Customer Support should listen to The Boss and keep that human touch

Customer Support should listen to The Boss and keep that human touch

The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, said it best in his 1992 hit “Human Touch”: In a world without pity, do you think I’m asking too much? I just want something to hold on to, and a little of that human touch.

I think of this song whenever I need Customer Support. As I listen to endless recordings, fill out never-ending forms, and wade through useless user forums, my frustration levels go waaaay up. To the point I just want to ask:

“Why can’t SOMEONE tell me WHAT THE HELL is going on here so I can FIX it!?”.

As Mr. Springsteen said we live in a world without pity, so many of my relaxed questions go unanswered. Too much tech babble, sales rubbish or insufferable chatbots. Or the worst, the answer arrives three weeks too late, and by then I’ve cancelled my subscription and hate your company’s guts – and there’s no coming back from that.

People, not Machines 

If you too feel this way, you can find comfort in a 2011 American Express global customer service survey. Most consumers want to resolve their issues by speaking to a real person, either on the phone or face to face. What’s more, 44% of customers hang up out of frustration when they can’t talk to a service agent. 

And this other report shows competent representatives play the largest role in clients’ most satisfying service experiences. So, see a pattern already?

B2C can get away with subpar service because losing one subscription is not that serious, but the loss of a single important client can be disastrous for a B2B company. That’s why Customer Support is not just a differentiator, it’s key to surviving in today’s uber-competitive economy.

We live in the digital age and robots are taking our jobs, but for now nothing beats talking to a live, real person. This is something we’ve taken to heart here at Prey, for very serious reasons.

 

First, there’s the nature of our service. People hire Prey to recuperate lost or stolen devices and data. It’s a stressful situation, and that requires immediate action and prompt answers. Also, questions usually arise on the spot that no chatbot is able to address properly yet, Skynet‘s not ready.

Secondly, nowhere in our terms of service does it say clients must learn the Prey code or have a computer-science background. So how could they know what to look for if something goes wrong?

Some companies even have the nerve to blame the client for their service problems (cell phone or cable TV providers, anyone?).

Quick and Personalized Solutions 

Not here at Prey. Each member of our support team has been with us 3,5 years with us on average and knows the software. If the issue is too exotic in nature, the development team is right across the hall to give a hand.

We also keep clients’ entire ticket histories, so we know the issues they have encountered in the past. This also allows us to anticipate their questions and offer proactive customer service.

Sometimes a phone conversation won’t cut it. In those cases, videoconferencing goes a long way. Screen-sharing helps catch things clients are not aware of that cause problems and this way, tickets get solved in 15 minutes instead of two months.

And last but not least, we absolutely refrain from throwing any sales pitches in the process.

Don’t take our word for it, but we have the numbers to prove it. Between April 2016 and March 2017 we received over 3,000 tickets, for a monthly average of 250. We solved 95% and 89% of our clients say our support is “great” (some have renewed their subscription for seven years straight!).

Of course, we are able to do this because we only offer support to paying customers, answering in 30 minutes. Freemium users don’t get as much TLC, but we help out via Facebook and Twitter if there is no clients coming in with calls.

Businesses are automating everything they can and cutting costs everywhere. And they should, but B2B companies should think twice about replacing the Customer Support team with chatbots. Outsourcing the department poses considerable risks to the service’s standards, keep the bar high.

For B2B companies, Customer Support is key to keeping clients happy. Specially since the client experience communicates how much a company values its paying customers.

If you haven’t been able to tame your churn, the reason might be your Customer Service department. Reach out to your clients. Ask around. Find out how they feel and don’t be afraid to replace some chatbots with live, breathing humans.

Remember what The Boss said 25 years ago: we all want a little of that human touch.

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Fabián Núñez

Head of Sales and Customer Happiness at @preyproject. I love tech and Asian food. Headbanging since 2002. Overall badass.