In our last post, we talked about the dimensions of customer service and its personal and procedural aspects.
This time we’ll be discussing the most important stakeholders in service execution – the customer support team. In fact, as the ones who have to blend the personal and procedural dimensions, the support team is the most important cog in the wheel.
So what makes a great support team?
In all the pointers and lists written towards better customer support, somehow the importance of the actual people who deliver the support is downplayed.
Your customer support team is a million times more important than the technology and the processes. Getting a great team in place is half the job done.
Here’s what we at Freshdesk think is important.
Three things your Support Team should know
The support team is the face of your company, the people who man the touch points between the customer and the business. And for them to be effective, this is what they should know:
By organization, we mean the broader values the company stands for, the general attitude towards customers and so on.
By knowing the product, we mean knowing every aspect of the product or service, operational or otherwise.
By knowing the customer, we mean maintaining a cordial, healthy and empathetic relationship between customers and support.
Two things your Support Team should have
Empower your support personnel to do what they think is best in situations and back them to the hilt. If they are worried that their decisions will be criticized, they have no incentive to make customers feel good.
Give them that incentive.
Forge for them a direct channel to the people that matter. This would be the ‘procedural’ part of the customer service quadrant. It is these processes that become cumbersome in growing companies. Support Teams should not have an ‘escalation matrix’. They should be able to talk to the person they want to, when they want to. The customer wants something done, and to the point that nothing gets in the way, the information channel should be as clear as ever.
Give them that clarity.
How we do it at Freshdesk
Our support team takes decisions on a lot of stuff. If one of our a customers is upset, our team can offer him/her pretty much anything that Freshdesk can possibly deliver.
And what if there is an escalation, a feature request or a bug that needs to be fixed? Our support team has a direct line to the developers, the technology team and of course our CEO. They have all the information they want, and hence are able to give our customers great support.
All our customers know our head of support personally, because of their interactions with him. In fact, when Freshdesk attended the NASSCOM event last year at Bangalore, a few of our customers turned up just to meet him. We marketing folks were merely waved at and sidelined. True story. 🙂
In the end, it is the people who matter. Trust your support team, and your customers will trust you.