A Tale of Two B2B Customer Support Departments, Chapter 1
Emily lives in "the age of wisdom" helping customers quickly resolve issues and building strong relationships.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” So begins the classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. It refers to the premise of the story: A time of despair and suffering on one hand, and joy and hope on the other.
Let’s use this analogy in “A Tale of Two Customer Support Departments” to tell about the despair and suffering of the B2B customer support department that still struggles with silos between support, sales, and product teams, using e-mail to manage support tickets, and no visibility into the history of the customer issues. Compare that with the joy and hope of the customer support department that works collaboratively with sales and product teams to resolve issues, provides tools and resources that help educate users making the most of the solution, and focuses on building relationships rather than closing tickets.
Mister Jack Johnson works in a B2B customer support department where his team exists in a silo. He doesn’t have any interaction with product teams or sales and feels alone in trying to solve issues. Sometimes he feels like he’s seeing the same issues over and over again but doesn’t know how to get to the root of the problem. All causing a lot of anxiety and frustration for Jack and his co-workers, not to mention the customers. Jack frequently has to eat lunch at his desk because his tickets have piled up and he’s chasing down solutions.
Miss Emily Smith works in a B2B customer support department where support, sales, and product development teams all have full visibility into information at both the customer and contact level so they can be proactive in improving the relationship. When Emily comes across a complex issue, she can facilitate a conversation with someone on the product team. If a customer company is getting larger and adding new users that are asking a lot of “how to” questions, she can alert the account executive to approach the customer with more robust or customized features. Emily takes lunch outside of the office, sometimes enjoying a nice walk around the building on a sunny day.
When Jack comes onto his shift, he hasno visibilityinto unresolved tickets. He relies on e-mails from his co-workers that may or may not offer complete information. He also doesn’t know if an issue is taking more time than it should to get resolved and he feels bad for the customer when they get frustrated because they have to repeat their information all over again. He’s in a constant state of three steps forward and two steps back. Jack feels like he is living in the “age of foolishness.”
Emily’s cloud-based B2B customer support software solution allows her full visibility into the status and history of tickets, anytime, anywhere. When she gets to work, she can pick up where her co-worker left off and all of the notes about the issue are found in the Customer Hub, even right in the contact record. There are images attached so she can visually see the problem without having to ask the customer to try and explain it. She can easily manage her ticket load and her time is then spent more on tasks that add value to the overallrelationship, such as identifying ways make the most use out of tools that help them help their customers and identifying customers that may have a low sentiment indication from theCDI™(Customer Distress Index) and may be at risk. Emily feels fortunate to be living in the “age of wisdom.”
Jack never feels like he is getting ahead of customer problems, causing him some sleepless nights; while in her collaborative B2B customer support departmentEmily knows she is making a positive impact on her customers’ businesses. She sleeps like a baby.
In Chapter 2 we’ll find out if Jack and his co-workers find a way to take their customer service department to a higher level and evolve towards ensuring customer success.
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