Chris Taylor returns to help me figure out how a varied approach to support can drive value for the business.
I’d love your thoughts on this episode! Comment below, and like/love/share/support if you found this inspiring, thought-provoking, or useful!
Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 111 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is the scope of support. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome back to the podcast today Chris Taylor. Chris, it’s lovely to have you back this week. We’re talking about support remit. And to me this, this means a number of things. I know we had a little chat about this before. But to me support remit is a kind of slightly fancy way maybe putting what your support team should and shouldn’t be doing and how you maybe how you Define that or advocate that those decisions advocate your team in this respect. What are your thoughts on that?
Chris Taylor 1:08
So I think I’ve got two perspectives of what support remit could mean, I think I agree with you. One is, what is within the power of a support team? How much freedom Do you give your frontline people to make decisions advocate for the customer push stuff through? So that’s definitely one aspect. And then the second is, what is the remit of support as it relates to the rest of the business? So how does support, influence and support marketing? How does it support the product? How can we take all the knowledge and learning that we gain out of support tickets and speaking with customers and feed that into product design and marketing strategy and all of these type of things? So those are my kind of two rough definitions of it, I think.
Charlotte Ward 1:53
Yeah, I think you’re right. I think from for me that that second part that you mentioned exactly how simple support, where support fits like what the lines of that jigsaw piece are? Terrible analogy, but in terms of how it fits with the with the other parts of the business and like how what’s the responsibility that support has in relationship to those other parts of business? Right?
Chris Taylor 2:18
I mean, it’s, for me, it’s a tricky one. I’ve worked in big call centres where you are the bridge between Product Marketing and every other team. And now I’m in a SaaS company or a technology company. It’s exactly the same support sets bang in the middle of product marketing. And it’s sort of the place where you can gather insights, all of these different areas. So for example, marketing we do well, I feed into specific campaigns around support, I write content, I promote our site, make sure our key metrics are kept up to date so we can use sites to support pushing out just good, good themes and good news about our frame. The second thing is we regularly Sort of half is customer data, the feedback and themes from tickets. And we feed that all into product, we set up meetings between clients and the product team when we’re developing new features. And so I think supports a really good place to, to channel that customer voice in that customer information. And then to me, being a good support leader means that you can translate that data and make it useful for the rest of the business you can prove support is not cost centre, and that the rest of the business can get a return on investment from there being a support team that purely just through that analysis, the data points that you can pull out and you know, a good customer experience. People will talk about that. So another benefit.
Charlotte Ward 3:44
Yeah, absolutely. And actually, everything that you just said there is really quite a wide remit. I mean, it’s it’s, it’s that freedom to be able to do all of the things you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the country. traditional view of support, which is that kind of call centre environment agents just picking up the phone, putting down the phone, sticking to a script and not doing anything else. And then, you know, leadership and managing that very operationally.
Chris Taylor 4:14
I think in support, we’ve been seen as a call centre for a very long time. So especially call centre environment, you’re just seen as a money drain or money sink, you don’t get any value out of it. It’s just something you have to do. And I think it’s on us as leaders to go into these businesses and prove the value of support. prove the data points that you need to prove like our performance is good that drives this. We hit five star support ratings every year consistently. What does that mean for our customers? Yeah, I think it’s on the leader of a support team to be thinking more outside the box and that plays into the stakeholder engagement and managing expectations from other departments. There’s a lot of value in support, a good leader will know how to operationalize that and feed it into the relevant places to drive it for the whole business.
Charlotte Ward 5:08
Hmm. And it’s absolutely getting away from that that model isn’t it? It’s, it’s taking on more frankly, it is, you know, because you have to, to, to, even if it’s still quite operational, you still have to have a kind of level of creativity and, and drive that says, You know what, I’m not just going to hunker down and stick with the core job, we actually have to do these other things. And that, therefore, effectively increases your remit because you get your fingers in so many more pies on here. I think
Chris Taylor 5:41
it’s a step, a natural leadership step to me and support. So generally, you’ll have like a team manager and support Customer Support Manager who looks after your frontline. You might be performing that role as well as the strategic role as well for a while but eventually you’ll just have to become less operational or Looking at a more high level and pushing yourself into strategic things, but I think it’s a skill to be learned. I manage teams directly for ages. I wasn’t thinking about strategy or it’s just doing the individual moments. And now I’ve moved into more strategic more business orientated more. Look at wide ranging, I think. Yeah, I think it’s a skill to be learned, but definitely a useful one to have.
Charlotte Ward 6:25
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Do you think just as a final pieces to this then do you think that there are things that we should say no to? I support leaders. So just for our teams, or teams?
Chris Taylor 6:44
Hmm, yes, absolutely. I think Unfortunately, the more you become a leader, you’re more the start to realise that you have to represent the interests of the business right? So to me, that is is what this Whatever this proposal might be from the team, or whatever they ask is, will it drive value to the business? Will it just drive value to the team? I don’t know. If it’s like, for example, a well being proposal, and it makes the team healthier, happier, etc, that’s going to drive both. There’ll be a return on investment, the team will be more productive, blah, blah, blah. So if our very much depends how it comes to me how its proposed what it is. But yeah, you can’t you can’t just be saying yes to everything. But I think
Charlotte Ward 7:28
Yeah, that’s a fine balance. Absolutely. Awesome. Thank you so much. All right. Well, there we go. That’s that one down. So that’s it for today. Go to customer support leaders.com forward slash 111 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.
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