On Wednesday 29th April, we held our inaugural virtual meetup on behalf of our online customer support community Global Customer Support Heroes. The webinar was an online panel discussion with Inna Grynova, Head of Support at Revolut and Peter Voor de Wind, Global Customer Support Manager at Swapfiets, with the theme of building an actionable product feedback loop in customer support teams.
The event brought to light some great experiences and best practices from the two leaders and addressed some pressing Q&A from customer support professionals around the world. In case you were unable to attend or just want to check it out again, here is a recording of the event and a summary of some of the key ideas and insights that were discussed throughout.
Recognizing the impact of customer support on a company
- It is very common that companies treat customer support as a cost department that doesn’t bring much back in terms of revenue.
- The impact of the CS team is usually not noticed UNLESS something goes wrong. If something is wrong, customers complain and this can affect all aspects of the company. For example, if someone has a bad experience with an individual agent, they can go to the press and this can affect the value of a company.
If you feel that your support team is being unnoticed this usually means you are doing a great job of keeping things in order.
The role of customer support in product development
- When we look at product feedback we divide this process into 3 areas:
- Cutting your contact rate & improving the existing product
- To a degree, every single contact is a failure. It means something was done wrong. Maybe the product isn’t intuitive, maybe the customers had different expectations, or maybe they can not complete the actions themselves and need their help.
- Ideally, customers should be able to manage themselves from the time they sign up to the time they leave. So take all these insights and give them to the product team to make changes.
2. Working with incident management
- If a part of your product breaks or you have an outage: this leads to a huge spike in tickets from customers. This is where you need to have a system of immediate reaction and a vigilant technical support team who can communicate problems to your development team 24 hours a day to make rapid fixes.
3. Consistent development of the product
- Everyone has an element of bias, to a degree product owners and developers, when creating something, have how they would use it in mind. This is where customer support helps to give the proven opinion of customers.
Appoint a senior member of your customer support team to be part of the committee that gives approval for all product updates.
Key tools to ensure a smooth product feedback loop
- Meetings are a key tool. Have weekly meetings about customer feedback with your team then share that with the company. Always make sure to include numbers to quantify the issue – e.g. receiving 35 tickets last week about changing a certain feature.
- Create a Slack channel called #supportimprovements: any time an agent hears anything back from customers about product changes they post it there and the team can vote on the suggestions.
- More directly, categorize feedback with ticket tags on your CRM.
Communicating to clients that their feedback is actually making a difference
- Go beyond the standard, ‘Yes, we value your feedback. Thank you’. Actually ask questions, ‘why do you want this update?’, ‘what would you change about this?’. Showing authentic interest shows customers that you are taking their feedback onboard.
- If your company is smaller, schedule calls with customers and delve deeper into recurring or critical issues to find out more about how exactly you can help.