Management July 13, 2010 Last updated July 14th, 2010 557 Reads share

Mayday, Mayday, Help Needed!

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We’ve all dealt with them in some shape or form. Customer support desks, help desks, service support desks – whatever they are called, this is often our point of contact into a company that has or is providing us with a product or service.

The people who are working in these places are, for the most part, genuinely trying to provide us with the best customer service that they possibly can. From their perspective, this can be improved by;

  1. Correct training in both phone technique/manner as well as the products or services that they are there to support.
  2. Pushing as much on-line to a support page as possible i.e. to reduce the amount of inbound calls for those smaller items that the caller could sort out themselves. The driver for pushing support knowledge on-line is usually cost reduction i.e. less people required, but it also frees up the knowledgeable people in support to work on the trickier problems without being swamped by unnecessary calls.
  3. A properly considered and supportive working environment. Working in support is stressful at the best of times – people usually only ring when they have a problem and tempers can fray!

But what about behind the support desk?

What about the rest of the company and its attitude towards customer service and support?

Customer support services go well beyond the abilities of the support desks in order for it to be a successful and note-worthy addition to a business. The entire business needs to be geared and trained to understand that customer support is not just about the folks on the front-line. It is about doing all that it is necessary to ensure that they, the customer, receive the type of support that expect.

At a simple level, a support desk will never know everything. They will know most things, but sometimes they rely on support from those in other areas. Often, this expertise is not forth-coming – the other teams are working on new and exciting things, they really don’t want to be bothered with covering old ground with questions on previous products/services that they created in the past.

Wrong.

Every member of the business has this responsibility. To make sure that this happens and to drive the customer service mentality into the mindset of every person, add it as a performance measurement and make their salary and/or bonus review partially dependant on their contribution to assisting the support function within your business.

Attitudes will change pretty quickly! Solutions will be found for those problems that keep happening as well – even better. Less support calls, less cost and happier customers!

So remember, if you are serious about delivering great customer support services in your business, it needs to go beyond the support desk. It’s about the entire business signing up to be a part of its success and implementation.

Is your business structured to ensure effective customer support? Does everyone have a responsibility to ensure its success?

Barney Austen

Barney Austen

Budding entrepeneur working on software product solutions for business. My background is mainly operational and senior management roles in mobile telecoms and software houses. Areas of expertise include professional services, out-sourcing, team management and general operations management. I've made the conscious decision to create my own company having spent the last 20 years learning in the corporate world. In my contributions to this forum, I will share some insights and learnings that I've picked up along the way and hopefully they will be useful to some or all!

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