Support conversations are a unique source of information about your customers. Information that is both rich in detail and messy in structure. And information that the support team is uniquely positioned to access and understand.
Support teams have a special relationship with customers stemming from the simple fact that the support team’s role in this world is to be helpful. Even when a question doesn’t have a clear answer or the answer isn’t what a customer was hoping for they should still walk away having had a positive experience. If that is not the case, then you have other issues for your support team to work on. Assuming you have a high functioning support team, let’s take a look at some examples of the type of information the support teams can produce.
The real strength of having a close relationship with customers is the type of qualitative data we get access to. We get an understanding of their experience as we talk to them. An understanding of the reality they live in, which in turn helps us interpret in a much broader way the questions they ask us. And it also gives us knowledge of different facets of them and of what they do. Knowledge we can put to use in giving them a better help or in finding more customers like them.
Understanding what tools customers use can tell us quite a bit about what their day-to-day looks like and what their priorities are. Here we are looking for things like areas where they used very expensive tools and areas where they seem to use no or only free tools. Getting an understanding of how they allocate their budget is relevant for us in terms of product strategy. Is our product moving in the direction where customers have a history of making new investments? If so, are we prepared to convince them to start making those investments?
It can also help give us ideas for where to look for other businesses similar to our current customers who might be interested in what we have to offer.
What do they spend most of their time worrying about? And not just in relation to the tool we are providing them with, but in terms of their business in general. Knowing this is helpful to us in a few different ways. We are interested in knowing because we are empathetic people, and actually care about what is important to the people we interact with. It is also relevant from a business perspective. How does the problem our tool helps them solve relate to their main challenge right now? And is there anything we can do from a product or service perspective to help address those challenges? This is information that is highly relevant to both a product team and a sales team in terms of conversations they are having with potential customers right now and initiatives they will start in the future.
As the flip side to their main challenges, we are also interested in what there positive experiences have been with our product. What did we help them do that was awesome? Hopefully there is something.
Wow moments are gold for sales teams. They can use these examples when talking to potential new customers, to help paint a picture of what we have helped other, similar businesses to achieve.
So some of the questions we want to ask are:
- What other tools have you been using today?
- What are your biggest challenges right now?
- What would you like us to help you do more of?