How to Become a Customer Support Intelligence Superhero

Flying into every meeting with the right charts and graphs, waving the influence wand to make products defect free and removing those boulders of productivity.. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s “CustomerSat Kat“…one of the first, customer support intelligence Customer Support Intelligence Superhero | Image Courtesy Of DigitalArtsuperheroes.

Do you have the goods to create customer support intelligence superheroes in your department?

Every customer contact, every e-support request, every tech support problem should be considered a learning opportunity for the organization at large. More specifically, an opportunity that can help the organization improve products & services, elevate the customer experience, reduce costs and drive sales revenue.

You can make this happen, by appointing customer support intelligence superheroes to lead effective, close loop feedback processes for your technical or product support department.

The close loop feedback process, is the process by which we take critical and relevant business intelligence, share it with the process owners or responsible parties, influence decision making and ultimately ensure that the appropriate action is taken to “close the loop” on a particular issue.

Here is a simple example:

  • Your company stopped offering Product A in red last year. Since then, 50 customers per week call and ask for the red and then choose not to order another color, and this equates to a loss of $1 million per year in revenue. You share this with product marketing. They make a decision to reinstate the red color starting in three months. Customers are happier and revenue increases.

Decisions like these are not always easy to influence, but with the right people, processes and tools, you can make this happen. Here are 4 tips to get you started:

1) Turn customer support data into actionable information | intelligence

Create repeatable processes that allow your team to gather, analyze and trend relevant information collected within the technical support organization. This may include customer satisfaction surveys, ticket/case data, knowledge base articles and real time feedback from technical support analysts and engineers.

Your goals are to; identify the noteworthy trends, both positive and negative: understand the root causes; determine if change is needed and, if yes, create recommendations that will change the business moving forward.

2) Make it someone’s job to be a customer intelligence superhero

Influencing cross-functional business decisions is not an easy task, so it is critical to assign this to someone with the appropriate skills, and experience to get a seat at the table, and who has the time and authority to make it happen.  This is not an entry level role, and if done correctly, should be self-funded.

Here are some examples of what this leader may spend time working on:

-Identify serious product defects and influence both the timing of future fixes and the Q/A processes that allowed the defect leakage
-Identify product usability issues and influence the content of new product releases
-Identify the impact of product sunset decisions and influence the messaging and timing

3) Look in your own backyard

Although the close loop processes will certainly help identify product development and/or sales opportunities, they will also identify strengths and deficiencies within your technical support team, i.e. your own backyard.  This may include recommendations for changes to existing people, processes or tools, OR proposals for completely new processes or service offerings

Be open to and actively look for that feedback to make your organization the best it can possibly be (while achieving cost/profitability targets).

4) Get attention by mentioning revenue

If managed effectively, the close loop processes will identify sales or services revenue opportunities for your organization.

When customers consistently contact you with questions and the product is “working as designed” this could mean customer training opportunities.  If customers who use Product A with Product B are far more satisfied than customers who only use Product A, that could identify some cross-sell opportunities.

Renewal revenue likely accounts for a significant portion of total company revenue. Tech Support may be able to identify at risk customers, who may need TLC in order for your sales team’s to capture the next contract renewal.

Other ideas? Please share them in the comments section.

You should consider every customer contact a learning opportunity that could help improve products, enhance services, reduce costs and drive sales revenue.

Make this happen, by appointing customer support intelligence superheroes to lead effective, close loop feedback processes for your technical or product support department.

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About Marci Reynolds