Developing a Solid Support Team

By Justin Smith

Startups are popping up left and right these days. Customer support is a crucial element to any small company that has aspirations of hitting it big. Whether you are building a team from scratch, or just retooling your group, here are a few things that you should keep in mind in order to develop a great customer support team for your business.

Get To Know Your Team

You hired a great group of people. Each person brings something extraordinary to the table and adds a unique perspective to the team. Take the time to get to know them. Learning their strengths and what motivates them will help you to set your employees up for success. Gather insight about their passions. When people are able to incorporate their passion into their work, it translates into real results with customers. You can also use these passions to create working goals that keep everyone invested in their progress.  Engaged and excited employees bring great ideas to the table and their excitement is contagious. Your customers can tell when your team is excited about their jobs and will respond positively in turn.

Create Experts

Make sure that the people who are working closely with your customers are the ones who know your product inside and out. Your support team members should be your most knowledgeable employees. Set up a thorough training program that allows your team to become experts on your product. The better their product knowledge, the easier it will be to think outside the box and make magic happen for the customers that depend on them. Another great benefit of deep product knowledge is that allows your team to act as advocates for each customer, moving the interaction away from a cookie-cutter support experience and toward a customized one.  

Pay Attention & Stay Flexible

Planning ahead is a good idea, but it is impossible to plan for everything that will come up. Often, especially in startups, a better approach is to pay attention to everyday issues and tackle them early. Establish an open communication policy with your team right from the beginning. This creates a dialogue about any patterns that your team might see and provides a forum to discuss ways that you can attack issues. Take the time to document fixes or workarounds as you grow. Information like that can save hours of troubleshooting and keep you from having to deal with similar problems more than once.

Success in customer support comes down to two things; the people that you employ being able to deliver great service, and having systems in place that allow you to be agile enough to adapt to customer needs. The key is to make sure that you keep an eye on things as your group grows. Staying in touch with your employees and their desires gives you a direct connection to getting them involved and bought in to the work they're doing. Training efficiently and making use of the feedback that you get from your employees and customers will keep you at the top of your game, delivering great and timely experiences.

The Success League is a consulting firm that works with customer success leaders who want to unlock the retention and revenue potential in their team.  Unlike approaches that focus only on soft skills, we partner with success teams to gather and present customer data in a way that allows them to advocate for customer needs and drive true change in their organization.

Justin Smith - Justin is an enthusiastic and determined customer advocate, who builds and leads award-winning technical support organizations.  For almost a decade, Justin has worked with customer-centric companies like Fed-Ex and VerticalResponse to create exceptional client care experiences. He currently works for Say Media, holds a BA in English from the University of California at Davis, and resides in Oakland, CA.