More than Support

March 25, 2016

When people ask me what I do I tell them “I’m in the support department at…”. This unfortunately doesn’t capture what I do or what I want to do in the future, but hearing the word hear “Support” does almost inevitably invoke all the terrible experiences they’ve had with their cable companies, mobile providers, airlines..

The word “support” is rarely associated with the idea of a better customer experience. Nor does it sound like the person providing support cares about how successful a customer is. Support is a function under a large umbrella of activities, and to that end we need a name/title for it that really describes what we do. Possible titles:

None of these are bad, but they don’t quite capture what I’m looking for.

Centric adjective having (something) as a central interest, influence, subject, etc.

Why am I going with this? Customer Support is the reactive work; someone is emailing / calling / live chatting you seeking help. Customer Success is the proactive work; creating guides, how-to videos, the preventive content that the customer can consume without having to directly contact you (Success has the bonus of being 24/7/365). There’s a touch of Project Management that comes out of here too; if you’re frequently having customers report the same issues or questions you can make product recommendations to solve the issue or you can create content that answers a question. Customer Experience is what the customer thought of their experience; it could be the response from someone replying to an inquiry or following a guide on how to set something up.

An individual, an organization, or even a department within an organization can identify themselves as Customer Centric if they do both support and success in a day, or if a company or department understands that being Customer Centric is one the best ways to grow their business alongside an amazing product.

So, if that describes you, then the next time someone asks what you do, please join me in saying: “I’m Customer Centric”.

Thank you to Camille, Darren, Matt, Scott and the rest of the amazing community in the Support Driven #Draft Channel for helping me edit this post. Want to suggest a change to this post? Hit me with your best feedback and comment on my Draft post.

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