4 Easy Ways to Provide Stellar Customer Support

At Braintree we strive to provide accessible and helpful customer support. Our customers rave about the level of service we provide and about how knowledgeable the team is. Our customers are frequently surprised by how responsive we are and our willingness to help with things that sometimes aren’t even related to Braintree. Some may think this level of service is something that’s hard to duplicate, but the truth is, there’s no real secret to giving great customer service. We treat our customers with transparency, honesty and thoroughness.

When they call, answer the phone. There’s nothing worse than trying to get through an automated calling tree when you’re experiencing a problem. None of the endless options ever seem to describe your problem exactly, and all you want to do is talk to a human who can help. To make matters worse, when you finally get a chance to speak to a representative, it often turns out that you’ve chosen the wrong option and you have to be transferred anyway. Then there is the issue of providing all the same information over and over. After every transfer, the same information is  asked of you: account number, name, business, etc., even though you’ve already provided it.

At Braintree, our Support team answers the phone and asks two basic questions: “Who are we speaking with?” and “What is the issue?” Once those have been answered, you’re passed to the appropriate rep who will gladly answer any questions you have. If we do have to transfer you to another department, all of your applicable information and notes are passed along with you.

Be open and honest. We strive for all calls to be picked up within 4 rings and to respond to all emails within a few hours during business hours. However, that doesn’t always mean that every problem will be solved in a matter of hours. Unless it’s an urgent issue, many customers just want to know that you haven’t forgotten about them and that we’re addressing the issue at hand. It’s important to keep in touch with your customer even if you have nothing new to report, i.e. set expectations. If you know it’ll take a day or two to solve a particular problem, we let the customer know right away.  It’s better to tell them it will take two days, even if you end up solving it sooner. And most importantly, when we mess up, we fess up. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes, but we’re transparent when faced with these situations. We train our employees to explain what happened, how they fixed it, and the steps they are taking to make sure it never happens again.

If they come to you with a problem, help them solve it. One of the values Braintree appreciates most in its employees is self-management -- making sure things get done, and they get done well. We don’t believe in passing it off to the next person. If a customer has a problem that a certain team can’t solve, we make sure to get them to someone who can. We also train employees to continue to follow up on the issue until it’s been resolved. We do this because we’ve built a culture of white-glove service and we truly care about helping our customers. Which leads right into the last point...

Hire people who care! Being in customer service can sometimes be a rough job. You’re the first one to interact with customers who are often anxious, especially when the issues revolve around the customer’s business getting paid. It can be draining on even the most positive of people (remember that the next time you’re tempted to scream at a CS rep...). When customers actually interact with a customer service rep who cares, it shows. In many instances, just knowing that someone else acknowledges your pain and wants to help you find a solution can make all of the difference in the world. At Braintree, we look for people who really care about the work they do and the level of service they provide. We have a loose, hands-off management approach, so hiring the right people is critical.

Some of these suggestions may sound like no-brainers, but it’s surprising how many companies drop the ball with customer service. They hide behind fill-in web forms, read from pre-written scripts, and don’t allow their reps the autonomy they need to truly dig into unique problems. You may never need to contact a company’s customer support team, but the day that you do, you’ll be glad you chose a company who cares.

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Dan Uhle Motivated by solving problems, Dan is responsible for defining/iterating processes and procedures for the Braintree Operations team More posts by this author

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