Sep. 21, 2021
It's Friday, 4:45pm. Arnold, a customer support agent at InstantInsights, sits at his desk, getting ready for a beer with friends at happy hour, when he sees a new ticket arrive in his queue. He opens it, doesn’t recognize the problem, so he starts searching through internal documents for the proper troubleshooting steps. It’s now 5pm. He thinks again about happy hour, notices the customer is on the standard 8x5 support plan, but decides to help the customer anyway. By 5:15pm, Arnold realizes he needs to confirm the customer’s product version before he can help, so he fires off a reply to the customer requesting the information. Unsure of when the customer will reply, if at all this late on a Friday, he packs up by 5:20pm and heads to happy hour, albeit late.
Meanwhile, the customer, Allison, is waiting at the computer, anxious about a project with a strict Monday morning deadline, when she sees the answer. Immediately, she looks up the product version, and sends it back at 5:25pm… While the agent helping is already walking to meet his friends. She waits for an hour at the computer, growing frustrated, until she finally emails her boss Ashley of the situation, and how the tool is needed for the deadline. Ashley CC’s a sales rep working with one of their customers for whom this project is due, replies, then follows up with Allison asking her to make a note that their renewal date for the product is 4 months out. “Start researching other competitors.”
Given how things unfolded, did Arnold do anything wrong? Of course not. He even delayed his own weekend plans in an effort to help, outside the customer’s 8x5 plan. Did the customer submitting the ticket do anything wrong? Definitely not. She was making an effort to do all she could for her company, and tried to remove a blocker outside her control. Still, all 3 team members of the customer now involved; the ticket submitter, the manager, and the sales rep, have a negative impression of InstantInsights as it impacts their own customers.
While it may seem extreme, scenarios like this example happen daily. In today’s world, an excellent customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a requirement. It’s the new competitive battleground. It impacts your brand, churn rate, sales pipeline and forecasting, engineering team’s ability to address bugs, eventually touching every part of your organization.
AptEdge will be publishing a series of blog posts containing interviews with Customer Support and Customer Success leaders, where we discuss this new battleground. We’ll be looking to them for insight on the changes they’ve seen over time, what this new world looks like, and how they’re addressing the new challenges. You’ll find the links to these below, starting with Gerald Hastie, the Head of Global Customer Operations at Pinterest.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in improving CSAT, increasing upsells, decreasing churn, and supercharging your team’s efficiency.