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NICE inContact February 12 webinar

5 Ways to Optimize B2B Customer Experiences

By Robert Johnson
Feb 10, 2020 11:46 AM PT
support teamwork can help build loyalty among your b2b customers

You just started your Software as a Service company. With hard work and dedication, you've created a solid product that solves the challenges your business-to-business customers face on a daily basis. With any new product, questions arise on how to get the most from it. Your customers want the best experience possible, and they turn to you to deliver that experience.

It's easy enough for your first few customers. They all have your phone number -- you're a call or text message away to handle any and all problems. Then you get a few more customers -- and more after that. Suddenly, you're spending most of your day solving customer issues and less time building your company's next great feature or product.

By now, it's probably clear to you that you need some customer service experts. You'll be building a SaaS customer service team and hiring agents to solve customer issues. As your team grows, with multiple support agents covering the same customer accounts, you'll need a tool to streamline communications and keep agents updated on all customer data.

With the right technology and training, you can enable your support agents to tackle the biggest product challenges and provide consistent and excellent service to your customers.

Following are five ways you can empower your B2B customer service teams to deliver exceptional customer support experiences.

1. Solve Problems With Screen Sharing

To offer great customer support, you need to go where the customer lives. Both you and your B2B customers live in software, so it makes sense to use software to solve problems. Customer support teams equipped with the right software can make quick work of a long support queue.

The customer support software your teams use should back up your agents and offer ways to better resolve your customers' issues. For B2B customers, visual support is especially useful. Pictures and video let your customer support agents show exactly where the problem lies and makes it easy to follow steps to resolve it.

Imagine your customer is having trouble using a back-end feature of your product. If your team had to explain it over the phone, think of how many steps that would takes: Click here, scroll there, look in the upper left corner. Wouldn't it be much easier -- and less time-consuming -- to show your customer where to go and what to do?

B2B customer support software with screen sharing as a native feature solves plenty of pain points in real time for your customers. It simplifies their journeys from problem to solution. Your support teams complete tickets faster and with less frustration. Relying on the clarity that video and screen sharing can provide is a win-win.

2. Keep It Simple

Founders love to try to help every part of the business. They're passionate about the products they're building, and they want to explain as much as possible about how it works. That goes over well in new customer meetings and conference talks. It's less helpful when customers are frustrated and need support.

Customer support presents an excellent opportunity for a founder to step back and let the team go to work. While a founder is well-versed in the tech speak relevant to the company's product, that high-detail form of communication doesn't translate well into closing customer tickets. Tech can get complicated, and your customers are looking for simple answers.

Empower your customer support teams to keep it simple. You've trained your agents well -- now let them use their intellect to deliver great service for your product. The best hires on support teams can take the complex and boil it down to terms and steps that customers easily can follow.

Let's say you have a customer who's asking about how to activate the most recently debuted product feature. A founder excitedly might share the valuable technology operating in the back end to enable the feature and highlight its use cases.

A trained customer service agent would break down the issue itself and walk the customer through the activation process. By enabling support agents to keep it simple, founders can focus their time on building the next product feature. Customers get the specific answers they want while having a positive experience with the company.

3. Support Takes a Team

When you're first building your product, it can feel like you're a team of one. While sometimes that is the case, you can achieve greater results through collaborative team efforts. This is as true in customer support as it is in any other business function.

B2B customer support thrives on collaboration. Even if the answers your customers get are simple, arriving at those answers could take several complex steps. Having access to the right minds at the right times can create effective and memorable support experiences.

Perhaps a customer has a question about a highly technical part of your product. While your support agents are well-trained, they're not equipped to answer a question with that level of detail. A great customer support software product can connect the agent to one of your engineers without needing to switch between technologies. Together, they can work out a solution and send it back to the customer in a matter of minutes.

To be successful, you need to create an environment of trust with your customer service agents. They should feel comfortable when they seek advice from specialists who can provide better answers to customer questions. A team-of-one mentality would have the agent trying to field every single answer. A collaborative environment instead encourages the agent to connect with fellow agents and other teams to lean on their expertise to solve problems.

Your support software should encourage collaboration. That kind of software includes resources that allow agents to share information quickly. If you can create channels for easy collaboration, then agents can jump right into them and solve even the most difficult customer challenges through teamwork.

4. Take an Omnichannel Approach

Your customers live everywhere online, and they expect you to be the same way. When they have questions for your support team, they'll use all sorts of channels to make contact. It's easy for agents to feel bombarded in short order without a system to maintain order.

Customers will come from everywhere with their questions: email, phone,live chat and more. Even in the digital age, phone calls are one of the most popular ways customers contact teams for help. Software built to manage omnichannel customer support approaches will enable your agents to answer customers quickly and decisively, no matter where they started.

An omnichannel approach lets your agents easily switch between channels and reply to customers where they are, not missing a beat or needing to ask them to repeat information. Solutions will need to be presented in different ways depending on the channel. Agents who can share solutions over the phone and through email with equal clarity will propel your success.

Customers won't be waiting as long if they get the answers through their preferred channels. In addition, your agents will resolve issues faster and maximize their agility. When there's slow traffic in the chat program but plenty of phone calls pouring in, agents can focus on the most active source and resolve issues effectively.

If you want to lessen the burden on your channels even more, then help the customer help themselves with self-service solutions. Oftentimes, customers can solve the problem on their own, given the right resources.

Developing an online database of guides to common problems can remove a lot of stress from service agents who must answer the same questions repeatedly. Video content is especially helpful, as customers can walk themselves through the solution before they ever reach out to customer support.

5. Always Follow Up

The job isn't finished even after the customer service agent solves a customer's issue. One benefit of working at a SaaS company is that with the right technology in place, customer service agents can see when and how customers interact with your software. Your teams are given insights into how your customers use your product, which creates opportunities to provide additional value through education and continued support.

For example, let's say a customer service agent resolves a customer's issue with a simple solution. The agent checks in after a while to find that the customer hasn't logged back into the software to try out the solution. What can an agent do about that?

This is a great time for agents to follow up with the customer. If the customer still isn't sure how to use the solution, the agent can share additional guidance or educational pieces, like a webinar about the topic. These additional touches can improve the customer relationship by showing your customers that you care about their success in using your product.

Use your customer support software to track and manage procedures to follow up. Ensure that your agents feel they can make that outreach to customers. Build and update a healthy database of support content that agents can plug into messages. Following up is a powerful method of demonstrating the value each customer brings to your company.

Reap the Rewards

When you're starting out, SaaS customer support can seem difficult. It's certainly a lot of information and traffic to manage. However, it doesn't need to be a tough process.

Give your support agents the best software and keep solutions simple. Let them collaborate with other teams on solutions and talk to customers across all channels. Always check in after the support ticket is closed.

The right technology and training let your company's customer service agents offer your customers easy and practical solutions to even the most complex issues. You can save customers valuable time and build meaningful relationships, winning loyal B2B customers in the long run.


Robert C. Johnson is the cofounder and CEO of TeamSupport, a cloud-based, B2B software application built to help customer-facing support teams serve clients better through stronger collaboration, superior teamwork, and faster issue resolution. A seasoned executive and entrepreneur who has founded and invested in numerous software and high-tech companies, Robert's industry experience as a business leader and a customer inspired him to create TeamSupport to give support teams the tools and best practices to enhance customer loyalty and positively impact product sales.


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NICE inContact February 12 webinar