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Working effectively with a customer support team.

by Ibukunoluwa Ogundare
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Customer support has always been a very important aspect of the business from the very advent of businesses. Before call centers, social media, and technology tools that help provide FAQs, local business owners oftenknew their customers well. This is because the customer base was usually small and could easily be attended to. However, even then some of the needs of the customers were sometimes not attended to especially when they were unique needs of just one or few people.

Over time business people kept improving their customer experience and investing in great customer support to better serve the users. Today, the companies that are coming out on top are those that understand the Return on Investment (ROI) of great support and treat exceptional customer support as a feature instead of an inescapable cost.

Customer support is the act of providing timely, empathetic help that keeps customers’ needs at the forefront of every interaction. It is an all-encompassing role that plays a huge part in the entire customer lifecycle from acquisition to retention and by implication in the product life cycle.

This is why product managers need to have a great relationship with the customer support team. However, in a company that is not product-led, there are bound to be clashes between customer support and the product team although they are both defending the interest and servicing the users of customers.

Here are some tips to help a product manager work effectively with a customer support team;
  • A Product manager should always communicate the product strategy to the customer support team.
  • Ensuring the sales (Customer support) team understands the product strategy and roadmap. It is important that they understand these so they can correctly guide the individual on features to promise users. This will prevent issues like over-promising things that are not included in the product roadmap. This communication is very important.
  • Ensuring the sales team needs roadmaps to know how to entice the customers on the key things to be looking forward to.

The product team can also get feedback from the sales team on the feature the customers love the most. Evaluating this feedback will help the product team build better products. The customer support team-product team relationship is a very important relationship that should be maximized.

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