86% of employees and executives blame the lack of collaboration and ineffective communication for workplace failures.
Organizational silos are one of the driving forces behind employee burnout and customer frustration. Dismantle the silos and make your employees feel connected!
Two major stakeholders that need your immediate attention are your support and engineering teams.
Your support team is the face of your business post customer acquisition. Key business metrics including customer retention and customer satisfaction depend on how effective your support reps are.
At the same time, your engineering team is responsible for timely product releases, bug fixing, and feature development — services that end-users look forward to.
The Case for Collaboration
Customers often report support reps about bugs, missing documentation, or unintuitive functionalities. In such scenarios, support teams escalate cases to product owners; who are usually in charge of deciding which bugs should be resolved first and prioritizing releases.
Their job is rarely simple. The most frequent issues faced by your engineering heads or product owners are:
- Missing Information: An escalated case misses the necessary details required to understand an issue wholly.
- Lack of Interaction: Only a few engineers are in regular contact with support reps.
- Pushy Support Teams: Every support rep usually wants each bug to be resolved at the earliest.
Support agents’ life is also not easier. They usually have to:
- Run after engineers to check case status
- Switch from one internal chat tool to another to communicate with engineers
The results are usually:
- Inefficient business processes
- Low productivity
- Dissatisfied customers
3 Ways to Collaborate Faster
You can achieve different outcomes if you increase collaboration between support and engineering teams. Here are three ways:
1. Integrate Tools
If your support team manages cases in Salesforce Service Cloud and your engineering team uses Jira, then setting up a flexible, controlled, and secure connection is a way to enable collaboration.
The benefits of the bidirectional flow of information include:
- You can define the Salesforce fields that will be mandatory to escalate a case
- Support agents can share comments and attachments with engineers
- Product owners or engineering heads can better prioritize issues
- Engineers feel motivated to develop user-centric features when they have clear visibility into what customers are asking for
- Support reps receive updates on the cases without chasing engineers
- Support and engineering teams can link a case with an issue or an issue with a case for faster closure
2. Meet Once in a Week
Collaboration tools constitute just one way to optimize your processes. A human factor is still missing.
To understand the psyche of each other, both the teams should meet at least once a week. The meetings can be facilitated by SCRUM masters and help engineers and support reps understand the issues and perspectives of each other.
They will feel more connected if both teams understand the problems and complexities of each other. Thus, creating a win-win for both the teams and help them improve on targeted metrics.
3. Provide Extensive Product Training to Your Support Reps
Even the nicest support reps cannot rescue plummeting customer satisfaction rate (CSAT) if they have not been trained in your products and services.
While listening intently and being empathetic are critical skills, it takes more than that to resolve common customer issues. Spend time to train your reps.
One time training is rarely enough; it can be difficult to digest all the information at once and apply it at critical moments. You need a plan which involves:
- Pairing a new rep with an experienced one
- Encouraging reps to consult the knowledge base
- Providing easy information access to engineers and product developers
Customers rarely expect support reps to be as knowledgeable as Subject Matter Experts (SME), but they do count on quick service which a rep fudging through a support call or live chat cannot provide.
Your support reps will be perceived as more knowledgeable if they have been trained in your products and services and know whom to turn to when they need assistance. So, say yes to a more connected workplace.
Collaborating customer support and engineering teams on your mind? Sinergify is what you need!