Customer Support - How to get it right.

Getting customer support right is simple in principle yet so many service providers get it wrong. It's hard to believe that business owners don't know what constitutes quality customer support - I am sure they know when they are not getting it from their suppliers!

In my current business, we use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) on every support encounter.

For those who are not aware of the Net Promoter or Net Promoter Score is a widely used market research metric that typically takes the form of a single survey question asking respondents to rate the likelihood that they would recommend a company, product, or a service to a friend or colleague.

The NPS score is out of 10. A score of 9 or 10 means that the respondent will  promote your business or services  a 7 or 8, and they won't say anything negative or positive about you and a 6 or less they are likely to actively criticise your company or your services.

My company's support team consistently rate and average of 9.5. Here's how we do it. It's not rocket science.

1) Our people know our products well, and they are technically very competent.

2) We respond promptly and resolve issues quickly.

3) Our support staff are friendly and courteous.

Why don't we achieve a rating of 10? I guess the answer to that is you can please all the people all the time!

So why do some service providers get this so wrong?

The short answer is because they don't do the 3 things my support team do. But why is that?

It can be hard to find the right staff. Profitability of a business can result in under-staffing or there could be a poor customer service culture within the company.

In some cases, however, there is a conscious decision to sacrifice customer service standards in favour of profitability. To my mind, this is a very dangerous practice and will almost certainly result in the eventual loss of clients.  Perhaps, for some companies, new business is so easy to come by that they can afford the bleed.

I suspect that in many cases that the business owners or senior management are not close enough to the coal face.

When you are at the "pointy end" of the business, you experience the challenges of your support team and your client base and, I believe, it is just human nature to want to help fix the issues and make everyone's life easier... including your own.

Distance yourself from the client base, and you risk not putting that natural empathy to use by improving your client's support experience and making your employee's workday more relaxed and fulfilling.

I frequently encounter poor customer services and in some cases it is obvious what is going wrong.

Take my last encounetr with Telsta for example,