Published by Rafa, January 7th, 2010
Before going deep into the matter, let me first of all introduce myself: I am Rafael Balzategui and I am leading the TechSupport team in Panda for the corporate products.
In the corporate market, where systems and infrastructure are becoming more and more complex, customers do expect problems. No matter if they outsource the maintenance and administration of their IT environments or they handle it by themselves, problems will show up. It is the way that we at TechSupport respond to these problems (customer angry) that can turn a problem into a business opportunity (customer happy). And let’s keep in mind that a happy customer tend to pay more, recommend your company and your products and is tolerant to other problems … at least, you get some initial credit with them. Moreover, it is said that more than five times more expensive to gain a new customer than to retain an existing one!
Ok then, at this point, we can agree that TechSupport is necessary and it returns value to our company, by keeping the customer happy. How to do this? In my opinion, the key point is to build trust with the customer and meet his expectations. But his expectations need to be aligned with what he has paid for. Easy to understand: if you buy a Fiat Cinquecento, you cannot expect to have the performance of a Ferrari F-50 and speed over 300 km/h. If you buy a product with standard support do not expect to get the response time or onsite support of a Premium or Platinum Support contract.
It is just a matter of being clear and honest with the customer. He has to know from the beginning, when he buys the product, the level of support he is getting jointly with the product itself. Some customers, due to the business they are running, might want to get stricter response times or a dedicated support engineer for example. That is fair and easy to understand. But these “gold expectations” must be paid services as skilled resources are expensive and limited. A Ferrari is more expensive than a Fiat, isn’t it?
And always from TechSupport we need to focus on meeting the agreed expectations with your customer. We need to be honest and communicate clearly, even if the customer is unrealistic or is sending out menaces. As long as we meet the agreement we have with the customer and he is aware of the service level agreement we have between him and us, he will end up being happy.
And as Albert Schweitzer said, “Happiness is the key to success”…