Part 2: Not Making a Decision is Still a Decision
In Part 1 of this series, we talked about why it’s important to make decisions that can positively impact your customer support department swiftly, and what the consequences are if you don’t. Even a big decision like changing your B2B customer support system can move quickly if you know where to start and how to evaluate the right solution providers.
Now, let’s take this notion of why not making a decision is still a decision down to a more granular level: When customer support agents need to make a decision concerning a customer issue.
Let’s face it, when a customer contacts the support department, it’s not to say that everything’s good. Something is broken, or access is denied, or there is a glitch, or they don’t know how to do something. Whatever the case, the agent may be able to take the issue all the way to being resolved. But what if they can’t?
One decision-making moment—particularly with more complex B2B issues—may be to escalate it to a more experienced agent or supervisor, or even send the ticket on to the product team. The customer is already feeling anxious and there is a sense of urgency, so don’t prolong the agony of waiting to decide to transfer the issue because you are worried about “passing off” your customer. It’s better to get to the root of the problem quickly, and if that means finding someone on your team to assist, then do it. But you can do your part to make the situation go smoothly:
- Introduce the customer to the person who will be helping. And be the one to explain the issue so the customer doesn’t have to repeat it.
- Communicate frequent status updates.
- Follow-up after the ticket has been closed to make sure everything went well.
Another decision-making moment might involve giving the customer some type of compensation, like a discount or a free seat on a subscription. How empowered are your agents or even customer success or account managers to make those types of decisions? Motivational speaker and leadership coach, Dennis Gilbert, tells us, “Employees who are empowered to make delicate and difficult transactional decisions have an important role. Have you considered how employees make customer service decisions?”1 Make sure you have trained your team on how to handle situations and what decisions they can make without having to “ask my manager.”
Regardless of the scenario, a good rule of thumb for making big decisions, like changing your B2B support software, and decisions at the agent level, like when to escalate an issue, is to consider these three questions as guidance:
- Will this decision allow my team to better serve our customers?
- Will this decision deliver a better customer support experience?
- Will this decision better serve not only my support team, but my organization as a whole?
At TeamSupport, we call this DTRT—Do the Right Thing—and if that is a guiding principal when it comes to making decisions, you can’t go wrong!
1Gilbert, Dennis, How to Make Good Customer Service Decisions, retrieved Nov. 25, 2020 https://dennis-gilbert.com/customer-service-decisions/
About the Author:
Mark Roos is a Software Solutions Lead for TeamSupport. With over a decade of experience in product strategy, Mark rocks it when it comes to successfully creating a strategy that works for companies. He's also rocks it as a musician!