Do you want to make a real difference to the efficiency of your support
department and the solutions provided to your customers?
We’ve got two words for you: Product Experts.
When 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies who offer excellent customer service, providing that high-level service is clearly something that’s consistently on your mind. But what are you actually doing about it?
What’s a Product Expert?
In essence, this is a support agent who’s specialized in one specific field or product.
Do you have multiple products or services?
When your companies' products are ever-changing, it’s really hard to keep on top of everything. For one agent to have an in-detail grasp of all topics? Seems unlikely.
In most cases, when there’s a more complicated question, it’s going to be one of two scenarios:
The agent needs to find the answer by asking around and searching for the information.
He’s going to give a low-quality answer.
That has a bigger impact, a vicious cycle of unsatisfied customers that don’t get the resolutions they need, on time.
Here are the top reasons your support teams will benefit from becoming product experts:
Retain your customers by providing high-level support
Keep agents motivated by letting them do more than just answering tickets
Become a company asset by providing valued feedback
No longer waste budget on complicated and time-wasting workflows
Let’s break it down:
1. Retain your customers by providing high-level support
You want to give high-level support that’s giving your customers real value and makes them think “yes this company actually cares about me.” The fact is, retention is far cheaper than acquiring new customers.
According to a report done by Gartner, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase business profits from 25% to 125%. Support, as the main point of contact for customers, has a big hand in retention.
This means providing high-level support at all times, in order to develop brand loyalty.
A negative service experience can easily lose you, customers.
”The fact is if you don't really understand what your users’ needs and pain points are, the company won't succeed."
Tal Weinisch, Director of Customer Solutions and global CS product for Tel Aviv & Kyiv, introduced agents specializing and answering tickets related only to a specific product. This initiated a complete turnaround of the department. SLA for tickets decreased significantly and users got more satisfying answers, faster. This means FCR for tickets was majorly improved. In many instances, now, tickets can be resolved with one response.
Most customers need a straightforward “break it down for me” answer. They simply want to be spoon-fed and prefer screenshots detailing every step.
And yes, customers will notice if an agent knows their stuff or not.
2. Keep agents motivated by letting them do more than just answering tickets
You want to hire people that are problem solvers and will think outside of the box, not simply provide support. Aim not just for higher job motivation, but you’ll also want them to contribute to bettering the product itself.
“Support was being perceived as an entry-level position, as low-level hi-tech workers."
Tal, introduced the product expert approach, to improve communications with other departments, such as product and marketing. But, also to prevent the highly qualified people Wix.com was hiring from burning out.
Ultimately, you want the external and company perception of support agents to change.
3. Become a company asset by providing valued feedback
Having people talking to your users every day all day and not utilizing the information they’re receiving, doesn’t make sense. Many companies don’t take advantage of the full potential, their support departments have to offer. Customer support has a unique perspective in creating the connection between the product and implementation.
Product naturally is all about creating the next new flashy addition, but you’re in the trenches - dealing with customers’ issues on the day to day. The priority should often be optimizing an existing product or a missing feature that’s not as cool but necessary to your customers. This is feedback that needs to be passed on.
Danny Pinto, Director of Global Support at Yotpo, saw the growing need for specialized agents that represent customers to the rest of the company. He introduced a very similar scheme to product experts, so-called field leaders:
“We took our products and cut them into different building blocks. For example, one building block that’s just related to email has a field leader. They need to be the best in the company at knowing how the product works code wise and product-wise. They are responsible to sit with Product when they are writing the product requirements and give feedback and test the new Product.”
4. No longer waste budget on complicated and time-wasting workflows
Based on a study done by Nintex, employees spend 2.5 hours per day, looking for information. Efficiency is simply better when you have a certain group of people dedicated to a certain topic. This eliminates digging for the answers and creates go-to agents when there are any questions in a field. They are highly knowledgeable on this subject, can provide detailed answers and will be much faster to answer these tickets. If there’s an actual issue, they will know the ins and outs of testing this flow.
Additionally, if support is not answering generic questions all day long this will directly translate into them dealing with more complicated tickets and actually investigating issues and collecting feedback.
If you create specialized queues for agents to work on, there’s more transparency. You can see how many tickets are doable, where agents get stuck and what are harder topics to answer. That will give you the ability to focus energies towards more specific goals and lets you determine which KPIs are actually most valuable to measure.
It’s time to make it happen
Now that we’ve got you on board, how do you actually go about making the change?
Define the different expertise you feel need more in-depth attention: This of course entirely depends on the type of products and services you offer. It can be anything from billing, account access to locations. Or, to take Yotpo as an example: Reviews & Ratings, Visual Marketing, Loyalty & Referrals, and Billing.
Establish separate queues: You’ve defined the topics, now create queues for them and assign selected agents to these queues.
Create in-depth onboarding material for the topics: New agents will receive intense training on the topics you selected and existing agents will go deeper on a specific topic you’ve assigned to them.