ProviderTrust is a SaaS company that provides screening, monitoring, and verification tools to simplify workflows and help healthcare professionals stay compliant. We had a great privilege to speak with Russ Cornwall, Product Manager of their VendorProof application, about the integrality of support to product success.
I know you were always very careful about top-notch support for ProviderTrust clients so let’s start with what does good customer service mean to you?
Good customer service means giving users the ability to find the right answer to their question without a lot of headaches. We love being able to provide our customers with the option to call or chat with us directly or to search for answers on their own without leaving the application. Having Support Hero embedded into our application was such a big selling point for us. At the end of the day, we want our customers to feel like we’ve made every effort to answer their question or resolve their issue to their full satisfaction.
Having Support Hero embedded into our application was such a big selling point for us.
Russ Cornwall, Product manager at ProviderTrust
What role does support play on your product roadmap, if any?
Support directly impacts our product roadmap. We have hundreds of users coming through our applications at any given time and giving them the ability to find quick and complete answers to questions without bogging down our support staff is invaluable to scaling our products quickly. Also, the feedback we are able to gather through Support Hero allows us to not only refine our knowledge base on the fly but also informs what we need to build in order to provide a smooth and fluid experience for our users.
Keeping a knowledge base updated is pretty much a marathon with the finishing line moving away from you every step. Your job’s never done. How do you write your knowledge base articles customers can easily understand?
Every time we add a new feature to our application we make sure to write a new article or update an existing article so our knowledge base matches the current functionality of the software. We have found it very effective to include GIFs to add live examples of what is being explained in the article.
Also, we love being able to review failed searches to ensure that we have the articles we need or are tagging articles based on how users are searching so that the next time a user has the same question, they can easily find the answer.
How do you ensure that all your support team members are all in sync?
Constant training and re-education are so important to ensuring support team members are in sync. A big part of that as a Product Manager is to ensure that I am publishing release notes as well as updating our knowledge base as new features or enhancements are released. We direct our support team to the knowledge base often. It is a good litmus test to ensure that the articles are easy to find and well written. Afterall, if our support team can’t find or understand an article, that’s probably not a good sign that our customer will be able to!
How do you handle an angry customer?
In our experience, the first thing to do when dealing with an angry customer is to listen. It sounds so fundamental, but the conversation goes so much more smoothly if the customer feels heard and that you are working to understand their issue. After the customer feels heard, it is a lot easier to work with them to find a solution. If we are not able to fully resolve their issue, reassuring them that we understand their frustration and are working to avoid it in the future goes a long way. In short, empathy in customer support is essential.
How do you empower everyone with internal support documentation?
We keep an internal knowledge base for our product and support team. We provide a lot more context to the application that a customer may not be able to or need to understand. I think providing the team with the tools to feel like a product expert really helps provide a world-class customer service experience.
What would be number one advice you will give to junior support manager before starting his or her position?
There are a lot of ways to listen and gather feedback from customers. Creating a system to gather, analyze, and respond to feedback is critical to ensuring that you can provide customers with complete, scalable, and top-notch support. Additionally, building genuine relationships with your users is key to a positive experience for your product and organization.
About the author: As Product Manager, Russ Cornwall is responsible for the entire product lifecycle, including engagement with clients to better understand their needs and utilize critical feedback. By listening to the voice of the customer, Russ is able to guide his team in creating new product concepts, features, and enhancements.
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