Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Unsung heroes (or villains)

Who do you think are the most important people in your company? How about the Tech Support folks?

Yes, I’m serious. These people are your frontline troops, dealing with customers day in, day out. And to make their life harder still, customers only get in touch when they have a problem or are dissatisfied. So the quality of your Tech Support is key in establishing solid relationships and persuading customers to return.

With this in mind, why do I find Tech Support to be so variable? Now I don’t mean to criticize the individuals who’ve been placed in this unenviable role, but I do want to encourage their managers to think a little deeper about the talents needed to be successful. In particular, they should look for:

1. An eagerness to talk to people, and a genuine interest in helping to solve their problems.

2. In-depth product knowledge, the kind that can only be gained through hands-on experience.

So what’s the ‘takeaway’ from this grumble of mine? Simple: Don’t put new hires out in front of the customer. Give the job to the experienced old hand who’s been there, done that, and has the scars to prove it.

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