When you’re managing an online help desk, it can sometimes feel like you’re a broken record, especially if your company has strict language that you must use when responding to customers, a la “Thank you for contacting 1-800-Support-a-Customer.  We appreciate your business…”

But no matter how tedious writing customer support responses becomes, there’s one thing we here at FuseDesk implore you not to do:  please don’t drop the ball.

Ball?  What Ball?

Okay, put down the rubber band ball so you can use your fingers to type.  That ball you can drop.  But one day, as you’re pulling up a template from Infusionsoft that you’ve used repeatedly, you’re going to want to get to creative, maybe even use a few choice words with a particularly persistent customer.  Or maybe you want to avoid using the template altogether and write a short, sweet response without all the company fluff.

Probably not a good idea (especially the choice words bit).  You never know who the customer on the other end could be.  You could be responding to the CEO’s mother, or a very important shareholder.  Not only that, but managers often check up on their customer support reps, sending in feedback from disguised email addresses to make sure you’re performing your duties and adhering to company standards.  Drop the ball by responding in a less-than-professional way and it could be something you’ll be talking about during your next review.  Do I smell a demerit?

On the Contrary

Don’t let the thought of your manager’s periodic quality assurance checks make you afraid, however.  Sure, it’ll keep you on your toes, but it can also be a good way to test your brain and see how you handle challenging feedback.  When a customer (or a faux customer) brings up a less frequently asked question, it’s a great opportunity for you to discuss your options for escalating an issue or finding out which department you can turn to for answers to help the customer.  After all, your job is all about the customer, even when the customer is internal!

It’s not Always Elementary

Somewhere along the line, employees in all sorts of industries have gotten the idea that asking questions of their higher-ups makes’em look weak.  Not so!  It only shows that you have integrity and take pride in your work.  Whether a customer support email is coming from an actual customer or not, if you don’t know what action to take, asking your manager for assistance is the smart thing to do.  But store away their answer by writing it down for next time, because if you continuously ask the same question, it could have the opposite effect!

Is it okay to drop your ball-point pen?  Sure.  Can you drop your squishy stress ball once you’ve destressed?  Absolutely.  And what about your Magic 8 Ball?  Okay, even though those things sort of lost popularity back in the 90s.  But pretty please with a cherry on top, don’t drop the ball on delivering the best possible customer support because it can affect customers’ opinions of the entire company – and negative opinions spread like wildfire.  Instead, hold the ball – and your head – high knowing that you’re consistently making your customers happy so they’ll continue to support your company!