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Empower Support Staff and Users Alike

If your customer-facing employee training works well, your team is gaining not only product knowledge, but also your vertical’s best practices, and an understanding of the issues and goals of your various types of customers. If your company has this mastered, don’t create a separate onboarding experience for your users. What your users need to know is generally a subset, and it’s a bigger subset than you probably think. This means that your Support team shouldn’t be front-line.

Every resolved support, Customer Success, or onboarding issue has a teachable moment. In a typical SaaS example, support is on the front lines, doling out answers based on accumulated knowledge. This is backwards. When there is a technical question, it should be posed to a training team, preferably well-versed in Customer Success fundamentals. If the training team understands the user and the appropriate user journey, the trainer can determine if the answer is provided in a training resource, or it can be added when necessary.

Then as questions arise, the dynamic is different. A training mentor provides answers via a constantly improving set of documentation, as well as a comprehensive answer: next steps, common pitfalls, and fundamentals key to understanding the reason for the design of the product. Support, rightly, works best with a limited scope: solve a problem. 

Feature requests, bug reports, when applicable, should be routed before they ever get to this point. If these non-support related issues account for more than 5% of incoming support requests, it’s probably time for a deeper look. The workflow can vary, but the more complex the product, or the more difficult adoption is, the more up-front training opportunities should be.

Customer Success is responsible for understanding user motivations and challenges. Customer Success needs to build a framework where the training team and the support team are well-leveraged. Emphasizing the scalable parts of great customer experience — creating a product which supports itself first, then providing great self-guided training, then ultimately human help, allows for the scalability to make other human interactions largely positive and reinforcing.

Yeah, I think about this stuff a lot. Let me think about making your users happier. More thoughts, only randomly related to your users, are here.