Nick Francis is on the show this week. As one of the co-founders of Help Scout, customer support is literally his entire business. We cover Help Scout’s first online class, how to make whole company support work, and what it’s like to look for your first full time support person.
Archives for June 2013
This week we talk about UserVoice dropping IE8 for admins, a sci-fi email reply back to a customer, personalizing your customer service, and how to deal with team shortages. Plus you see us all find out that Google Hangouts have hats. 🙂
All that and more from the best team in customer support on this episode of the live Support Hangout!
I don’t usually care much for Kickstarter projects, mostly because I rarely find one that fits what I need. But when Troy sent me a link to his new project Taco, I knew I had to share it with you all (or ya’ll as they say here in Tennessee).
If you’re like me, you’ve probably got to-dos scattered all over the place. There’s some in Basecamp for feature requests, some in GitHub for bugs that customers reported, and then don’t forget about the odd home to-do list that’s over in Gmail. Taco puts all those to-dos in one place.
I really like two parts of the design:
- It’s super simple without lots of junk cluttering things. I’m a fan of less is more and Taco delivers on simplicity.
- You can’t create tasks in Taco. That’s right – it’s only for seeing your tasks and deciding which ones to work on at that moment.
If that sounds like something you’d like, then go support the team behind it. You can find their Kickstarter page here.
Congratulations! You’re part of a culture of employees that are storming the battleground of the support world from the comfort of, well, wherever they want, really. Their desks at home, their couch, the local Starbucks, the library, or even the park.
We could say that it’s complicated, has its own difficulties, and can be as daunting as an office job, but, who are we kidding? You can “go to work” without pants on, and sandwich crumbs on your face, if you want.
Okay, so, while that’s true, it does have its intricacies, and being able to work without showering for three days doesn’t automagically make your job a walk in the park. You need to develop your own positive workflow, avoid distractions, and find the discipline to manage yourself in whatever environment you choose to work in.
Lets start by taking a look at some of the more common issues faced by remote employees.
I’ve been so busy with things here at Support Ops, the Weekend Roundup dropped off the radar for a bit. But it’s back!
Jeff Vincent and I were talking about how it’s a great place to preview the articles we’ll be talking about at the Support Hangout on Monday. So I’m revamping the roundup just a bit and posting the article links before the show. It’s a chance to read through them rather than having to skim them quickly during the live show.
- UserVoice drops IE8 for their admin console
- Support emails from the future
- Personalize customer service to create amazing customer experiences
- How to keep your cool when you’re understaffed and extra busy
You’ll get to hear what our support pros think about each of these articles this Monday. Make sure to join us at 5:30pm Central / 6:30pm Eastern for the live Support Hangout!
Did you see a good article that I missed this week? Leave a link to it in the comments. I’ll include it in next week’s support roundup!
Spend a lot of time talking to customers face to face. You’d be amazed how many companies don’t listen to their customers.
In the quest to save a few bucks, many companies turn towards customer powered support. These are the forums you see where customers help other customers with their questions and problems. Execs talk about how they’re “leveraging the power of your customer base”. I’ve even talked to one person who said their customers knew more about the product than the staff so the customers were perfect for providing support.
Customer powered support doesn’t work. At least, it doesn’t if you want to provide a great support experience for your customers. Here’s why.
You’ve probably seen UserVoice come up a few times already on the site here. Their head of community Evan Hamilton was on the podcast a few episodes ago. The UserVoice team really gets customer support so let’s take a look at their support app itself.
More than a helpdesk
UserVoice provides the whole deal. When you sign up with them, you’ll get
- Feedback forums to let your customers help you know what’s important to them.
- A knowledge base to provide customers with a self-service tool.
- A support ticket system to track customer interactions when they reach out for help.
- Metrics and reporting for all of that.
It’s definitely targeted towards the company that wants everything in one system.
Where are you working right now?
Does your company have an office? Are you supporting customers from a coffee shop or home office?
I’m outside on my deck for today. The weather’s nice and there’s a cool breeze to keep the temperature down.
Leave a comment with where you are along with a photo of your workspace if you’re adventurous.
Best spot wins a copy of High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service. It’s a solid book for any customer support team.
Now let’s see where you’re at!
I’m sure you’ve used (or at least heard of Uber), the app that gives everyone a personal driver. Every experience I’ve ever had with them has been outstanding. Only once have I ever heard of a bad experience, which is what prompted this idea the other day.
A friend ordered a Uber taxi only to find that the taxi driver could never find where they were. Instead of continuing to look, the driver just gave up and cancelled the trip request. The driver drove away and left my friend stranded.
Talk about a bad experience.
From the customer standpoint, they could try again with another driver. But what happens if that customer just gives up on Uber instead? Uber loses a customer because of a driver that they can’t really control.
There’s got to be a better way, right?