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What is customer service? It's More Than You Think (2024 Guide)

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What is customer service? It's More Than You Think (2024 Guide)
Venkatesan Gopal
Venkatesan Gopal

In the dynamic world of technology and SaaS businesses, success hinges on two pivotal elements: a groundbreaking product and exceptional customer service.

The journey begins with understanding different types of customer service. From personalized support to automated solutions, each type offers unique advantages and challenges. We'll explore these in detail, helping you identify the right blend for your business.

Beyond the methods lies the core objectives of customer service. It's not just about solving problems; it's about building lasting relationships with your customers. We'll delve into these objectives, guiding you to align your strategies with your customers' needs.

What is customer service?

Customer service is the act of taking care of the customer's needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer's requirements are met. Customer service is meeting the needs and desires of any customer.

Customer service is the help and support a company offers customers at every stage of buying and using its products or services. It includes guiding customers before they buy, helping during the purchase, and providing support after the sale.

This service is key to keeping customers happy and solving any issues with the product or service. Good customer service leads to satisfied customers and can help a business grow by building a loyal customer base.

From addressing inquiries and solving problems to getting the desired results, it is about ensuring customer satisfaction and enhancing overall CX.

The goal

Contrary to conventional belief, customer service’s primary goal is not limited to solving issues but to fostering a positive relationship that eventually impacts the bottom line. Here’s how you can deliver good customer service on every step of the product and customer journey.

  • Product adaptation: Helping customers make the most of your product and its features.
  • Onboard: Ensuring customers have a smooth start and understand the basics.
  • Train: Providing resources and guidance to empower users.
  • Minimize churn: Address concerns and resolve issues promptly to prevent customers from leaving.

The impact

Customer service has the potential to make or break your business because it is often the deciding factor in a buying decision.

In May 2022, in a study of consumer attitudes and behavior on customer service, Statista found that –

94% of responding customers purchased again because of positive customer service experience.

Source: Statista.

Revenue growth: The smarter the investment, the higher the revenue

Customer service is not an expense but an investment, and making it smart is essential to scale your revenue. Listen to your customers – their challenges, goals, and even results, and use this data to improve your customer service and support strategy.

For example, responsive customer service agents of a business using a comprehensive system like DevRev’s OneCRM can identify common queries faced by their current customers and then incorporate their resolutions in the onboarding and ongoing training for the new customers seamlessly.

DevRev OneCRM
DevRev OneCRM

DevRev OneCRM

Go beyond simple ticketing. Use the power of GPT & Analytics to transform customer support

Churn reduction: The happier the customers, the lower the churn rate

Customer service plays a huge role in reducing churn, which refers to customers leaving for competitors. Prompt issue resolution and effective support keep customers loyal.

Imagine this: A subscription-based SaaS product has received a query regarding a streaming feature’s navigation. The support team walks them through the process in the simplest manner or resolves it for them swiftly, resulting in higher satisfaction. Every and most customer queries handled in such a prompt and timely manner result in a lower churn rate.

In contrast to the above example, consider a company that keeps its customers waiting in long queues and fails to prioritize efficient customer service. If customers are kept waiting for a simple answer, the frustration level mounts. This lack of timely resolution and responsiveness leads to customer dissatisfaction, delivering a negative experience. If customers are constantly experiencing negative experiences, then it will not only decrease the value of the product but also escalate the churn rate. Therefore, providing efficient and effective customer support to retain your customers and maintain a positive brand reputation.

Customer retention: The higher the customer satisfaction, the higher the renewals

Exceptional customer service helps build strong and long-term customer relationships, increasing customer retention. Happy customers are more likely to make additional purchases, explore premium services, and share more referrals.

Brand reputation: The happier the customer, the more glowing the reviews

Positive service experiences turn customers into brand advocates. When customers speak to their peers about your product and services, sharing how you assisted them in achieving their goals, they recommend others to use your brand through word of mouth. On the other hand, bad customer service can result in negative reviews, too.

What are the essential skills to deliver great customer experiences

Building a skilled and dynamic team can be challenging; however, when you know which skills to look out for, it can be the most exciting project. Exceptional tech support hinges on a skill combination of technical know-how and empathetic communication across various types of customer service.

Practice and update technical expertise

A comprehensive understanding of technology, products, and tools, along with the ability to navigate and troubleshoot.

Companies must have tech-savvy customer support agents with a natural interest in technology so that they can understand your products in-depth and assist your customers in resolving technical issues, enhancing their overall customer experience.

Today’s customers know what outstanding customer service is. Brands such as Apple, Amazon, Chick-fil-A, etc., have raised the bar too, and your customers expect the same from other brands.

Tips to enhance technical knowledge

  • Encourage learning through training and certifications
  • Provide hands-on experience with the company’s products
  • Foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing within the team
  • Promote regular participation in tech conferences and webinars
  • Develop a structured process for learning from customer interactions

For example, Apple has created an ecosystem to make sure that their customers receive support and assistance on a platform they are comfortable with in-store, online, and in forums. In addition to creating user-friendly products, they go the extra mile to make their customers feel valued and comfortable.

Apple store customer support: Apple's in-store ‘Genius Bar’ offers customers the opportunity to interact with Apple's experts, who provide technical support, troubleshooting, and advice on Apple products.

AppleCare support: Apple offers phone support and online customer care through AppleCare, where customers can get assistance from Apple professionals for technical issues, product information, and troubleshooting.

Online community forums: Apple hosts online community forums where customers can ask questions and seek help from both Apple professionals and fellow users, fostering a sense of community.

Develop product and system mastery

A thorough understanding of the features, updates, and common challenges associated with the products your tech company supports.

Customers expect quick and accurate solutions, and this is where product knowledge shines. When your team is equipped with the system knowledge, they can guide your customers efficiently, instilling confidence in your products and gaining trust.

Tips to enhance product mastery

  • Provide comprehensive training on the systems, products, and tools
  • Encourage them to explore the products on their own to develop system expertise
  • Encourage experimenting with the product to diagnose problems
  • Regularly conduct case studies and training sessions focused on real-time technical issues
  • Encourage learning from the replicating issues and, more importantly, identifying the root cause

Master technical problem-solving

The capability to methodically tackle intricate and complex technical issues quickly and efficiently.

Problem-solving abilities are important for providing good customer service. These skills enable your team to break down complex problems into manageable steps, systematically resolve issues, and ensure customers leave with solutions, creating a seamless and satisfying user experience.

Tips to enhance problem-solving skills

  • Develop a structured problem-solving framework for your team
  • Encourage creative thinking and collaboration in tackling issues
  • Conduct case studies and training sessions centered on real-world technical problems
  • Implement a feedback loop to learn from resolved issues and improve future responses

Practice effective communication

The ability to convey complex technical information clearly and empathetically.

Good communication simply means breaking down the tech talk. Considering that not everyone is tech-savvy, tech companies need to convey the most complex tech information in a way that resonates with their customers. In this way, effective communication becomes your bridge to understanding and satisfaction.

Tips to improve communication skills:

  • Offer communication training for your support team
  • Encourage active listening and empathy in all customer interactions
  • Create a knowledge base of simplified answers to common customer queries
  • Implement a feedback loop to refine communication strategies continuously
  • Encourage team members to seek customer feedback for ongoing improvement

After preparing your teams to deliver good customer service, the next step is to set up your service channels. Here’s a detailed guide covering the major channels for tech companies.

What are the key customer service channels?

Every customer service platform caters to users' needs uniquely. When deciding on the support channels to provide, consider how your customers currently interact with you and identify any communication gaps that could be addressed by introducing an omnichannel service.

Here are some of the commonly used channels for customer service:

✉️ Email support

Email support is valuable for multiple reasons, including convenience, privacy, and efficiency, impacting the Customer Lifetime Value (CMV) among all other types of customer service.

It is one of the most frequently utilized mediums to deliver customer service in the tech space. This is due to its capability to handle complex issues requiring in-depth research and detailed information, showcasing why customer service is important in maintaining strong customer relations and satisfaction. In contrast, other social media channels often lack detailed problem descriptions, impacting their effectiveness in resolving complex issues.

Advantages

  • Time flexibility: Customers can explain their problems in detail, and a customer service agent can take their time to provide accurate solutions.
  • Record keeping: Email threads create a record for future reference and audit.
  • Scalability: Email can efficiently handle a large volume of customer inquiries, making it suitable for tech and SaaS companies with diverse customer bases.
  • Accessibility: Email can be accessed from various devices, providing flexibility for both customers and customer service agents.

Disadvantages

  • Slower response: It’s not suitable for urgent queries.
  • Possible delays: Replies may be delayed, affecting customer satisfaction.
  • Potential for miscommunication: Written communication can sometimes lack the nuances of tone and facial expressions, leading to potential misunderstandings.
  • Spam and junk: Email inboxes often receive a significant amount of spam, making it possible for customer inquiries to get lost or overlooked.

Integration tips

  • Recognize email as a core customer service channel and promote its use on your website and in customer support materials.
  • Set up autoresponders and automation rules to efficiently handle incoming emails, categorize inquiries, and manage expectations.
  • Establish service-level agreements for email response and resolution times, ensuring consistency and quality in email support.
  • Integrate email into your helpdesk system for organized, prioritized, and personalized customer interactions.
  • Integrate email into your helpdesk system for organized, prioritized, and personalized customer interactions.

💬 Chat conversations

Chat conversations via text message facilitate rapid customer service interactions between businesses and customers. This mode of communication ensures swift problem resolution, instant support, and an overall enhancement in customer experiences, showcasing the efficiency of customer service automation.

Using the live chat feature, companies can deliver top-notch service, address concerns promptly, and reduce customer churn. Considering that it is a real-time communication channel, it helps in building strong customer relationships and ensuring customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers are more inclined to maintain brand loyalty, affecting revenue and customer retention rate directly.

Advantages

  • Immediate assistance: Your customers can receive real-time solutions, enhancing their experience.
  • Multi-tasking: Agents can efficiently handle multiple chats, improving productivity.
  • Record keeping: Chat transcripts serve as records for future reference and quality assurance.
  • Proactive engagement: Agents can initiate conversations with customers, offering support before issues escalate.
  • AI: Chat can be managed by an AI to a certain extent via chatbot, freeing up your time and resources.

Disadvantages

  • Limited complexity: Complex inquiries may require more time and detailed explanations.
  • Availability: It may not be suitable for 24/7 support due to agent availability.

Integration tips

  • Use chat for quick issue resolution and real-time assistance.
  • Integrate chatbots to handle routine queries and provide immediate responses.
  • Train agents for effective chat communication, emphasizing clarity and empathy.
  • Implement proactive chat invitations to engage customers on your website.
  • Monitor chat performance to improve response times and customer satisfaction continually.

👩‍🔧 Self-service materials

Self-service empowers customers to find solutions independently through knowledge bases, FAQs, and tutorials. The materials act as a backbone of customer support.

They provide users with the tools to navigate and solve problems independently, so they are not only convenient but also reduce the workload on support teams. Also, it makes customers feel empowered, enabling companies to foster a sense of autonomy and confidence among their user base, ultimately leading to increased customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Advantages

24/7 accessibility: Customers can access information anytime, enhancing convenience.

Cost-efficient: Reduces the need for agent intervention in routine inquiries.

Empowerment: Allows customers to find answers at their own pace, promoting self-sufficiency.

Analytics: Gather insights on customer needs and frequently asked questions for ongoing improvement.

Disadvantages

Limited complex solutions: May not suffice for intricate or unique issues.

Content maintenance: Requires continuous updating and quality control.

Learning curve: Some customers may struggle to navigate self-service resources.

Integration tips

  • Create a user-friendly and well-organized knowledge base
  • Implement search functions to help customers quickly find relevant information
  • Use analytics to identify areas where self-service can be enhanced or expanded
  • Continually update and improve content to address changing customer needs

Continually update and improve content to address changing customer needs.

🌐 Online community engagement

Online communities are customer service channels where customers can seek help from each other, discuss products, and share knowledge. They are like virtual hubs that provide a platform for users to discuss, share, and connect on similar challenges and their solutions.

The community fosters collaboration, support, and a sense of belonging among participants. In addition to the product or software, it allows users to connect on other industry-related and non-related matters with like-minded people.

Advantages

  • Peer support: Customers can benefit from the experiences and solutions of other users.
  • Engagement: Builds a sense of community and customer loyalty.
  • Expert contributions: Experts or brand representatives can provide official guidance.
  • User-generated content: Customers generate valuable content that benefits others.
  • Reduced workload: Decreases the burden on customer service representatives for routine inquiries.

Disadvantages

Limited control: Moderation is essential to manage the quality and accuracy of information.

Time-intensive: Building and maintaining a community can be resource-intensive.

Limited to active users: Not all customers may actively participate in the community.

Integration tips

  • Facilitate community engagement by creating forums or discussion boards.
  • Appoint community managers or moderators to ensure quality and compliance.
  • Recognize and reward active community members for their contributions.
  • Use user-generated content to enhance self-service resources.
  • Encourage customers to join the community through targeted communication.

🗣 Social media interactions

Customers often lean towards social media for support, given the substantial time they spend online. They offer an immediate avenue for handling questions, solving problems, and gathering instant feedback.

Additionally, engaging on social media provides a clear and timely method for customer support, improving the overall experience and allowing businesses to foster deeper connections with their customers

Advantages

  • Reach and visibility: Connect with a broad audience and boost brand visibility.
  • Real-time interaction: Respond to customer inquiries quickly and publicly.
  • Feedback collection: Gather valuable feedback and insights for product improvement.

Disadvantages

  • Limited privacy: Conversations are public, making it challenging to handle sensitive information.
  • Volume: Managing a high volume of inquiries can be overwhelming.
  • Negative feedback: Negative comments or complaints can impact brand reputation.
  • Quick response expectations: Customers often expect rapid responses on social media.

Integration tips

  • Set up dedicated social media customer support profiles for quick responses.
  • Monitor brand mentions and customer inquiries using social listening tools.
  • Train support agents in social media communication best practices.
  • Prepare responses for common queries to ensure timely customer engagement.
  • Address negative feedback professionally and seek resolutions offline when necessary.

While you decide which service channel to pick, understand what customer service is in simpler terms and prepare your strategy accordingly.

What are the interaction steps?

Customer service communication is an integral part of any business because that has a direct impact on how customers perceive the brand.

Here is a recent survey result shared by Statista on how customer service directly influences buyers.

In addition to building a strong interaction strategy, you can also learn effective customer service techniques for exceptional satisfaction. Let’s understand the interaction steps with a real-time example.

Consider this scenario: your customer is inquiring about the availability of a software feature. Here’s how your response can influence their perception.

I'm sorry, that feature is currently unavailable, and we have no ETA on when it'll be ready.

Or

I appreciate your interest in the feature. While it's not available now, we're actively working on it. If you'd like, we can notify you as soon as it's released, ensuring you're among the first to access it.

The way you convey the information matters. In the second example, it feels like you're making an extra effort to help your customer make the best use of your particular product.

Here are the essential tips to follow during support interaction from phase one: greeting to the last phase: follow up.

Greet friendly

Warmly welcome and engage with customers from the beginning of your interaction. It will set the tone for a positive and personalized customer experience. Example-

David (customer): Hello, I'm having trouble with your software.

John (agent): Hi there, David! I'm here to help you with that. I'm sorry to hear you're facing issues. Let's work together to get this sorted out.

This friendly greeting personalizes the interaction and brings in the human element that automated responses miss. Also, makes the customer feel valued and more at ease. Incorporating such personalized elements is essential in maintaining the human connection amidst customer service automation.

Tips –

  • Use the customer's name if available
  • Employ conversational language
  • Show genuine enthusiasm to assist

Listen actively to issues

Pay close attention to customers’ concerns and needs during the conversation. It will help you make your customer feel heard and resolve their issues faster and better. Example-

David (customer): This feature doesn't work as expected.

John (agent): I appreciate you bringing this up. Could you please tell me more about what's happening with the feature? I'm here to listen and help.

A foolproof way of connecting with your customer would be to step into your customer's shoes and use the power of empathy in customer service.

Tips –

  • Maintain active listening throughout the conversation.
  • Ask clarifying questions to understand the problem better.

Diagnose issues

Identify and understand the customer’s problem. Ask follow-up questions. Example-

David (customer): When I try to use this feature, it either doesn’t work or the system crashes when I try to open it.

John (agent): Thank you for letting me know, David. Let's figure out why it is crashing for you. I'll guide you through some troubleshooting steps to diagnose the issue.

Tips –

  • Systematically identify potential causes.
  • Suggest diagnostic steps clearly.

Provide clear explanations

Break down complex technical problems into simpler terms for customer understanding. You can offer comprehensive and straightforward explanations for solutions and recommendations. Example–

Example –

David (customer): Thanks for guiding me but I don't find it in this setting.

John (agent): I understand, David. Let's simplify it. This setting controls [plain language explanation]. Does that make it clearer for you?

When you are breaking down the tech talk, be patient and strike the right chord to master customer service voice and tone.

Tips –

  • Use analogies or metaphors if needed.
  • Ensure the customer grasps the simplified explanation.
  • Offer examples or contexts if required.

Set up training sessions

Offer guidance on additional training or resources to help the customer become proficient with the software or service.

Example

David (Customer): It is working for now. But I would like to know how exactly can I use these three features collectively.

John (Agent): No problem, David! We can schedule a training session to walk you through it. How does next week sound?

Tips –

  • Suggest other solutions too, like setting up training.
  • Ensure the customer's comfort with the idea.

Follow-up

Conclude the interaction with a commitment to the customer's satisfaction and a follow-up plan.

David (customer): Yes, that will be great. Thanks for your assistance!

John (agent):

Tips –

  • Show appreciation for the customer's time.
  • Mention the follow-up to provide assurance.

Client service is the revenue driver, and communication is your booster. When your customer reaches out to you, they are actively engaging with your brand. Therefore, the one on one interactions during this process are going to leave a lasting impression, and solving customer issues in a timely manner in this scenario is not only going to make your customers happy but also loyal.

Which tech companies have the best customer service? (with examples)

Giant tech companies like Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Amazon have set really high standards for helping their customers. In this section of the blog, we'll show you what makes their customer service so great and give you takeaways to make your own customer service better. We'll also talk about a few important things they do well, like being really helpful and quick in solving problems and providing stellar support.

Amazon’s obsessive-compulsive approach

Amazon has achieved success through a combination of strengths, standout support offerings, and a commitment to delivering unparalleled service.

From the founder –

Jeff Bezos said the 'secret sauce' to Amazon's success is an 'obsessive-compulsive focus' on customers over a competitor

To the employees –

Amazon’s six customer service tenets are posted everywhere in its offices.

Amazon's reputation for outstanding customer service is not just a claim; it's a demonstrated reality. How? They prioritize fast and reliable shipping, often exceeding customer expectations with same-day or next-day deliveries. Their responsive customer support team ensures swift resolution of issues, be it tracking a missing package or handling product returns. In addition, the exclusive services for its Prime members are the most well-structured offering by a company today. They put the customer first every step of the way.

Takeaway: Put your customers first.

Apple’s community approach

Apple's customer loyalty is a testament to its excellence. It is among the top brands for creating cult-like movements and communities.

Apple's customer service goes beyond transactional interactions, focusing on building a loyal user community. Steve Jobs envisioned Apple's products as tools to ‘enrich people's lives.’ This vision fosters Apple's commitment to user-centric design and seamless integration.

And then, Apple has skillfully nurtured a community that fosters a sense of belonging and shared experiences among its customers. By focusing on user-centric design, seamless integration, and regular updates, Apple has established a level of trust that engenders genuine affinity for its products.

With 1.5 million followers on X and many more on various platforms, Apple is known for building a cult-like community.

Takeaway: Build a strong community and stay committed to a seamless product experience.

Salesforce’s proactive approach

Salesforce has built a strong force of customer service that helps customers fulfill their business goals seamlessly. They deliver top-tier customer service through several key practices.

  • They excel in proactive issue identification and resolution, ensuring customer needs are met before problems arise.
  • The dedicated support teams exhibit an exceptional level of product knowledge, enabling them to promptly address inquiries.
  • The company prioritizes ongoing training and comprehensive self-help resources, empowering users to find solutions independently.
  • They have built online communities.

In addition, they have created a user-centric product. An easy-to-use interface and regular updates simplify the customer experience.

Takeaway: Build a strong customer support strategy and team.

Microsoft’s innovation-first approach

Microsoft's exceptional customer service is a driving force behind the loyalty of its customers. Several key factors contribute to this are:

  • Efficient support channels
  • Timely updates and fixes
  • Extensive self-help resources
  • User-focused design
  • Community engagement

One of the classic examples is Microsoft Ignite, an annual conference for developers and IT professionals hosted by Microsoft. It has been taking place in several locations around the world since 1993.

Takeaway: Innovate for your customers.

Customer support: then and now

From the 1990s to 2000, customer relationships were largely transactional. Support was often an afterthought for companies, and customers were left to self-service. Fast forward to today, and customer service has become a key growth driver for tech companies and a crucial consumer deciding element.

Today, exceptional customer support is not an added bonus; it is a decisive factor influencing customer loyalty and brand reputation.

Information is at our fingertips, and technology influences nearly every aspect of our lives. Therefore, customers expect nothing less than immediate and reliable solutions.

Moreover, the evolution of customer support is a reflection of changing customer needs fueled by innovations in technology and shifting consumer behavior. Learn all about the evolution of customer support and why it is time to rethink its role again.

As we journey through this dynamic landscape, it is essential to analyze the role of customer support. Tech companies, irrespective of their size, must adapt to the new expectations and leverage technology to provide a seamless self-service experience while retaining the human touch when required. Let’s look at the standard customer service ecosystem and the roles of the professionals.

Overview of the tech customer service ecosystem

The tech customer service ecosystem combines technology, personal interaction, and ongoing refinement to boost the customer experience. With technological advancements, the realm of customer service in the tech sector also transforms, highlighting the need to remain current and flexible.

Who are tech customer service representatives?

A customer service team in a tech company typically has support positions like customer support engineer, success manager, solution architect, etc. In this section of the blog, we will cover their unique responsibilities, the skills they require, the salary bracket, and the training needed. To learn more about customer service agents, read The silent heroes of business success: customer service professionals.

1️⃣ Customer support engineer

Customer support engineers are the frontline heroes of technical support. They are in customer-facing positions and serve as the primary point of contact for customers, assisting them with inquiries, issues, and technical glitches before, during, and after product use.

Key Responsibilities

  • Troubleshooting technical problems
  • Resolving software glitches
  • Ensuring a smooth user onboarding experience
  • Explaining complex concepts in user-friendly terms

Required skills

  • A deep understanding of the product
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to adapt to evolving technology
  • Empathy and patience

Training needed

Typically, customer support engineers require training in the product and customer service best practices. They may benefit from technical courses or certifications.

Salary bracket

Salaries vary based on experience, but Customer Support Engineers can earn an average annual salary in the range of $67K - $107K, with opportunities for growth as they gain expertise.

2️⃣ Success manager

Success managers ensure customers derive maximum value from a product or service. They establish and maintain strong relationships with clients, helping them achieve their goals and objectives.

Responsibilities

  • Understand and analyze customer needs and objectives.
  • Formulate tailored solutions to help customers achieve their goals.
  • Track and monitor customer progress, ensuring satisfaction.
  • Act as a point of contact for customers, addressing their queries and concerns.
  • Play a crucial role in retaining and upselling existing customers.

Required skills

  • Strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills.
  • Deep product or service knowledge.
  • Analytical capabilities to identify growth opportunities.
  • Problem-solving abilities to overcome obstacles.
  • Excellent communication, both written and verbal.

Training needed

Training for success managers often includes product knowledge, customer relationship management, and sales techniques. Continuous learning is vital in this role.

Salary bracket

From $79K - $125K or more, depending on the complexity of the role, industry, and experience.

3️⃣ Solutions architect

Solutions architects are technical experts who design and implement complex solutions for clients. They bridge the gap between business requirements and technical capabilities.

Responsibilities

  • Assess customer requirements and understand their technical needs.
  • Develop technical solutions that align with business goals.
  • Ensure successful project execution and delivery.
  • Act as a bridge between the technical team and the customer.
  • Play a pivotal role in pre-sales and post-sales support.

Required skills

  • Profound technical expertise in the product or service.
  • Exceptional problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
  • Strong communication and presentation abilities.
  • Strategic thinking and the ability to align technical solutions with business objectives.

Training needed

Typically, solutions architects have a strong technical background and may require additional training in specific software or systems. Certifications may be beneficial.

Salary bracket

From $107K to $169K or more, based on experience and specialization.

4️⃣ Technical account manager

Technical account managers (TAMs) act as liaisons between customers and a company's technical teams. They ensure that customers' technical needs are met effectively.

Responsibilities

  • Understand and document customer technical requirements.
  • Coordinate and oversee the delivery of technical solutions.
  • Provide ongoing technical support and issue resolution.
  • Act as a liaison between customers and the technical team.
  • Build and maintain strong customer relationships.

Required Skills

  • In-depth technical knowledge related to the product or service.
  • Excellent communication and relationship-building skills.
  • Project management abilities.
  • Customer-centric approach and empathy.
  • Problem-solving skills to address technical challenges.

Training needed

Training typically involves gaining expertise in the product or service, project management skills, and customer relationship management. Technical certifications can be advantageous.

Salary bracket

From $75K to $123K or more, contingent on experience and the technical complexity of the role.

5️⃣ Customer service manager

Customer Service Managers oversee and lead customer support teams. They are responsible for ensuring the team delivers high-quality service and meets customer needs.

Responsibilities

  • Manage and lead a customer support team, ensuring its performance.
  • Evaluate team members and provide feedback and coaching.
  • Implement process improvements to enhance the customer service experience.
  • Develop and execute strategic plans to meet customer service objectives.
  • Serve as an escalation point for complex customer issues.

Required skills

  • Strong leadership and team management skills.
  • Effective communication, both internally and externally.
  • Problem-solving abilities to address team and customer challenges.
  • Deep understanding of customer service principles and best practices.
  • Decision-making skills to guide the team and improve processes.

Training needed

Training for this role often includes leadership and management courses, customer service training, and industry-specific knowledge.

Salary range

Customer Service Managers' salaries can range from $42K to $66K or more, depending on the size of the team and industry.

Which training is required for tech agents?

Your tech customer service agent is the real-time debugger of the customer experience, addressing glitches and issues to keep the system running smoothly for users. They can turn your users into loyal customers.

In order to fulfill their primary goals, they need to undergo product and system training on a regular basis to keep updated. In this section, we will discover effective training methods like hands-on workshops, hackathons, and online courses to improve customer service skills.

  • Prioritize ongoing training

Make training an important part of your weekly/monthly routine. Stay on top of the latest resources like webinars, workshops, and conferences to explore new product features and the latest troubleshooting methods.

  • Attend workshops and seminars

Workshops and seminars provide valuable hands-on learning experiences. Consider joining workshops focusing on IT infrastructure management or seminars dedicated to emerging customer service trends. These sessions foster a deeper understanding of complex tech solutions. Attending a cybersecurity workshop, for example, allows you to explore the intricacies of digital security and apply this knowledge to support your product users effectively.

  • Participate in hackathons and experiments

Hackathons are like tech challenges but fun, allowing you to experiment with innovative solutions. Engaging in hackathons such as those organized by Google or Microsoft exposes you to real-world problem-solving and keeps your skills sharp. Remember, experimentation is crucial to stay adaptive in tech support.

  • Take online courses

Online courses are a flexible and accessible way to advance your knowledge. Consider enrolling in platforms like Coursera or Udemy, offering specialized tech courses.

  • Ask for coaching and feedback

Requesting coaching and feedback is essential for skills development. Seek guidance from experienced mentors or colleagues, and actively incorporate their input into your work. For instance, asking for feedback from senior tech agents can help you refine your customer service techniques and become more user-oriented.

To learn about training for tech agents in detail, dive into tech training best practices.

What are the primary tech customer support metrics?

The right metrics tell you the right improvements.

Think of customer support metrics as the dashboard in your car. They show how fast you're going, how much fuel you have left, and if everything's running smoothly. Just like you need the dashboard to drive safely, businesses need metrics to provide better customer service experiences. It helps them track performance and make improvements for a smoother ride.

Let’s identify the right metrics for tech and SaaS companies and understand them in detail.

  • Customer churn, or attrition, is a critical metric indicating the rate at which customers stop using a company's product or service. High churn signals potential issues with customer satisfaction or product quality, highlighting the need for customer retention strategies to maintain a healthy customer base.

A SaaS company experiences a decline in renewals among customers who face difficulties with product integration, indicating a need for improved onboarding and support.

Customer satisfaction gauges the level of contentment customers have with a company's products or services. Measured through surveys and feedback, it's a key indicator of how well a business is meeting customer expectations and delivering a positive experience.

First contact resolution (FCR) measures the ability of customer support to resolve issues in a single interaction. A high FCR rate indicates efficient and effective service, reducing customer effort and fostering satisfaction.

Average handle time (AHT) reflects the average duration it takes for customer service representatives to handle a customer inquiry or issue. Striking a balance between swift resolution and comprehensive support is vital to maintain high-quality service.

For example, a customer service chatbot responds to user queries within seconds, keeping AHT to a minimum while effectively resolving routine issues.

The onboarding completion rate signifies how many customers successfully complete the initial setup or training process for a product or service. A high rate demonstrates effective onboarding, ensuring customers can maximize the value of what they've acquired.

For example, a fitness app observes a surge in user sign-ups, with 80% of new customers completing their fitness profile setup, indicating a positive onboarding process.

Optimize your customer service approach and set up your company for success

Customer service is not just a department; it's a strategic asset that can differentiate your company and drive sustainable growth.

By understanding your customers, communicating effectively, and utilizing their feedback, you can foster a loyal user base, enhance your product, and remain competitive in a fast-paced market.

Put your users at the center of your strategy, train your team to excel in their roles, and continuously refine your approach based on the valuable feedback you receive.
Explore the best customer support tools to power your support team and win your customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

The five important customer service qualities include empathy, communication, adaptability, patience, and problem-solving.

In its best form, customer service is characterized by adopting a customer-first approach. Brands must go above and beyond to meet customers' needs, anticipate their requirements, and engage them proactively.

Good customer service can increase loyalty, give brands a competitive advantage, drive positive word-of-mouth, and improve retention.

Venkatesan Gopal
Venkatesan Gopal

Venkatesan Gopal is a growth marketer at DevRev, specializing in driving business growth through innovative marketing strategies.