All hands support, which basically entails developers, computer programmers,Â webmasters, online/social media marketing managers, management, and support staffÂ coming together to engender exemplary customer experience, has generated a lot ofÂ buzz of late.
It does not need to be emphasized that customersâ€™ queries and requestsÂ could be handled more efficiently if professionals involved with designing andÂ developing the product (software or app) had a first-hand idea about customers’Â issues. Unfortunately, in most SaaS companies and agencies, anyone andÂ everyone who has a stake in providing commendable customer service join handsÂ only on rare occasions, and that too, on an ad-hoc basis.
So, it is no wonder that customers of such service-oriented establishments are, moreÂ often than not, left high and dry when it comes to responding to their inquiries andÂ resolving their problems. Ideally, adopting an â€˜all hands supportâ€™ approach where every employee of the firm exploits the in-house knowledge base may lead to aÂ win-win situation, benefiting both customers and the company.
Theoretically speaking, ifÂ staff from all departments devotes some time interacting with customers, theyâ€™ll haveÂ a better insight into the latter’s problems, eventually enabling the former to improveÂ the product further and furnish high-quality services.
But the bitter truth is that such a technique might not deliver the goods in the real world.
Why â€˜all handsâ€™ support strategy will not work in reality
Top-level management and CEOs of many SaaS firms take it for granted that communicating with customers, handling their requests, and solving their problemsÂ do not call for specialized skills. To put it in the right perspective, it does not takeÂ much to make the best customer experience a reality if company administrators,Â managers, and head honchos believe. Nevertheless, contrary to popularÂ belief, dealing effectively with customers, and liaising with them to figure out theirÂ problems, could be as challenging as designing and developing a website or software.
Service and support teams attend to different categories of customers throughout theÂ day. All these customers contact the support desk with various kinds of requests,Â inquiries, and problems. You need to have well-honed soft skills, a good sense ofÂ humor, and the ability to think on your feet to handle customers efficiently.
The computer programmer or software engineer may lack communicationÂ skills, compassion, tenacity, perseverance, and presence of mind required for dealingÂ with customers regularly. As a matter of fact, it has been observed onÂ numerous occasions that customersâ€™ satisfaction levels plummeted considerably whenÂ programmers or coders took calls and attempted to help customers. By the sameÂ token, the support team members will be making a complete mess of productÂ development if theyâ€™re told to work alongside the developers and programmers or substitute them even for a single day.
Evidently enough, companies would be putting a lot at stake by implementing the â€˜allÂ hands supportâ€™ initiative. There is a high possibility of clientsâ€™ queries and requestsÂ being dealt with incompetently, ultimately leading to customers switching allegiance.Â Asking software professionals to stand-in for your companyâ€™s support team and viceÂ versa would be akin to a case of â€˜square pegs in round holes.â€™ Constantly trying toÂ make the most of the â€˜all hands supportâ€™ policy that in due course leads to customersÂ becoming frustrated and upset mirrors shortsightedness on your part.
So what is the way out?
Youâ€™d definitely not want your support team to work in isolation, having no conjunctÂ or association with other organization departments. How would you makeÂ the teams in all the departments work in close cooperation with each other? Of course,Â by getting the various units to join forces and pooling resources. Now that does notÂ imply everybody will be engaged in the customer support department.
Support teams will continue to interact with the customers, endeavoring to getÂ customers on board by convincing them to subscribe to the firmâ€™s service and offeringÂ after-sales service as theyâ€™d been doing before. However, encouraging employees fromÂ the rest of the departments to stay abreast of customersâ€™ problems using theÂ product, and product improvement feedback and suggestions tendered by customers,Â would be an innovative approach worth executing.
Introducing this strategy wouldÂ surely facilitate collaboration between the support executives, sales representatives, developers, programmers, and engineers, thereby promotingÂ organizational growth and keeping customers satisfied.
Teams working as a cohesive unit result in customers having a pleasant experienceÂ with your product or service. Teamwork achieves the best results when theÂ teammates make optimal use of the organizationâ€™s knowledge base comprisingÂ streamlined internal documentation, work policies, and processes. The time and effortÂ employees of your firm dedicate towards improving customer service, and satisfactionÂ will be put to better use if and when you rationalize and streamline their jobs.
Closing up, it can be expressed unequivocally that if youâ€™ve to tap a hands supportÂ tactic, make sure the practice is orientated more towards your customers rather thanÂ your product or employees. Youâ€™ll perceive the â€˜allÂ handsâ€™ methodology’s incompetency and futility when you take into account your companyâ€™s long-term or futureÂ growth and development. Rather, creating congenial conditions for fostering a workÂ culture where your employees collaborate and function as a close-knit team will positively work towards keeping your customers happy.