I found this great infographic on the Beyond Philosophy site and had to share this with you. While it is very easy to fall in love with the shiny new strategies and tools it is important that our organizations stay focused on executing the basics well. Jim Rohn, American author and speaker, said it well when he stated “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals”
A couple of months ago I ran a very simple survey, asking people about their own personal support interactions, asking specifically, “What method(s) did you use to get support for your issue?”. In that survey of 87 random people, 46% of them reported that their last support interaction took place on the phone. This was the number one response, with e-mail being number two. Traditional support channels are still the primary methods of obtaining support (even though new channels are slowly rising in popularity).
While you work to bring social channels, communities, and other new solutions into your support arsenal, make sure:
You support organization has clearly defined goals that are in alignment with the rest of the organization.
Your support organization has well-defined processes that focus on meeting the customers needs at the lowest costs possible. Note that the goal is to meet the customer needs first, not cut cost first.
Your support organization is receiving constant training on the products and services they are supporting. Too often I see support organizations tasked with supporting new solutions and not given time to learn the products they are supporting. This is a great way to deliver horrible customer service.
You constantly survey your customers to learn how they view the service they are receiving. Ask them how you are doing. Listen to what they tell you, make adjustments, give them feedback so they know they were heard.
Use internal metrics, not just customer feedback, to find how well you are doing.
I know the advice above is not earth shattering nor revolutionary. The advice is simply a reminder, a reminder to focus on delivering great service at a price your company can afford. Remember too that you customer support organization is not a cost center. While you may not see the revenue that they are producing directly in sales, you will see it in higher retention rates and customer lifetime value increases.
Keep executing everyone.