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Part 2: Service Support - The VoIP Industry’s Achilles Heel

Posted by Jason Tapolci on March 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM
Jason Tapolci

In part 1 of this 3 part series we analyzed service provisioning, a critical step when on-boarding new customers and services. We learned two things from that segment: You need a compelling marketing message and you need a great sales team to pitch that message to the customers. These two factors can get your foot in the door, but having quick and painless provisioning can open the door into your customer’s living room. The step that follows the open door is getting the impossible invite to come inside and Part 2 will show you the secret behind getting just that.

Wholesale VoIP Titanium III LogoThe ‘secret’ we refer to should really seem like an obvious solution and at VoIP Innovations, we've developed the perfect equation to make this happen. We call it “WOW” service support. What is “WOW” service support? We define it as going above and beyond the normal processes and procedures that are necessary to satisfy the customer’s wants, needs, and problems. As mentioned before, this sounds obvious right? Wrong! Every company will say they have “WOW” support but we can assure you, very few actually do. It’s not something you can teach or train; it’s something you have to hire for. We use a hiring technique, called “Top Grading”, which is when an organization hires “A” players and weeds out those who just don’t measure up.

By our explanation so far, you would have to assume that “A” players are the only factors that make up “WOW service support. If you assumed that though, you’d be wrong. “A” players are the foundation to developing an incredible support experience. The “A” players, or employees, are definitely a large part of creating this atmosphere but it’s only part of the equation. The rest is defined by the customer’s interaction with non-human elements, which, ironically, are developed by the “A” players.

Non-human elements are items like your phone system, trouble ticket system, documentation, and troubleshooting tools. Take your phone system for example, is your phone system a complicated maze of options or is it direct and easy to navigate? Can a member of your organization be reached or will your customers be redirected to a voice mail or outsourced call center?

The non-human elements also include your written or documented forms of communication. At VoIP Innovations we recommend using a trouble ticketing system and BackOffice forms. Both provide better documentation and more efficient communication. Troubleshooting tools and documentation are also two very important non-human elements. Most customers want to resolve their own issues and only contact support as a last resort. At VoIP Innovations we find that if you provide better documentation and tools, it can lead to less support issues and happier customers.

So, when it comes to delivering “WOW” service support, there are a couple rules to remember: The #1 rule is to focus on hiring “A” players for your team, something we have been doing at VoIP Innovations for years and the primary reason for our exceptional growth. The #2 rule to focus on is providing exceptional non-human elements. We always tell our staff, “you have to go slow in order to go fast”. Adding non-human elements takes time and resources but in the end it greatly reduces support nightmares and unsatisfied customers.

To bring Part 2 to a close, we urge you to remember that the key to offering “WOW” service support is to start by creating a great team of “A” players. This team gets the ball rolling with excellent, easy to use non-human elements, which ultimately leads to happy, more satisfied customers.

Jason Tapolci is President of VoIP Innovations, an Inc. 5000 company. They specialize in providing the largest DID and termination VoIP footprints in North America. Their network includes over 500,000 DIDs in stock in over 8,500 rate centers in the US and Canada. Recently, VoIP Innovations expanded their footprint to include DIDs in over 60 countries and now offers A-Z termination. VoIP Innovations is owned by ABG Capital and is based in Pittsburgh, PA. To learn more about VoIP Innovations, visit their website at http://www.VoIPInnovations.com

Tags: Telecom, Entrepreneurship

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