5 Ways To Support Your Team

October 29, 2009


Over the last 12 years I’ve owned six Thinkpads. With one small exception I’ve owned nothing but Thinkpads since 1997. That’s the type of customer loyalty companies dream of, and it all came from customer support. I had one good customer support call from IBM in 1998 and I was hooked. That’s the power of positive personal interactions.

It’s especially powerful in customer support because everyone has had a bad customer support call. Automated call routing systems, long hold times, and clueless support representatives have given all customer support a bad name. Admit it, don’t you groan a little bit every time you have to call customer support.

Many workers have that same groan when they call telecommuters. It’s a burden to call teleworkers, if only a small one. As telecommuters we have to learn the lessons of bad customer support and do better. If you don’t, your team won’t call you. I hate to threaten, but in this economy if you aren’t a valuable member of your team you won’t be a member of your team.

Make it an easy and pleasant experience to contact you.

Let them talk to a real person. Make it amazingly easy to contact you. Publish your contact information in a public place and give them a few options for getting in touch with you.

Don’t keep your customers on hold. When you get an email or an instant message respond quickly. Even if it’s just to say you’ll get back to them later.

Give them a real answer. Give every one of your coworkers a helpful and complete answer.

Avoid no-answer answers. Everyone gets tempted to give someone a quick answer just to make them leave you alone. Saying you’ll get back to someone is better than giving them a no-answer answer.

Know your stuff. You don’t like calling a customer support person who knows less about the product than you do. Never stop learning about your products and your business so you can really help your teammates when they call.

You have a big problem if your team doesn’t want to call you. So what are you doing to make it easy to work with you and make sure you’re providing great customer support?
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