The term “customer support” is often used interchangeably with “customer service,” but customer support is actually a distinct branch of customer service. How a company manages support, from team members to technology, contributes to how an organization’s overall customer service is perceived, which can impact leads and client retention.
What is Customer Support?
Customer support refers to a company’s efforts to offer help and support with technology, usually to ensure software is working as expected. Support is about being readily prepared with a thorough and fast processes to troubleshoot problems that hinder customers’ ability to access the functionality of their technology. It is not shocking that technology has hiccups, but when things go awry, customer support is about having an effective plan to remedy a situation quickly with compassion.
Getting Your Team Involved
Equip all front facing staff with the knowledge and understanding to offer customer support. When property managers offer owners and tenants self-service portals, it is important that they’re not leaving their customers to be responsible for all of their property management needs on their own. When customer service teams have access to the same information as customers, front facing staff members can help owners and tenants to understand the functionality of their technology or assist with any transactions or processes they may not understand. Giving customers technology is about empowering owners and tenants, so it’s important that there is a safety net or contingency in place to assist, whether it’s teaching customers how to use their software or equipping property managers to be able to preform an action when owners and tenants are unable.
A Zendesk study found that 50% of customers prefer to solve service issues themselves without contacting customer service. Providing customers with self-service technology gives customers increased control over their property management accounts. If you are going to give owners and tenants the capability to act independently, it is important to follow suit and also give customers the knowledge to fix problems independently. A 2018 Forrester report suggests that customers prefer manuals, FAQs (frequently asked questions), or any other knowledge base that they can access on their own.
Collaborate with Technology Vendors
When an organization is looking for property management software, it can be helpful to narrow the search to focus on vendors that are willing to incorporate feedback to help companies provide their customers with software that really addresses their needs in a clear and user-friendly way. When a property management company works closely with a technology vendor, they can tailor the software to better adhere to customer needs, minimizing the need for support.
Customer support and customer service are not two separate ideas, they are inherently intertwined. To improve customer service and your company reputation, it’s important to methodically plan customer support by looking at the technology customers are equipped with and ensuring it is designed to be user friendly and accommodating. It’s also crucial to ensure everyone in your team is knowledgeable and capable support owners and tenants not just quickly but effectively.