How To Provide World-Class Customer Support When You’re A World Away

How To Provide World-Class Customer Support When You’re A World Away

It has long been the norm for tech support teams to work in-office or alongside their customers every day.  

But like many companies, in March 2020, Atlassian made the decision to put safety-first in response to the global pandemic by shifting their customer support team to fully-distributed.  

According to PWC’s recent Digital-IQ report, 65 percent of folks surveyed said they think customer experience is critical to advancing business performance. 

So how did Atlassian’s support engineers maintain a seamless customer experience in a remote world? 

Gurleen Anand, support engineer at Atlassian, discusses.

Be Proactive

“Atlassian customer support services always strives to be proactive rather than reactive. It’s vital to ensuring we act as the voice of the customer every day,” says Anand.

Identifying upcoming trends and themes that could cause friction along the customer’s journey, and proactively influencing the product roadmap is just one way Atlassian keeps their customers happy, and stays ahead of the curb. 

Building business cases like these also allows the team to identify upcoming opportunities to support customers in a remote world.

Leverage the Tools of the Trade

Of course, when the inevitable tricky case arises, it’s important to be on the lookout for the best technological tools to share, identify and solve problems for your customers quickly. 

“Something that we really leverage for a quick turnaround is screen-shares with customers, often resulting in faster resolutions,” says Anand.

Anand also champions adopting a “knowledge centred service” model, in other words, developing a strong knowledge base from support tickets for customers to use as a resource.

The model empowers customers to self-serve while allowing support engineers to focus on more complex tickets that need a deep dive.

Share The Journey

Keeping customers in the loop and up-to-date on the status of their requests is another way to guarantee a seamless customer experience.

“A trait of a good support engineer is to set the right expectations with customers while also ensuring they feel heard,” says Anand.

“One way that we have been able to achieve this is by bringing a lot more visibility into our product roadmaps by publicly sharing our big-ticket items.”

Aligning with your customers is a way to make a customer for life, and closing the loop of the support ticket lifecycle ensures no opportunity is missed. 

“Closing the customer feedback loop is a priority for support, so our regional managers and product managers often connect with customers to understand their pain points and work together on a plan to address those concerns,” says Anand.

Look After Yourself

We’re probably all aware by now that working from home can be just as (if not more!) productive than the ol’ five-day, in-office model. In fact, according to a study by the Quarterly Journal of Economics, working from home allows customer service teams to get through 13 per cent more calls each day.

But from Anand’s experience, there are personal benefits: “the distributed working model at Atlassian gave me a lot of flexibility to focus on my kids through the remote learning phase while still being able to catch up on work outside of school hours.”

“The time I saved commuting to and from work was an added bonus!” says Anand.

Ultimately, a key contributor to Atlassian’s success that helped the team provide world-class customer support in a remote world was making sure their team didn’t just survive but thrived in the face of the pandemic.

Atlassian’s regional managers worked hard to allocate special COVID leave, allowing everyone to switch off and recharge while other teammates filled in to keep the show going. 

“We also use a fortnightly team insights pulse survey to keep on top of team sentiment and identify burnout risks early. This is a great signal for managers to get an understanding of their team’s health and address any emerging themes” says Anand.

As Anand summarises in a universal sentiment, “we can’t deliver on the job if we are not looking after ourselves.” Hear, hear!




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