The support function in any SMS business, whether in-house or outsourced, is critical for success. As an Enterprise, Messaging Service Provider or Operator, you have many organisational aspects to consider: Do you have a strong sales team? A rate-squeezing procurement team? A solid product? A sophisticated platform? SS7 access? Agile work processes and culture? Viral marketing campaigns?
All these factors could be essential, but another crucial part of your organisation should not be overlooked: your support team.
Remember that typically there are two touch points on the customer’s side: sales and support. While sales bring about awareness of your company’s product offerings, it’s the support team that usually is the only point of contact between companies once live traffic starts.
This means that every claim stated by marketing and sales and any service features defined by product and routing teams have to be maintained, in reality, by your support team. The fact is that if they fail, your company fails. However, if they are successful, your company will get a lot closer to being your customers’ ‘go-to’ supplier.
How can you ensure that your support team gets the support it needs to function optimally?
Recognising the inherent value of the support team in terms of business success is the first step. The second is to look closely at availability, capabilities, permissions, interface efficiency, communication skills, messaging industry knowledge and capacity.
Your goal should be to have a support team that is available 24/7, has all tools available for analysis, has permission to make the necessary changes themselves or utilises a few quality interfaces, and can understandably explain issues and related resolutions.
Hmm, sounds difficult … how do you do it?
To achieve all this, as well as short response and resolution times, you’ll first need a dedicated team that has experience in the messaging industry. You’ll also need to look at your organisation chart and map out how your support team is interconnected to the rest of your organisation. In other words, who needs to be contacted for what and how? The shorter this list is, the better you are positioned. All default support requests should be solvable 100% within your support team, and everything that requires additional action needs to be handed over and treated with priority for a swift resolution. Remember: your company’s success depends on enabling your customers to be successful in THEIR messaging business.
Enable your support team to do what they do best
Acknowledge that your support team is an essential pillar in your organisation, and treat it that way. Get enough of the right staff, allow them to do what they need to do, listen to what they have to say about their perception of product quality and customer experience and act accordingly. This comes with a price tag. Finding the right support staff is difficult in our industry, as more and more companies fight for their specialised skills. However, it will be more expensive in the long run to have an understaffed, under-educated support team as this will ultimately lead to extended response and resolution times and a poor customer experience.
Two key takeaways
1) Your support team is your brand ambassador. If it does well, this will positively influence your customers’ support teams, and if your product delivers what you have promised, you have a good chance of becoming the supplier of choice that you aim to be.
2) Your support team is in a unique position to be the sense-check spider in your company’s web. With the proper knowledge, permissions and tools in place, it can accurately report on the health of your organisation and help to identify opportunities for improvement.
Once you understand that resolution times depend primarily on support team capabilities, you’ll be empowered to adjust your organisation to ensure that you reap the benefits of this vital business function. Are you looking for an experienced support team that will add value to your SMS business? We’re here to help!
Global Telco Consult (GTC) is a trusted independent business messaging consultancy with deep domain knowledge in application-to-person (A2P) services. GTC provides tailor-made messaging strategies to enterprises, messaging service providers, operators and voice carriers. We have expertise in multiple messaging channels such as RCS, Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram and SMS for the wholesale and retail industry.
GTC supports its customers from market strategy through service launch, running the operations and supporting sales and procurement. The company started in 2016 with a mission to guide operators and telcos to embrace new and exciting opportunities and make the most out of business messaging. For more information or industry insights, browse through our blog page or follow us on LinkedIn.