your action plan. Create a list of all the resources currently utilized in your organization. Understanding what resources are available can save time and a lot of frustration. Hopefully, your list was pretty long. One note on updating resources. If you search your resources such as a knowledge base and a solution is not present, or perhaps it needs to be updated, it's important to know your organization's knowledge management procedures.
These procedures will provide guidelines on how to communicate the needed changes. This is vital to ensuring that the resolution process can continue to work efficiently and effectively. Once we've identified the resolution, either through our own knowledge or using resources, we need to apply it. If you can estimate the timeframe to apply the fix, it's a good practice to inform the customer. Giving a timeframe allows the customer to choose from a few options. They can decide whether to fix the issue now, have a technician come back on site, contact the service desk at a more convenient time, or have the service desk contact the customer back at a specific time.
If the fix is temporary or is a workaround, teaching them the steps to fix the problem should it reoccur is also a great preventive step. If you can, you should follow up and send the customer resources with information on how to handle the issue if it comes up again. After we've applied the resolution, our next task is to ensure that it actually resolved the issue, answered the question, or fixed the incident. Many technicians simply skip this step, and ensuring that resolution is vital to the success of the entire process.
One way to ensure success is to actually stop and have the customer verify that the resolution is successful. Often customers get so excited or they're in such a hurry they don't slow down to truly verify that the resolution has worked. There are some statements that can help us stop and ensure resolution before we move to closure. - Would you please check to make sure this worked? Let's stop and double-check that we fixed the issue before you go so you don't have to contact us back.
- There are times when the issue cannot be resolved during the interaction. This is when an escalation would need to occur. An escalation happens when the issue needs to be worked on a by another resource, team, or even sent to a manager. We'll cover escalation in our next chapter. So, now that we've resolved or escalated the issue, we can move on to our final step, closure.
First, Fancy provides guidance on how to use the right types of questions to gather information about an issue. Then, she explains how to professionally handle common customer service tasks, like escalating and transferring calls. Then, she shows how to hone interactions with customers by refining communications—acknowledging how tone and word choice can diffuse tension. She wraps up by covering common customer behavior scenarios in which the tools, techniques, and strategies from the course can be applied.
- Greeting and validating contacts
- Asking investigative and diagnostic questions
- Confirming and validating responses
- Reaching resolution and closure
- Using mute or hold on a call
- Escalating or transferring a call
- Building rapport over the phone, in writing, and face-to-face
- Refining word choice, style, and tone
- Managing conflict effectively
- Recovering unsatisfied customers
- Redirecting customers
- Identifying customer behavior