5 Essentials for Enterprise Software Support
Adopting a new technological platform can be challenging. Executive level decisions can be harder to disseminate through an organization when the culture and daily habits of workers require a drastic change. On TechCrunch’s blog, Aaron Levie, CEO of Box.net made the point of saying,
“At Box, we now see RFPs where ‘user adoption’ is a heavily weighted factor in the purchasing decision; this was virtually unheard of a few years ago”.
This is the very reason why it is essential that technological business solutions are not only effective in their capabilities, but that they come with hands-on support that enables the customer to access their full potential.
Reliability and strong communication with a personal touch will help any support team to establish their credibility. If users know they can rely on support, they are much more willing to try, to fail, and then keep trying if need be! If the initial support level is not reliable, and a user gets frustrated, you may lose their confidence and enthusiasm as an “adopter”. Fostering every user experience is a must! As Levie pointed out, “user adoption” is a big piece to the puzzle.
Providing new solutions should be providing an idea, tool, or process that will in turn make jobs easier and more efficient. This should never turn into a headache but should remain an exciting new way to innovate careers! Once you’ve established credibility, the next step is turning “adoption” into “loyalty”. Your service should become a part of life your customer cannot live without. Logan Cooke, writer on TechnoBuffalo.com, references Apple as “the bar” for customer loyalty based on their support in his blog post on support. While Apple may not be the same as a B to B support operation, the principles are the same. Make your customer forget what it was like to ever have lived without you. I don’t remember life before my iPod, or iPhone, or MAC!
Follow through on services and promises
If you say you are going to do it, build it, make it work, etc. then you MUST do so. If you say you are going to check back with the customer in 24 hours, then 36 hours is not acceptable. If you promise any timeline, any communication, any training, any support, or to address any problem from users on up to billing, then following through is key! It is also just as important not to over-promise. You must be able to give exactly what you say you can. On All Bussiness’s blog, “Top 10 Customer Service Mistakes”, they say, “If you can’t honor your commitments to a customer for reasons beyond your control, do not make excuses; the only words you need to remember are “We’re sorry,” backed up by an extra effort to make the customer happy.”
Don’t try to hide any problems you may be encountering. If Twitter can go down and Gmail can time out, etc. we can all understand that changes, development and enhancement to technology comes with the possibility of a new set of challenges. The key is making sure your customer understands this as well and is “in the loop” on all things that will affect their workflow.
Do not assure if you are not sure
The worst thing you can do is tell a customer something with certainty, when you are not certain. This can break down your entire relationship built on credibility, loyalty, service, and transparency. I have learned even as a consumer that I would rather hear that someone needs to look into something to give me the most accurate answer, rather than be fed an answer just to hear one. Do not become the “service that cried wolf”; instead, be true to everything you do, every word you give, and every bit of assurance. Become an expert in your service so as to be 100% sure you are going to give the customer exactly what they need.