Support team faces the customers directly. So it important they not only address the pre-sales queries only but also are also able to provide a solution to tricky problems of the customers
If you consider that anybody can handle customer support tickets you are wrong. There will be support tickets which do not need any kind of expertise to respond but some tickets will require a better understanding of the problem before responding.
My recent client was using a droplet by DigitalOcean for years now for a website. He wants me to take up his website and add more functionality as well as make it responsive. He had a hard time giving me access to the server and finally, he just shared his master login details of DigitalOcean and even shared his email address access for me to get everything figured out.
I also couldn’t log in to the droplet and after looking through the help and doing what was suggested I thought of contacting the support team.
As you can see whatever question I ask or whatever detail I provide (K is me replying on behalf of my client), their answer remains the same. In my ticket, I mention that I have done the password reset and still it doesn’t work but the response is how and what I need to do to reset the password.
The issue is still not fixed and I am yet not able to log in.
Finally, we decided to recreate the complete site, and move out of DigitalOcean.
I always thought this was a bit too technical issue for a customer support team to figure it out though it is quite a normal process of login to a droplet in DigitalOcean.
On the sideline, when I was working for the client I was offered a free account so I created one to test things out instead of working on the live site but when the client decided to move out of DigitalOcean, I canceled my account.
Recently I got an email stating that my free trial period was over but I did cancel my account and I emailed the support team this…
And guess what. This is what I got in reply.
They are excited to have me as a customer and will even apply a promo code. lOl.
It seems DigitalOcean team is outsourcing their customer support somewhere in India (Guessed it from the name Karthik) and seems they have hired bunch of idiots to reply with canned response based on few words that they see in the ticket. Cost cutting is important but not at the cost of quality.
As an entrepreneur, there are few of important lesson one can learn from it.
- Hire better customer service representatives – If you think customer support can be handled by any tom dick or harry, it is high time to reconsider it. Having a better customer service representative would have meant they have had a couple of customers for an elongated period of time. Some customers request are simple enough but that doesn’t mean every customers’ every request should be dealt with canned response by customer support team.
- Have checkpoints than relying only on customers for feedback – Add checkpoints to evaluate your team and incidents like these are screened. Pick up random customer ticket and see how has the customer service representative has responded. Asking for a customer feedback may not help because I wouldn’t waste time to write feedback. I am writing this blog post to my own benefit of the lessons learned out of it but that too because I had a free account. Otherwise, I may have assumed it was too technical for a customer service representative to handle and things would have been buried deep in my inbox.
- Hierarchy within the customer support team – When outsourcing customer service process, it should be to a team that provides some kind of training and helping hand to the customer services representative before they can handle tough issues. At the least, such representative should know how to escalate the issue to their manager or team leader and aren’t afraid doing it. The important aspect isn’t to provide a dumb reply as solution but understanding the pain points of customers and provide appropriate solution.
Further Reading …