Part 3: The Strategic Role of B2B Customer Support
A support organization cannot claim success from operations unless these efforts translate into a tangible business benefit.
In Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series based on the whitepaper co-produced by ServiceXRG and TeamSupport, we introduced the concept of how to position the investment in customer support as a strategic value aligned to current business practices and target outcomes, and about the evolving role of B2B customer support.
We conclude this series with customer support versus customer success.
For many technology companies 70% or more of total revenue comes from existing customers. When customers do not fully use what they have already purchased there is little likelihood they will purchase more or even renew current subscriptions. By the same token, the sooner customers adopt and deploy products the sooner they can begin to generate a return from their investment and the more likely they are to renew their subscription or buy more.
Because so many customer support requests are related to “how-to” type issues, Support is inevitably in the position to help customers quickly and completely deploy the technology they have purchased and as such will continue to be the foundation for post-sale customer interactions.
Support must remain cognizant of the opportunities afforded by helping customers reach full adoption from the products they have already purchased and align support delivery capabilities and strategies with customer success organizations. All with common objectives to sustain and expand customer relationships.
Towards this end, advances in customer support tools present significant opportunities
for the automation of key aspects of the support workflow and create opportunities for support delivery to shift from one-to-one transactions to scalable one-to-many support interactions.
Opportunities for automation and self-help include:
Workflow and Routing: Establishing workflow rules can assure that cases can be directed to the most qualified support resources or automatically trigger events to help expedite cases resolution.
Self-Help:Examine your support ticket issues to identify the most common reasons for customers to contact support to form the basis for FAQs, a list of articles to populate your knowledge base, and training videos, tutorials, and technical documentation.
Automated Response:Chatbot sessions are becoming more common and more successful by either answering customer questions completely or directing them to resources that are best suited to provide answers.
A Support organization that achieves above average speed of answer, higher than average closure rates, or better than average satisfaction scores cannot claim success from operations unless these efforts translate into a tangible business benefit.
Whether Support is motivated by customer retention, operational efficiency, financial contribution, or attainment of customer satisfaction, the key is to define and achieve positive business results from support operations with strategies that align to tangible and measurable support metrics.
To learn more about becoming a world-class B2B customer support organization, download the complete researched-based whitepaper,The Strategic Role of Business-to-Business Customer Support.
Service Excellence Research Group (ServiceXRG) helps companies retain customers, expand revenue, and achieve cost efficiencies through service excellence. Founded in 2004, the organization works with the world’s leading technology companies to transform and optimize service outcomes. It offers a portfolio of in-depth research and expert coaching services to help companies pursue Service Excellence and embrace Customer Success. Learn more at servicexrg.com.
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