A great customer support process is an integral part of excellent customer service. If something goes wrong with your product, you need to be able to deal with the problem effectively and efficiently. However, product support, and customer service as a whole, often isn’t given the priority it should receive.

“Entrepreneurs often rank customer support below engineering, sales, or marketing when it is really of the utmost importance for any growing business or brand,” explained entrepreneurs Chris Herbert and Christian Smith. “Through your customer-support channel, clients are actively telling you how they want your product to work or where you could improve your business.”

How can you develop excellent product support? Here are the four things you need to remember when designing and developing support for your product:

1. Start out with email

When you’re just getting started, it is best to keep support strictly to email. Adding voice communication is an excellent personal touch, but it increases the amount of time required to resolve the problem and offer support. With email, it is much easier to manage the average time required to respond to each ticket, while also maintaining quality. Once you are more established, you can always add other forms of support communication.

2. Use a customer support system

There are tons of great customer support systems out there, such as Desk and Zendesk. These systems are incredibly affordable and make it quite easy to organize support tickets and track customers’ support history.

3. Set metrics

Make sure you are keeping track of important support metrics, such as average time spent per support ticket and the number of customers reporting each type of problem.

“By defining the key metrics for your support team, you can easily monitor how efficiently and effectively your team is working,” Herbert and Smith explained. “Our team found that measuring the average time per ticket not only makes sure that we are maximizing our support team’s efficiency but encourages staff to find smarter ways to solve customers’ problems and improve the product.”

4. Train and coach your support team continuously

“Companies with great service routinely spend 3 percent to 5 percent of salaries training team members — experienced as well as new,” explained Martin Zwilling, an executive and veteran startup mentor. “Leaders have found that keeping everyone on top of changes in technology, competition, and customer demands is critical to success. Service people need this as required team support.”

As part of this training, you will also want to empower your team members to address customer needs that go beyond just basic problems or fault problems.

“Involve team members in the fix to customer problems, as well as fixing the faulty process causing the problems. Empower them to look beyond simple rules for solutions, not out of habit, routine, or fear,” Zwilling added.

Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with strengths in software development, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial design. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.