Best practice of the week: 2.6.1 Customer support
86% of customers quit doing business with a company due to a bad customer experience. Support is now a major product feature, particularly for complicated items (like IT of all kinds) where a 3rd-party seller often has no further responsibility. Leading edge, customer-driven companies completely integrate support with their product mix. Because it’s so important, customer support is now a career path for top jobs. How understanding are your locked-down customers?
THE CENTER’S BEST PRACTICE OF THE WEEK: 2.6.1 Customer support
Definition of customer support: “Ensuring each customer knows how to buy and use your product or service in the way they need and want.”
- Sequence: automated self-service first, then informed agents
- Timeliness: 24/7 if possible
- Friendly environment using multiple channels
- Possible use of turnkey helpdesk software
- Customer satisfaction
- Net promoter score – likelihood of customer recommending your product
- Number of contacts – indicator of product quality
- Specific product feature feedback
- Too long a wait
- Too long a path of “press this, then that”
- Call transfers causing customers to re-explain issues
3 Good Questions (discuss in a management meeting)
- How can we use customer comments for product updates?
- How can we meet customers’ communication preferences?
- What’s the best way to educate our customers?
In this stressful crisis, the personability of customer support can create a lot of goodwill towards the company. But relevance also matters: if support content and processes are outdated, the customer feels they’ve not been heard, leading them to question all your organization’s practices and reputation.