April is All Hands Support Month here at Olark, during which we'll be sharing tips and stories on how to bring your entire team closer to your customers.
Chief Marketing Olarker, Sunir Shah, recently took time from the 'hurricane' that is South by Southwest (SXSW) to talk with Tech Cocktail about why we do All Hands Support.
On why Olark uses All Hands Support:
"Because we sell a customer support software, we take customer service very seriously. In fact at Olark, we do All Hands Support. Everybody at the company - EVERYBODY at the company - does support. We think its really, really, really important to keep everyone close to the customer."
On why All Hands Support adds a human element to support:
"We do All Hands Support not just because we need to, but because we want everyone at the company to get to know customers. We're all human beings, we all feel, we all want, we all have problems, we all have first names, we all have parents, we all have loved ones, we all have stories. If you don't get to know your customers, you never really know what your product means to them and how you can make it better, or how you can be a better company. And more importantly, life is short, life is for the living - why work for a company where you feel like you're not making a contribution to people's lives? To be able to hear that back from customers is really important to us."
On getting employees started with All Hands Support:
"To build an All Hands Support culture you have to start from the beginning. Everyone at Olark when they start spends the first two weeks doing customer support and then we keep doing support one day a week. We're always there to help each other out. You crawl, walk, then run. You start by reading other people's responses to emails, then you start responding to email tickets, then you get on chat and answer customers in real time."
On the importance of finding the right people for All Hands Support:
"So many people think that All Hands Support is really difficult and that it might be really hard to involve people, but I've never met a professional or someone who's passionate - who really wants to make a real difference with their lives - who wants to stay away from the customer. So if you hire people who actually truly care about their day-to-day work and want to come to work every day and be excited, then putting them in front of customers is actually exciting (for them). Now, it is of course stressful the first time trying to answer tickets, know everything about the product, do it quickly, and do it in the right tone of voice. But, if people are motivated and they really do want to talk to customers they will learn."
We want to feature you on the Olark blog this month. Send your stories about how you get your whole team helping with support to email@example.com, or leave your tips/best practices in the comments below.