Last week I had the chance to do something I love to do as a consultant: go visit a client onsite and spend time with the support team (Thanks, Cathy!). And I was reminded of three enduring characteristics of support folks:
- We care passionately about their customers’ success with the products they support.
- We love to collaborate to resolve customer issues.
- We are very intolerant of other teams within the organization that do not care as much we do about customers, or do not collaborate with us as well as we would like.
These three points are the inspiration for my wishes for 2018, each triggering a point and a counter-point.
We care passionately about customers
Do. Measure the right outcome! It’s definitely not time to response or other tactical aspects of our work — measure customer satisfaction or net promoter score.
Beware. Customer love can impair strategic progress. Sometimes, serving customers best means spending less time on delivery, and more time improving the product or the support process. Make time for strategic changes.
We love to collaborate
Do. Make it easy and rewarding to collaborate. Provide clear opportunities to reach out for help, and a good tool to track the collaboration. Reward collaborators.
Beware: Collaboration is fun but 1:1 interactions are not always required. Beef up the knowledge base and other repositories so you can leverage knowledge across the organization.
We are intolerant of teams with different values
Do. Spend time understanding other teams and craft solid cross-organization processes and SLAs. Some team-building time won’t hurt, either.
Beware. Support teams can go “native” and forget the needs of the larger organization. Sure, we could fix every bug — but that would mean no new features, and massive losses to the competition. We need the business to keep thriving so we can serve customers in the long run.
There we are: six goals for 12 months. Should be doable, right? (And if not, FT Works can help; drop me a note and we can chat).
What are your goals for 2018?