TeamSupport is a fully hosted cloud-based help desk solution that solves a fundamental problem that most support systems don’t: helping businesses better understand their customers. Robert C. Johnson, president and CEO of TeamSupport LLC, explains it does that by delivering a suite of tools that provide insights into how customers interact with your company. CUSTOMER magazine recently interviewed Johnson to learn more.
TeamSupport describes itself as a collaborative customer support software company. What does that mean?
Johnson: Our software is designed to enable cooperative problem solving among teams, including customer support/customer service help desks, sales, developers, managers, and customers. Customer support software typically only allows one-to-one communication between one support rep, and one customer. Alternatively, TeamSupport lets multiple people within a company work on tickets together, to help solve the customer issue faster. This also means junior staff get the benefit of learning from senior staff right from the start, so they can be more effective and learn much faster than in a typical siloed environment.
What inspired you and CIO Eric Harrington to establish TeamSupport?
Johnson: We created TeamSupport because as veterans of the technology industry, we understand the need for excellent customer service. We experienced first-hand the frustration of broken communication among teams and departments, as well as the exasperation of getting the same questions from customers but not realizing someone else had already come up with a solution. As executives we saw the negative impact of long help desk wait times and dropped calls on sales and performance. So in 2008, we developed TeamSupport to focus on those pain points and offer a solution that gives business-to-business customer support teams the tools and best practices they need to enhance customer loyalty and positively impact product sales.
What experience does TeamSupport bring to the table that makes it unique?
Johnson: Not that long ago we were working inside high tech and software companies as CEO, software developers, and customer support and help desk professionals. We understand what it takes to provide exceptional customer service because we’ve been there. Our executive team combines years of experience both in senior management and on the help desk itself. Our team has done everything from developing technology solutions and bringing them to market; to designing front and back office operations; and managing day-to-day business, sales, and support operations.
Who is your target customer?
Johnson: Software and technology companies with external-facing customer support. Any size company that wants to better understand its customers and enhance internal collaboration. Our current customers range from very small to very large, and include well-known brands such as the American Lung Association, AT&T (News - Alert), FujiFilm, and Walmart.
Can you provide an example of a specific customer that has benefitted from the TeamSupport solution?
Johnson: Heartland ECSI provides financial services solutions to the higher education industry. It needed customer support software that would allow multiple departments and agents to follow customer tickets simultaneously. Being able to follow a ticket throughout its lifespan, and monitor and collaborate about it no matter which group it’s assigned to, has allowed ECSI to improve ticket visibility for both its clients and its support agents. The multi-channel support options mean customers get faster, more responsive service, and ECSI has reduced its workload by the equivalent of a full-time staff.
How does TeamSupport stand up to the competition?
Johnson: Most support/help desk apps have a similar set of features – e-mail to ticket, escalation, customer portal, KBs, and a few other fancy tricks as well. These are important and, of course, they are integrated into TeamSupport as well. But it’s really our understanding of the customer support workflow that sets us apart from the rest. Many others cater to the consumer support industry. TeamSupport is best suited for business-to-business customer support and offers features like the comprehensive customer database and product tracking to support that. Of course, our collaboration tools and team-focused approach also make us unique.
What one thing do businesses need to know about TeamSupport’s solutions?
Johnson: TeamSupport is about getting the focus back to the customer, not just closing tickets. For business-focused companies that work with other businesses, it is essential to understand and manage the customer at the company level. Our product allows you to better understand your customers and gain valuable insights on their relationship with you. Customer support is not just about reactively dealing with tickets, but proactively working with your customers to meet their needs. TeamSupport gives you the intelligence to be able to do this so you can differentiate and grow your business.
Edited by Maurice Nagle