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What Is The Executive’s Role in Customer Support?

You often hear phrases like, “lead by example” and “s*** rolls downhill” when discussing leadership. Consciously or not, employees take cues from their leaders. If you want quality customer support...

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You often hear phrases like, “lead by example” and “s*** rolls downhill” when discussing leadership. Consciously or not, employees take cues from their leaders. If you want quality customer support to be an aspect of your company's reputation, the executive team needs to take it seriously.

The management team will take cues from the leadership team. If the management team is taking customer support seriously then the people on the ground level are more likely to do so as well.  

The more tiers between the executives and the people who interact with customers, the more room there is for executive insulation. That insulation is the disconnect between the executive team and what is actually going on in the company. The sales numbers dropping and customer retention numbers will tell you when there is a customer service problem... afterward. But there is no substitute for being on top of a problem.

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The middle managers, with good intentions and otherwise, will insulate their superiors out of fear of looking bad or not wanting to waste time with little things. Without constant feedback, how can decisions be made on how to increase customer retention? The people who call in complaining are actually helping you out. Most people won’t complain, they will just stop giving you their money. A complaint is an opportunity to address what might be nothing, but also might be a red flag to a more serious issue.

Try to avoid handling only the giant problem cases. It’ll give you a disproportionate view of how your customer support team is actually doing. If you only deal with the horrible cases once a month but never look at the good things that are being said, it’ll cause you to imagine problems that aren’t there.

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The best way to effectively delegate quality customer support is to trust the judgment of the customer support reps. You can hire people with good judgment, you can develop good judgment through consistent customer support training or you can outsource to experts.

Whatever methods you choose to build your customer support team, make sure they’re empowered to actually help your customers. If they’re reading a script or following an “if A then B” program, your customers won’t feel like they’re working with a person. It’ll feel like working with bureaucracy. No customer likes being put on hold while someone “checks with a manager” or the IT team. The most important thing is that your customer support team has the power and training to help your customers as quickly as possible.

 

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