You’ve given them countless product demos. Made executive trips to their headquarters. Answered their questions on Saturday mornings. Invited their European team out to dinner.
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.
Please hold. There are 12 callers ahead of you. Your business is important to us.
This scenario is still far too common in customer support, even in the B2B (business-to-business) industry where the average customer value is higher and business relationships matter more. Sometimes waiting on hold for a half hour may be because of understaffing. But, other times it’s simply due to an inefficient customer service team.
Simply put, there are many ways a team can become inefficient at service – poor channel management, bad technology, inept team members – but let’s focus on the positives instead. Businesses want to hire skilled people. They want the best technology. But, with budget and time constraints, they need to prioritize exactly what is important to their bottom line.
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.
In the business world, knowledge is power. A team of bad ass, knowledgeable employees will impress even the most difficult customers. However, finding the right people to build a team like this isn’t easy and can take a lot of time.
Landing new customers is a hell of a lot of work for B2B (business-to-business) software companies. Even the easy deals require extensive brand awareness efforts, targeted marketing, testimonials, sales conversations, proposals, and so much more.
Creating a solid business case for customer service initiatives has been difficult in the past. There’s still a mindset in the workplace that customer service is a “necessary cost” and that’s it. You need customers to have a business, and they require customer service to stick around. That’s the way the relationship has been viewed for decades.
Customer support can be a challenge. Especially in the B2B (business-to-business) industry, the quick decisions your support team makes can have a profound impact on a customer relationship. Whether or not they make the right decision on the phone can be the difference between calming an upset customer or making them even more angry.
The facility management industry is unique. You’ve got customers with all different types of buildings and a wide array of needs and demands. This means there’s isn’t a “blueprint” for how to deal with customer issues as they arise.
There’s an old saying – “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” – that sometimes rings all too true for customer support teams. When prioritizing support inquiries, there’s a hierarchy of channels. Email sits at the bottom, with response times ranging into hours or even days. Chat is somewhere in the middle, with customers expecting a response in a few minutes. Phone support sits at the very top. It’s common for customers to call in and expect to speak with a real person right away. If they’re left on hold, it’s a frustrating experience that contributes to driving customers away from a business.
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