How many of you have heard people or companies refer to Customer Support as a cost center? How many of you have felt like your requests for more resources for your support teams weren’t valued or taken seriously? How many of you have heard that Customer Support isn’t a career?
I’m going to take a chance and say – all of you.
Now, how many of you actually believe any of that? How many of you believe there is more to support teams than solving customer problems? How many of you see opportunities in your company you could have an impact on passing you by because you don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to it?
Yes Kristen, those of us active in the support community or who have been doing this work a few years know and believe all of this. So what? There’s only so much in our control!
While I agree that’s completely fair to say, I also think there is more we can do and I’m going to tell you how.
There are three things you each and every one of you can and should do to improve the future of the Customer Support industry.
- Learning – Take the time to talk and learn from your support team’s leaders, other companies leaders, your coworkers, your peers in the support community and anyone in areas outside of your division who has an impact on your work. Seek to understand their perspectives, learn from their experiences, and increase your awareness of things around you. Build your network!
- Innovating – While the Customer Support Industry isn’t exactly new, companies are constantly evolving and growing forcing us to adapt. There’s TONS of uncharted territory and room for us to come up with new ideas and create new processes and products with the knowledge we have. Think about a problem that exists for you. What are ways that could solve it? What are competitors or peers in the industry doing about this? If you don’t know, it’s time to go back to your network.
- Advocating – Nothing around you is going to change or improve if you don’t stand up and make your opinion heard. If you assume that a pain point for you, your team, or your customers is already known by your boss or other leaders in your company, you should also assume they have no idea either of the issue or exactly how bad it is. Have you heard what people say about those who assume?
So stand up! Prepare that proposal! Explain what you’ve learned from those around you, the problems you’ve identified, and the ideas you’ve come up with to solve it.
Nothing is going to get better for you or your team if you don’t do these things. Nothing is going to change about how Customer Support teams are treated and thought of if you don’t show people why they’re wrong.
This post was inspired by an idea for a talk proposal I had. If you want to hear more let me know!