In case you didn't know, this week, October 7-11, is Customer Service Week, "an international celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis."
And whether you regularly have good experiences dealing with customer service folks, or you dread picking up the phone to make a call, I think we can all agree the people on the other side have a tough job dealing with customers who are frequently confused, frustrated or unhappy. At the end of the day, they deserve a little love and appreciation for all that they do, especially when they save the day!
When it comes to software or a technology provider, their customer service team plays an important role in the overall user experience, as the quality, efficiency and expertise of a team can make or break a customer relationship. Whether you're on the hunt for a new technology provider or you're reflecting on the relationship you have with your current one, here are the top features of a great customer service team to look out for.
A Team of In-House Experts
Too often, tech providers outsource their customer service team to a third-party company, which often benefits the provider more than their customers. The top sign of an outstanding customer service team is one that's in-house. It may seem like a small difference, but when it's in-house, a provider's customer service team is closer (literally) to the product and the other important people behind it, from the developers to those in sales. There's also a greater likelihood that members of the customer service team were hired from within the industry and have the right context and expertise to help customers with their specific needs.
Availability Whenever & However You Need It
Whether it's a simple question or an eleventh-hour emergency, when you reach out to a customer service team, you want to be able to get in touch with them no matter the time of day and in a way that is most convenient for you. A good customer service team is available 24/7, even on holidays! Having a variety of ways to connect with them is also a good sign, from the standard phone, email and chat channels, to more modern options like chatbots and virtual assistants.
A Robust Set of Resources
Speaking directly with an expert is almost always preferred when technology users need help, but having an array of additional resources readily available can help enhance the experience. FAQs, how-to articles, videos, webinars, ebooks, guides and blog posts can make for great supplemental resources after a customer service call or email has been completed, so that users have something to go back to if they need to be reminded of what they learned or for them to become an expert on a particular feature in their own time.
Overall, no two customer service teams are alike, and it's crucial to ask questions about what makes them stand out (for the better) during the buying or research phase of sourcing a new software or technology tool. And if you're in touch with a customer service team member this week and have a positive experience, make sure to go out of your way to say thank you!