Part 2: Achieving Customer Support Excellence
Now that we’ve reviewed four elements of B2B customer support excellence and the strategic business impact of each in Part 1 of this blog series—profit contribution, brand reputation, efficiency, effectiveness—let’s take a look at goals and action items that will get you there.
The first thing to remember is that a B2B customer is a company, not one individual. Individual interpersonal relationships between an agent and a contact can be fantastic and help create fans within the company, but, far too often, when that internal “champion” at your customer company leaves so does the account. To avoid this, focus on customer relationship management, not individual relationship management. Educate as many employees as you can for each customer to ensure the stickiness of your product throughout the organization. Maintaining solid B2B customer relationships will positively impact all four elements of customer support excellence.
Use KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure how engaged the customer is through each stage of the customer relationship lifecycle.
According to the report on Technical Support Excellence published by ServiceXRG, B2B firms should start by defining expected results (or outcomes) from providing excellent customer support, connecting those outcomes to benefits, and setting goals based on the benefits you’ll achieve.
- How you will determine the success of the installation and onboarding? (The customer begins using the product immediately and quickly realizes the benefits.)
- What tools and resources will you provide to make sure the customer gets the most out of your solution? (Knowledge Base, self-help resources, educational product webinars)
- How often and by what methods do you identify how happy (or not) that your customer is? And the likelihood that they will renew? (NPS score, TeamSupport’s Customer Distress Index™, volume of support tickets)
Anticipate what benefits will be realized by your firm and by your customer’s firm. For example, using the previous examples: If everyone on the customer support team is able to effectively use your B2B customer support software solution immediately after being trained, there is a greater percentage of customers resolving their issues using your self-help resources, and the percentage of Promoters from the NPS scores rises, it is a good indication that your customer is experiencing some or all of the benefits as a result of using your solution..
In Part 1 we established “profit contribution” as an element in achieving customer support excellence. Set your goals with the end game in mind and make sure profit-related KPIs are included, such as subscription renewals and increases in ARR from existing customers.
1This blog series is inspired by Technical Support Excellence, a report by Service Excellence Research Group, LLC. Download the complete report.