The 3 Best Practices for a Great B2B Support Team
Creating a great support team isn’t something that happens in a day, a week, or even a month. It’s a long-term goal for many companies, and even when they get there, it’s important to sustain that excellence over time, particularly as the company grows.
The pressure to maintain a high level of support exists because of the impact the support team has on their business’ reputation. For example, companies that “master” support operations can leverage their expertise as an impactful competitive advantage. These top-tier support groups are rare, and they aren’t always willing to share their expertise with everyone, especially if companies are hot on their tail for market share.
So, how do you learn the secrets that elevate a support team to the next level? Here are 3 best practices to building a great B2B customer support team.
1. Ensure your B2B company has excellent onboarding. This best-kept secret has very little to do with support directly, but it often has a major impact on the type of issues being reported. It’s all about your customer onboarding experience. Like many things in life, the work you do up front often impacts what happens afterwards. A software company can push out code that works, but if it’s provided to the quality assurance team with no context, it makes their job more difficult. There’s a similar dynamic between customer onboarding and customer support. When a customer receives an excellent onboarding experience, they come away with a plethora of product knowledge and very few questions left unanswered. This customer confidence has real value to your business because it reduces their need to rely on support tickets to obtain information. Lower ticket volume is always a good thing for customer support, so take the time in the beginning to do onboarding the right way.
2. When in doubt, do the right thing. Speaking of doing things the right way, this is something we live every day here at TeamSupport. We have a motto called DTRT (Do the Right Thing) because doing what is right trumps all other outcomes. This concept applies not only to customers, but also to agent morale and company culture. If you’re asking a support agent to bend the rules for one customer but not another, it can put them in an uncomfortable spot of needing to directly lie about a capability or option. Predicaments like this not only hurt customer trust but also the mood of the entire support team. By focusing on doing what’s right instead of what’s convenient, or what’s cheap, companies will get more out of their support team who will then build stronger customer relationships.
3. Occasionally try being your own customer. The final secret is one that can be very valuable to the companies its applicable for. On a regular cadence (say once a month or quarter, depending on your business), have an executive take a step back and attempt to be a customer of your business—think Undercover Boss. As part of this process, have them interact with support and take notes on their experience. Were they bounced between agents trying to solve their issue? How was the response time? Did they communicate on the same channel you contacted them on? Ask these questions and use the them as talking points when you review your experience with the support team. It’s a great way to better understand your customer support strengths and weaknesses while keeping all the feedback information and support metrics within your greater team.
Now the secrets are out! And we hope they are exactly what your team needs to take a fresh approach to elevating your efforts even further. Now go rock it with your support team!