What are the Different Support Channels B2B Companies Should Offer?

B2B (business-to-business) customers are becoming more demanding. After experiencing some of the more modern support methods in their everyday B2C (business-to-consumer) lives, they are increasingly expecting B2B companies to keep up.

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Why a Learning Management System is Important in Customer Support

Many businesses are looking for new ways to improve and strengthen their own customer relationships. They’ve hired a great team of account managers, have incredibly knowledgeable support agents, and have provided them with the technology needed to succeed.

However, even with a group full of all-stars, getting new employees up to that same level quickly can be a challenge as a company grows. This is especially true in customer support, where information often needs to be accessed immediately to solve critical issues to substantial business problems.

In the past, companies used tiered support models which created an area to “hide” new agents in a company. They would assign these rookies to the lowest tier possible, working within only a single area of support (i.e. software log-in issues). If an issue outside of their tier hit the ticket queue they manage, it was forwarded on without a thought. Over time, these new agents would slowly transition to higher tiers as they acquired knowledge.

However, the tiered support model is dead. Companies now leverage support technology to collaborate in real time, where newer agents no longer pass on difficult tickets but instead work together with a senior agent to resolve the issue together. This enables the new agent to not only learn how to resolve this issue, but also provides an example of professionalism and respect put forth by the senior agent.

tiered-support Interested in learning more about why businesses have moved on from tiered support? Click here to download our whitepaper!

 

Even though a collaborative model works well for training new support agents, letting agents fumble around with low tier tickets doesn’t make a smooth transition. It's critical to incorporate a process for learning the support software itself. A sophisticated customer support software solution is very powerful, but it can’t be utilized to its full potential after only an hour-long training session.

That’s why companies with established support software, even if they were provided with great onboarding support, often pair their support technology with a learning management system (LMS). To keep it simple, an LMS specializes in training employees digitally on a specific topic, at their own pace and on their own time.

Here are a few reasons why combining the two technologies when needed makes sense:

- All training materials are consistent and sequential – In training new employees, management often learns that not all training sessions are created equal. One trainer may emphasize chat support more, whereas another may ignore it entirely. An LMS standardizes this process by providing a framework so all new employees are learning the same information and it’s being taught in a way that makes sense.

- LMS technology reduces training costs – Getting a new round of in-person support training from your software provider may make sense if you’re hiring in bulk. But, if you’re just replacing a team member occasionally, having them run through an LMS program on how to use your support software may be a more cost-effective choice. It’s a great way to build core knowledge on a topic without needing senior employees to create slides and lead extensive training on the basics.

- It’s an ideal solution to “fill time gaps” with new employees – Simply put, new support employees who aren’t working with customers are a sunk cost. On top of this, they often have hours during the day in between other tasks (i.e. listening in on calls) where there isn’t much for them to do. Especially if your company has no dedicated training team, an LMS can be a key “fall back” resource for a manager to keep in their back pocket. Reviewing LMS content is a perfect task to keep a new employee busy in a worthwhile activity so the manager can finish helping a customer with a critical issue.

 

To summarize, combining a learning management system and customer support software makes more sense than ever before. It’s ideal for storing training manuals for support technology and how it applies to your business. If your team needs to train employees regularly on the unique ways your business leverages its highly customizable support software, an LMS is a great way to do so!

 

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