By Mohammed Ajouz
“A business’s brand goes far beyond its name or logo. The strength of a brand can sell potential customers on working with you, and inspire loyalty once they do.
One of the best ways to develop a strong brand message is to offer quality customer service.
In fact, good customer service has been found time and again to trump advertising when it comes to impact on brand image.”
Exceptional customer service is one of our founding principles, and something we continue to strive towards. How do we plan to make this happen? By providing a service guided by five key principles.
1. Consistent Experience
You won’t be surprised that training is key for the global leader in eLearning. We train our support engineers so they consistently deliver excellent support experience. Whether a support engineer resides in North America, Europe, or Asia, they all receive the same training that is a combination of product skills, process skills, and soft skills and all irrespective of which medium a customer connects with us.
We also want our customers to know exactly what to expect when they contact our support team, so we developed standardized practices and operating procedures that are championed by every team in every region. Additionally, we have appointed a global leader for each one of our products, so now there is no variance for customers when they move between regions and time zones or between products within the same company.
2. Culture of Ownership
Most of us have at some point have experienced an unpleasant customer service experience. And too often the real problem is not that no one is hearing the complaint, but that no one is doing anything to resolve it. We have created a culture of ownership and accountability in which every support employee is truly empowered to own a specific customer issue when it is assigned to them and must see it through until the customer is fully satisfied with the resolution: “A sense of seeing it, owning it and solving it.”
3. Find One, Fix Many
Some companies put pressure on customer support to close cases quickly. But this approach can often overlook the underlying issue, or causes, of the issue. We operate under the theme of “Find One, Fix Many,” meaning that each problem resolved offers a potential proactive solution for other customers with similar systems. So instead of simply treating just the current “symptoms” of one customer, we work together across functional teams to identify and address any foundational or structural issues that may affect other customers.
4. Voice of the Customer
Ultimately it is our customers who in many ways, know our products better than anyone, so who better to listen to when we want to improve our products or services? After we close every case we run a survey to get feedback from the customer and twice a year we run a NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey to gather feedback from our entire customer community. We then use this invaluable data back to continue to deliver the best possible experience a customer has when they reach out to Skillsoft’s Support Services.
5. User Community
Again, who better to answer questions or solve problems than the people who actually use our services. We see this ‘user community’ as a great complement to our Support Services and actively sponsor a number of user groups which allows customers to identify best practices, exchange real-world experiences and offer guidance. This community then provides critical feedback on products and service areas which we use to strengthen our products and services.
I would love to hear what other organizations are doing to provide exceptional customer support. Of if you can think of further ways to improve our Support Services, I’d love to hear that too.
Mohammed Ajouz is Senior Vice President, Global Customer Service & Delivery, for Skillsoft.