MarTech Interview with TeamSupport CEO Robert C. Johnson
As published in MarTechSeries.com, June 15, 2020
Please tell us about your role and the team/technology at TeamSupport.
In 2008, when working for a former company where they could not find a true B2B (business-to-business) customer support solution, my colleague and TeamSupport Co-founder, Eric Harrington, and I set out to build one. We determined the market desperately needed a software solution for customer support at B2B companies so companies could stop having to piece together disparate generic solutions better fitted to business-to-consumer (B2C) retail companies.
At the time of development, there were no other B2B-focused support solutions, rather primarily ticketing management companies. Internal silos were abundant and collaboration was minimal to non-existent. There was no visibility into how the members of the support department—much less Sales or Product development—were contributing to solving customer issues at a macro level. Not only that, nobody was thinking past simply managing tickets.
We wrote a support application that allowed for sharing data and collaboration between Support, Engineering, Product, and Sales. TeamSupport was built to organize things around the customer at the macro level while providing visibility at the micro-level.
As a CEO of a B2B Customer Support software company, tell us about the unique challenges and opportunities in the current marketplace.
COVID-19 is changing the way business is being done all over the world. We have to be nimble and prepared to implement changes in how we attract new clients as well as continue to support and maintain good relationships with our existing clients.
The strategies we originally put in place for the remainder of 2020 and looking ahead to 2021 will have to be modified as the landscape changes. That is the case for any business.
In the current scenario of COVID-19 making an unprecedented dent on every business and exposing IT gaps, how does TeamSupport stay prepared and enable customers?
Here at TeamSupport, we have a motto: “Do the Right Thing.” This holds especially true in emergency and crisis situations with B2B companies. If a customer is thinking about canceling or postponing working with you because of the emergency, support agents should be empowered to come up with a solution that is right for the customer.
The TeamSupport software allows companies to have a macro view of their business customer accounts with micro visibility into the individual contact history. When it comes to being prepared, many different departments are looking at the same information and can collaborate on a solution. And our customers have that same level of preparedness, visibility, and empowerment to help their customers.
How is your Customer Support platform being used to combat the effect of COVID-19-induced remote workplace collaboration?
Our B2B customer support platform lends itself perfectly to remote workplace collaboration. Like I mentioned before, the TeamSupport software allows companies to have a macro view of their business customer accounts with micro visibility into the individual contact history. Sales and support teams are all looking at the same information—accessible from wherever team members are working—enabling Support teams to resolve issues faster and Sales teams to be proactive in improving the customer’s experience.
Not only that, but our robust self-service portal allows customers to solve many issues without having to contact an agent. While we like to think we are as available now as when we are all in the same office, and some of our customers may be experiencing higher demand due to the nature of their business.
Our self-service portal is always accessible, you get fewer incoming tickets, and agents can spend more time on addressing complex issues. Customer self-service is valuable to businesses of any size and, given the increase of its usage—one industry report found self-service is at 80%—it won’t be long before a self-service customer portal becomes a requirement for success, and it’s certainly a valuable tool now.
You recently partnered with Microsoft Dynamics 365 to deliver seamless collaboration between support teams. How would it empower the Agency Managers and Support Team Manager to manage their Contact database and interactions in a better way?
This new bi-directional integration ensures B2B customer support teams can see all facets of a customer’s engagement. One benefit to TeamSupport clients is that agents or sales reps only have to enter the information once, instead of creating duplicate entries in each system. And remember, that means sales and support teams are all looking at the same information, enabling support teams to resolve issues faster and sales teams to be proactive in improving the customer’s experience. Helpful when upselling opportunities exist and to improve retention.
Other key features that improve contact database management include – seamless and bi-directional sync between accounts and contacts, and between tickets and cases; quick access to a secure customer portal, even for newly imported contacts; and customizable welcome emails sent to all imported contacts.
Your technology fills the gaps between Data Analytics and Intelligence, and Communications. What kind of infrastructure does one need to leverage your technology?
That’s the beauty of it! TeamSupport is established as a Cloud-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform that is rich in features and updated on an ongoing basis, so as a user you never have to worry about expensive hardware, disruptive updates, or a power outage shutting you down. There are other benefits, too: ease of use, lower cost (a big bonus!), greater security, and visibility to all teams in the organization.
Tell us about the tools and technologies you use for Marketing, Sales, Hiring, and Communications?
We’re a technology company, and we use current tools and technologies that allow us to manage our Sales process based on the buyer’s journey, nurture our prospective customers, provide tools and resources that empower our current and prospective customers with the knowledge they need to choose the right B2B customer support software, and keep our own website and thought-leadership content relevant based on what developments we’re seeing in the marketplace.
Thank you, Robert! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.