In order to lay any foundation, clarity must be deeply rooted. In the case of Support, these attributes must all be clearly outlined. This will impact—improve or stunt—communication, growth, and cohesion of the team. These are questions we all must wrestle with. Below are just a smattering of questions and thoughts all great teams work through.
Clarity of Name
The name of the team, of the mode, the message must be clearly defined. Support is a great name, though some argue it’s overused and excessively abused (mega corporate customer support, anyone?). While I certainly agree with the latter, that’s not a reason to leave the term of create a new one. Taking an existing term and rebirthing can be glorious and victorious. Both have the values, but one should not be automatically ruled out. The end goal is that it provides hope to your customers to know they will be taken care of. There’s plenty of cynicism in this world so it’s best to choose a suitable name and, no matter what, follow it up with excellent reinforcing actions.
There is much latitude here. Some will choose one name over another — that’s totally fine. The name is to give a glimpse into what something is; it’s like handing someone a picture of your last vacation spot and using that as the starting point of the story you’re about to share.
Clarity of Purpose
Taking all we know, what is our goal? Taking all we’ve talked about, how does this relate to our purpose? What is the why of what we do? At Riskalyze, our Support purpose is:
Onboard, support, engage, and delight our customers — ultimately resulting in the increased success of our customers.
While brief, our mission truly revolves around the customer. Without them, we fail. With their skyrocketing success comes our success. We are linked at the hip and know a small part of our success will be their great success.
Clarity of Responsibility
Support is responsible for carrying out that purpose above. That means the team, overall, must assist bringing new customers on and taking care of existing customers.
As the team expands, specialties will naturally develop to assist in managing the increasing workload. There will likely be teams focused on bringing on new customers, others on existing customers, etc. How do you define responsibility? When you are a team of one to a few it’s easy, once you start adding more it can feel like one step forward and two steps back.
Clarity of Process
What does your onboarding process look like? What does your continual training process look like? How do you measure engagement, adoption, and, ultimately, success?
Clarity of Resources
The question is: “Do we do a smorgasbord of videos and knowledge base articles” as the continued method to educate advisors, or is there a better, more focused approach?
One of the beautiful and brilliant aspects of many SaaS products is the simplicity. Paired with that is the compartmentalization of the components, such as separating power user options. This aids in the simplicity to break things down into smaller components. As such, we want to mirror the educational resources around these. However your product is shaped, your training should follow suit. Since most companies have customers that only use one set of features and some that focus on a completely different set, it follows to keep separate these topics to minimize complications.
Clarity of Training
What is the training path for users? Do they have a roadmap to success or are they left to blaze their own trail? That’s difficult and many will give up, by the way. Few companies have nailed this, though many are better off than others.
Is there an effective roadmap a Support team can hand to the customer that says, “if you follow this, all will go well for you”? While many will balk at a PDF of instructions — totally understandable — what have we designed instead? For many companies, it tends to be a mish-mash of resources that if the user tried can probably learn. However, what if there was something more linear, something more like connect the dots? What is the theme? Is there a metanarrative that leads the user through learning your product?
If I could leave you with one thought it’s this: be sure and understand who you are and know how to communicate that. Clarity.