Inside Brandwatch: Communication is a Support Team’s Greatest Tool Culture

By Dan Leonard on June 9th 2015

In my relatively short career I have found myself drawn to customer support roles, working for a range of companies in various different positions.

Where these departments and companies have prospered there has been one common theme – excellent communication.

Whilst this might sound like common sense for teams in direct contact with customers, the idea runs much deeper than just efficiently contacting clients where necessary.


Making first contact

Although customer support for web-based services is getting further away from the image of workers frantically swapping pins on a switchboard, there is still an element of that within the role.

A good support team will act as a hub, communicating a customer’s issues with their Account Manager, making sure they are prepared for their next call or meeting, or providing feedback to product and development teams – allowing for more efficient improvement to the product.

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This idea is transferrable to almost any customer-facing team, and communication is paramount to maintain solid working relationships between internal teams and providing confident and accurate support to clients.

Sometimes, though, the communication only flows in one direction. Not in the case of 360-degree feedback.


360-degree feedback

The term 360-degree feedback has crept into the everyday working lexicon over the last decade or so.

One-way communication is almost always pointless. If a client complains to a Customer Support team about an ongoing issue, and that concern is not passed on to the Account Manager, the next time the clients speak with their AM they will have to provide that information again – leading to an understandably frustrated client.

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But the communication should not stop there.

Even when that client has had a more than amicable conversation with their Account Manager, there will almost always be something in that conversation worth relaying to other departments – even if it is just to say that the client was happy with how the support team handled their issue.

We all like to think we are doing the best job we can, but to have it confirmed from the people that really matter is not just a great reward for the work you do, but also proves that the way you handled that situation was correct, and may be transferrable to other issues in the future.


Keeping up with reality

In the fast-moving world of social media there are always new problems appearing in how to collect or display the data that has become so important to our clients.

A prime example of this is the recent market-wide Facebook Graph API deprecation.

Here at Brandwatch the investigation into the impact of the loss of this Facebook data was communicated constantly by our coverage team, allowing our commercial teams to adjust their day-to-day work as appropriate, and in turn communicate these changes to our clients.

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There were also many questions from clients directed to our customer support team about how this would affect their data, and the mobility of our developers allowed us to confidently communicate on this matter with these clients.

Whilst the news may have been out of our control, the confidence afforded to us by the knowledge shared internally did at least put clients at ease that all could be done was being done to minimize loss of data.


Help us be better!

I’m going to end on a completely selfish note. Our users have invaluable insight into our application that no amount of QA testing can account for, which is exactly why we like to hear feature request suggestions from clients.

But feedback on the products and services we provide is not the only thing we want to hear.

Our Customer Support team here at Brandwatch have an excellent satisfaction rate based on feedback from our clients, but I would rather this score dropped slightly if it meant we were hearing from more of you.

There are always areas we can improve upon, and we are doing everything we can to recognize these internally. Feedback from you, from the people that keep us working, allows us to make changes that we know will be appreciated and will ultimately lead to a better customer experience for you.

So please, next time you receive a feedback email from us, take a moment to let us know how we did – so we can keep innovating and improving and helping you do your jobs better. We really, really appreciate it.



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Dan Leonard

@danleonard85

Daniel is the Head of Customer Support for Brandwatch. When he isn't busy making sure our clients are as happy as can be, he is dreaming of being Batman.