Five Strategies For Great Customer Support

Five Strategies For Great Customer Support

As the head of support at Opal, customers are my priority. I believe that customer support is more than answering customer emails and phone calls, delivering a minimum “good enough” experience that customers have learned to expect from most enterprise software companies. When a customer contacts us, my team’s goal is not to simply solve their problem, it is to provide the best solution and enable their success through every interaction.

We strive to deliver premium customer support that exceeds our customers’ expectations. “Good enough” simply isn’t good enough. We aim to build relationships.

Support Is Personal

Every customer has their own expectations of what customer support should feel like. In the consumer space, people have come to expect pretty good customer support. They can get in contact with support immediately through Twitter, Facebook, and a plethora of live chat applications. Long gone are the days of sitting on the phone or waiting for an email reply to come through.

On the other hand, security restrictions, old systems and corporate culture have slowed this evolution for many enterprise companies. Due to restrictions that enterprise companies must work with, most enterprise customers inevitably leave with unmet expectations.

At Opal, we believe that the unique challenges of being an enterprise business shouldn’t affect our ability to deliver the premium customer service that our customers deserve. To offer excellence in every customer experience, we’ve implemented strategies that help us deliver premium service to every Opal user.

1. Building relationships over closing tickets

In enterprise support, people are accustomed to notifying technical support about their problem. The technical team will open a “ticket” to track the issue while finding a solution. The main goal of the technical team is to resolve issues and close tickets. These teams are graded based on the amount of tickets they close and the time it took to close them.

At Opal however, while solving tickets is a priority, we don’t believe support stops when the issue has been resolved. It’s not just about closing tickets, it’s about providing solutions. Every interaction is an opportunity to get to know our customers. The better we know our customers, the better we can serve them. We firmly believe that customer success happens where human experiences and software meet.

2. Sometimes the best service is self-service

People often reach out to support not to just report an issue, but to ask a question. While we love answering product questions, some people would rather find answers on their own. For this reason, we offer a robust Help Center that allows customers to search for answers without needing to reach out to support directly or disrupt their workflow.

There are other benefits to this. For example, if one person asks a question or reports an issue, it’s likely that others are experiencing the same thing. Conversations between customer support and the reporting people are visible to the world, enabling anyone with the same question or issue to be helped without having to contribute directly to the conversation. Offering multiple support channels allows support teams to help individuals where they are most comfortable.

3. Automation to assist, not to serve

A common occurrence we see in the support industry is when support teams over-implement automation when communicating with their customers, all for the sake of improved performance. Calling a support line then leads to navigating menus and speaking to machines. Opening a chat conversation often means having a conversation with a bot, not a human. This is impersonal and it delays people from getting the solutions they are seeking.

We believe that automation is an important tool that should be used to assist our agents, not to serve our customers. We don’t implement bots in our text channels. The only automated response our customers ever receive is an email confirmation detailing when and how to expect a response from our team.

4. Available when you need us

It can take several hours, or even days before people hear back from support teams. This can occur for a variety of reasons, but it’s most likely because teams are backed up from too many support requests or are staffed to meet the minimum requirements of their service level agreements.

At Opal, we staff a 24/7 support team that is available when our customers need us most. As a result, we keep our first response times exceptionally low – within a few minutes. We understand that every minute counts so we aim to provide solutions in the shortest time possible.

5. Provide solutions at all costs

Sometimes customers believe they are experiencing a problem with one platform, only to find that the issue is really with a different one. In a typical scenario like this, customer support stops.

This goes against our support team’s philosophy of providing solutions. When a customer reaches out to support, we seek to find a solution. We make ourselves available to work with their internal teams on their behalf and have solved issues with personal devices, internal networks and more. More than a few times, I have personally waited on hold with a customer’s internal tech team simply to fix a customer’s computer issue. Whatever the problem, our team is here to go the extra mile to provide a solution.

We’re Here For You

Opal’s support team is incredibly humbled by the countless pieces of feedback we’ve received from our customers, highlighting the value they receive from our service. It is a true pleasure to be able to serve the marketing teams behind the best brands in the world.

We are all continuously making the Opal customer support experience better every day. That’s our commitment to Opal and to the people we serve.