customer support tips and secrets

We have won global awards for our service (one from Her Majesty the Queen, no less). But we still see customer service as our life’s work, our ultimate goal.

Our software is all about being fantastic at customer service, and we want to live and breathe that as a company too.

We are asked at least once a week what our support “secrets” are

At its heart, our philosophy is that we believe that customers want you to show them what to do and how to do it.

That they want trust and commitment rather than an adversarial relationship. They’re happy to invest in mutual success if you can demonstrate the value you bring and the expertise you have.

Even in this age of endless self-serve information and self-directed buyer journeys, there is still huge value in pure, honest “help”.

Done well, the very best help delivers phenomenal customer service, and we believe there is still plenty of room for magic.

Here at Customer Thermometer, we call our amazing, award-winning customer support team “The Ministry of Magic”.

They are a happy troupe, teeming with innovation and driven by seemingly impossible possibilities.

But as much as they create customer delight with spell-binding solutions, The Ministry is extremely industrious too. Maximizing customer attentiveness while efficiently powering through enquiries and tickets isn’t an easy potion to concoct.

Sitting over the cauldron is our Head Wizard (Client Services Manager) Lily Blanchet.

Here are six of Lily’s neverfail spells for making your support team truly magical…

6 tips and tricks excellent support team

Sunset is red
Fish eyes are blue
Relying on a user guide, you absolutely shouldn’t do

We’ve all experienced customer service where your query has been answered with a short greeting, a link to a guide and a sign off. As if to say: read the manual!

“Nothing about this interaction is warm or welcoming,” says Lily. “Quite the opposite in fact – it may make the recipient feel like a burden for asking a question.

“The approach I like our wizards to follow is to summarise the answer to the query first and then link to the guide for further details. Using screen recording software like SnagIT to attach a quick personalised video demo to help resolve their query would also add a magical touch.”

Bottom Line: User guides can’t deliver customer service. Adopt an approach that shows care, gives the answer a more conversational feel and creates an atmosphere where the recipient is comfortable to ask further questions if they need to.

Spell: Add personalised mini-video explainers to your bag of tricks. And remember it’s important to cater to all types of support without seeming like you are just sending across a cold, closed answer.

Spell Strength: 4 wands

Jargon is a barrier
Throw the dog a bone
Be friendly, clear and concise in your tone

“For the Ministry of Magic, tone is very important,” says Lily. “We work in software, which makes it very easy to get too technical when supporting a customer and ending up sounding cold and severe. Therefore, keeping it friendly, clear and concise will take you a long way in not only offering support the customer can actually understand but also cutting down ticket times by removing complicated and confusing jargon.”

Bottom Line: Customers should never fear or contemplate contacting support if they need help. Using tech vocabulary when it’s not needed can put people off by making them think the technology is over their heads when actually it isn’t.

Spell: Ensure your tone is friendly and welcoming. Never treat any question as silly and impress upon customers that you will do the most you can to support them. You are here to listen and provide clear, happy and helpful support.

Spell Strength: 3 wands

Be the pro in proactive
Not the pond in respond

“Proactive support is being that one step ahead to identify what the customer might need help with next so you can offer up that information beforehand providing them with a smoother journey,” says Lily. “Proactive support is very powerful in demonstrating you understand your customer’s needs. Not to mention minimising further support tickets in the future.”

Bottom Line: Customers might not believe you truly understand them if you fail to anticipate what they need.

Spell: Offer customers help before they ask for it. This not only displays your willingness to help but also shows a proactive care for their needs.

Spell Strength: 5 wands

Walk with your customer
Down the passage of time
Be patient, be patient
Or get covered in slime

As Lily says: “Patience is a key element to producing great service.”

Bottom Line: The person you’re helping won’t be as familiar as you with the product/service you provide. Rushing them or showing impatience could be a disaster.

Spell: Remember you are being asked for help, which makes the person asking feel vulnerable. Take your time and ensure you assist the customer without getting short with them if they don’t understand.

Spell Strength: 4 wands

Always do your training with everyone on the team
Missing anybody out is an invitation to scream

“I believe working in customer service is a crucial part of training any new starter in your business – whether they are going to be part of the support team or not,” says Lily. “From this crucial training they can then re-distribute the knowledge and company tone gained within their area of the business outside of support. This is critical to ensuring support, sales and accounts (for example) all lead with the same service building blocks and also have good product knowledge.”

Bottom Line: Customers don’t just talk to the customer support team. What if not everyone is delivering on the customer-centricity your company promises?

Spell: Get every new starter to train within customer service, so they can learn about the product, address common queries confidently and get a great introduction to the company tone.

Spell Strength: 5 wands

Take that script
Bury it in the crypt

Lily says: “Service should be natural, not mechanical, otherwise you can’t produce organic memorable moments with your customer base.”

Bottom Line: Using scripts within support leaves no room to add delight or that extra piece of magic to your customer service.

Spell: Step outside the script to open up plenty more opportunities to create a great customer relationship and ultimately a decrease in churn.

Spell Strength: 4 wands


If you want to know whether your service is hitting your customers’ magical expectations, give Customer Thermometer a try. You can get 10 ministry-approved surveys for free, right here: