7 Customer Support Lessons from Superheroes

Written by on March 3, 2017

What do you call someone who makes it their job to help people? Someone who tries their best to see the problems of other people resolved without expecting so much as a word of thanks in return? A bird? A plane?

I’ll tell you what you call them – customer support agents. You could even call them superheroes. But there is one striking difference between support agents and the superheroes we see on movies and TV. Fictional superheroes bask in the adoration of the masses. Agents, on the other hand, work in the shadows and are almost always under-appreciated.

So here are 7 tips to take from different superheroes and their helpers, that can help support agents rake in the recognition that they too deserve.

Iron Man says: Always stay connected

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Even if he’s halfway across the world, Iron Man’s suit is in constant sync with his computer back in his Malibu house and Jarvis, oh how can anyone forget Jarvis? Jarvis is like the perfect helpdesk. Always on, always connected and always helpful. As a support agent, that means you need access to your helpdesk no matter where you are or no matter what time it is. There can be no downtime. This means that you should be using a helpdesk on the cloud that is robust as well as mobile so you can access it and start shooting down problems on the go. And just like Iron Man takes his suit with him in a suitcase anywhere he goes, agents need to take their helpdesks with them.

So Iron Man is definitely a Freshdesk guy. But is he an iOS guy or an Android guy?

 

Alfred says: Make use of the cool gadgets at your disposal

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Be it anything from Cap’n America’s Vibranium shield to the very many knick-knacks in Batman’s utility belt, tools let superheroes work that much smarter and do that much more good! The same way, smart automations that come with your helpdesk empower support agents to automatically categorize, assign and perform actions on tickets easily. Smart hacks and simple automations will let you respond to and process tickets at super-speed (just like the Flash!).

Alfred recommends: Smart automations like Canned Responses and Scenario Automations.

 

Spiderman says: Always be on the lookout

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If a customer’s had an issue with the product, they’re put through to you, you’re charming as ever, solve their problem in a jiffy, and they’re happy again. But what if they never had a problem in the first place? That’s where your Spidey-sense can come in handy. Use your powers of imagination and empathy to predict issues even before they crop up – you can do this by making sure all channels, everything from Facebook and Twitter to your portal and phone are covered and by monitoring situations even before the grow into problems. When you’re being proactive and taking care of your customers’ problems even before they happen, it would be hard for anyone to not adore you.

Spiderman’s web of wisdom: Go proactive with Customer Engagement and Self-service.

 

Batman says: Train like there’s no tomorrow

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All the tools in your belt won’t make a shred of difference if you don’t know how and when to use them. That’s where training comes into play. That’s how Bruce Wayne, a regular human being with no superhuman powers becomes Batman. Er, did I say Bruce Wayne? Scratch that. Bruce Wayne isn’t Batman, that’s ridiculous. I meant to say, uh, Juice Stain. Erm, where was I? Ah, yes, training.

When you make it a point to learn from every issue you handle, you get progressively better. If you can use the filters on your helpdesk and see how similar issues have been handled by different people in the past, you’ll be able to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. Simply put, it’s not just your own experiences that you can learn from. Know what tools you have access to and, from experience, learn which ones work best in which situations. That’s how you become the best. That’s how you get people thankful enough to build statues of you in the middle of a city.

Batman’s Secret Sauce: Training and continuous learning.

 

Dr. Manhattan says: Always have a plan

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When you can see into the future and anticipate every possible occurrence, it’s hard to be surprised. That’s what Dr. Manhattan always says in his interviews. Interviews that he knew would happen even before the interviewers themselves are aware. And that lets him be prepared. As a support agent, when you have an overarching view of a situation, it lets you manage your priorities and get to, say a burning house, before you go to help a cat off a high branch. Even for crises like downtime, if you have a contingency plan in place and let your customers know beforehand, they will appreciate the care and effort you put in for them. You know what they say: a man with a plan is the man with the fans. A solid kBase (maybe even an internal kBase), a reliable set of canned responses and monitoring relevant social handles can help you do this.

Dr. Manhattan’s commandments: “Anticipate the unanticipatable with Social”, “Self-service is for agents too” and “The best practices are always documented”.

 

Nick Fury says: Don’t be afraid to ask for help

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Even Superman can’t always take on his nemeses by himself. He needs the Justice League to help him when things get to be too much. And if you’re working a helpdesk, it’s that much easier to be overwhelmed. In these times, there is no shame in asking for help. And help will always be given to those who ask for it. For example, at times when you know you’re going to be handling increased traffic, have Day Passes ready to help distribute the work better. Occasional agents can pitch in when you feel like you’re drowning. When you all come together to solve problems, not only do you do it well and get appreciated for it, you will also form stronger bonds in the process.

Fury knows how it’s done: Occasional agents and day passes for the win.

 

All of them say: It’s a full time job

 

Clark Kent doesn’t stop doing his part when he’s not wearing his cape. Juice Stain doesn’t think his duty ends when his cowl is hanging on a wall. Clark takes his reporter responsibilities seriously and tries to do good even as just a journalist. Juice donates money to charities and funds research efforts for cleaner energy. The point is, you never stop being a superhero.

Support agents shoulder the same level of responsibilities. Their jobs don’t end when they step out of their cubicles. They are constantly on alert, always ready to jump in whenever anyone needs help in any form. This constant dedication to helping people is what makes them superheroes.

Every kid wants to grow up to be Spiderman or Superman. How many want to become the heroes of the (real) business world? Agents don’t always get the recognition they deserve, or the adulation. But they still keep at it tirelessly. Maybe that’s why they’re so awesome.

What other advice do you think superheroes might have for support agents? What superhero advice do you have for us? Let us know in the comments!

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