With late August comes back-to-school. For the next few weeks, instructors will spend time reviewing some nuggets of knowledge that their students likely forgot during summer. And so, in that same spirit of learning and review, let’s look at one of the basic elements of customer support: the Service Level Agreement (SLA) and, equally important, how to avoid SLA non-compliance.
Does your business provide customer support or customer service?
Prior to doing a little research, I freely interchanged the phrases “customer support” and “customer service.” I’ll confess: it’s not something that keeps me awake at night. While I found no official definitions (because I don’t consider Wikipedia official), BusinessDictionary.com does a good job of defining the two phrases. Take a look at how they distinguish between the two:
It’s common knowledge that many older Americans regularly turn to their grandchildren to solve the mysteries of the digital age. Youngsters are incredibly adept at working remote controls, setting up streaming services, or figuring out how to use mobile applications. The younger the child, the more it makes for a great story that gets shared on social media because, face it—many older people can relate and it’s a cute story.
Of the many qualities a customer service agent needs to be at the top of their game, two of the most important are passion and friendliness.
Live Chat and self-help are the preferred methods of support for many people and certainly of Millennials. So why not just forego the whole customer phone support thing, anyway? After all, it’s expensive and resource-intensive; customer support agents can’t multitask when they’re on the phone and you wouldn’t want them to do that anyway. Perhaps Bob in Accounting would like to see you cut operating expenses and doing away with phone support would help the profit margins. What could it hurt, getting rid of the support number?
If there’s one thing I love about the boom of virtual service industries, it’s the emergence of services like Airbnb. I love being able to rent a room in somebody’s home instead of staying in a hotel room. To me, it just feels a lot more personal and it allows me to get a better feel for the city I’m visiting. Sometimes I want to see more than a row of chain hotels, accompanied by a row of chain restaurants.