After we started our Facebook page and Twitter account, I have been really happy with all the positive feedback we have received. This once again proved that our collaborative effort for bringing good customer service is worthy.
As customer service importance varies by product, industry and customer, I thought it will be interesting for many people to read what SiteGround does about this. This post turned out to be a bit long, so take a cup of coffee before reading below
1. Regular trainings – Constant and regular improvement of knowledge is a key point here. Every three months (sometimes even more often) all key departments (sales, support, admins, developers, designers, marketing) pass through detailed and specific training courses. Not surprisingly, a training program has recently been scheduled for the managers of each department at SiteGround. Being up to date with all trends in today’s business world is of essential importance for delivering top customer service.
2. Sales representatives' evaluations – Knowledge transferred during the training sessions is not sufficient itself – it should be continuously monitored and evaluated in practice. This is why our sales supervisors review all sales communication. After a chat or mail has been reviewed by a supervisor, all remarks and recommendations are then communicated to the sales rep. This not only brings improved sales performance, but stimulates our sales people to become even better in their work after each evaluation.
3. Support tickets evaluations – Similar to sales evaluations, support supervisors read everyday all the tickets. This is why we strongly encourage our customers to rate tickets. Ratings help us a lot as we see critical problem areas and react accordingly in a proper way – be it training, an improvement in our internal system, or just a better wording of an error message. Furthermore, we allow all poorly rated tickets to be reopened and sent to a supervisor for a further review. The essence here is that thanks to ticket evaluations and escalations we look for deeper solutions: not just for fixing the problem one time, but for preventing this particular problem from ever happening again.
4. Service failure handling – both hardware and software fails for hundreds of reasons and this means downtime. Our system administrators are trained to handle failures and every failure is corrected quickly and professionally. Whenever a service failure is present, we also prepare a detailed documentation about the problem – when it happened, what were the preconditions, how long it took, what actions were necessary to fix the problem, and so on. Then the documentation is sent to the Sys Admin manager and head System Operations for review. This documentation is then used both for developing a permanent fix of the issue and for future training of tech specialists in the team.
5. (My favorite one) Giving customer service people career paths – An important lesson we know here is that many qualified people get bored with front line customer service soon after they have started working as such. Agree, this is quite normal and logical, after all. This is why when hiring for such positions, we offer exciting career path. Customer service is just the beginning of a great opportunity for career development. All you need is ambition, desire to learn and continuous performance improvement. In this way people start working strongly motivated and with positive attitude towards their tasks – both being an essential part in delivering excellent customer service. The proof that this practice works are the numerous examples at SiteGround: many people from our team, including myself, have started as sales representatives or support assistants and today are sales & support managers, supervisors, and marketing specialists.
I am sure that many of you have faced the challenge of customer service in your business. Why not sharing your experience and practices in this direction?
Credits to Flickr user Amerk for making the above image available under Creative Commons license.