Part 2: The Strategic Role of B2B Customer Support
The objectives and outcomes from Support operations must increasingly focus on helping to sustain and retain existing customer relationships.
In Part 1 of this blog series, 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—based on the whitepaper co-produced by ServiceXRG and TeamSupport.
Now in Part 2, we’ll talk about the evolving role of B2B customer support.
Although the fundamental Support model may not need to change, the objectives and outcomes from Support operations must increasingly focus on sustaining and retaining existing customer relationships. The role of Support is evolving as the industry embraces new ways to engage customers through subscription-based relationships, known commonly as SaaS (software-as-a-service).
With the SaaS business model, Support needs to consider the following:
How-To: Because so many customer support requests are related to “how-to” type issues, Support must increase efforts to develop support training and self-help resources tosatisfy customer needs for adoption and success-related outcomes.
Be Proactive: Support can no longer wait for customers to call. Being prepared to engage customers proactively is essential to assuring that customers can successfully adopt and apply the products they have. This is the first step in customer retention.
Collaborate: On that note, rather than acting alone in response to customer issues as they have historically done, Support must collaborate with the customer success, sales, renewal, professional services, and training teams to coordinate customer engagement and retention strategies.
Scale: Increased customer engagement cannot beaccomplished simply by hiring more staff. What began as a labor-intensive business requiring well-trained, smart support agents to respond individually to customers has advanced to one-to-many support interactions thanks to automation and more effective self-help resources.
We’ll conclude this series in Part 3 with customer support versus customer success.
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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