Deliver Wow: “No Excuses” Customer Support

Contributor: Jennifer Medbery, Founder of Kickboard

Let’s face it – traditionally there has been a terribly low bar for customer service in the edtech industry. Schools have unfortunately resigned themselves to using products with frequent downtime, unresponsive technical support hotlines or expensive training sessions just to start using a new tool.

As a new company, you can, and should, aim to do so much better than this!

At Kickboard, we’ve always been inspired by the Zappos core value to “Deliver WOW.” Our Kickboard School Community & Support team operates with the belief that every interaction with our teachers is an opportunity to create joy.
So how does this belief translate into the day-to-day support activities? First, we put a lot of love into our digital correspondence (we use Zendesk and Snapengage to manage support tickets) to convey a “whatever it takes” attitude and an appreciation for the user’s experience. Second, we make it a priority to get face-to-face as much as we can.
Our School Community Managers follow these rules when responding to customer messages -

  1. Start by saying “Thanks for letting me know.” ME, not the ambiguous US, shows there’s a real human being behind the support desk and acknowledges the time that someone took to report an issue (Remember that for one person who shares feedback, there are at least 10 more who think the same but haven’t let you know.)
  2. Use at least one exclamation point to share excitement … but don’t go overboard and make it cheesy.
  3. If it will be faster to resolve the issue by calling, just pick up the phone. School-based folks have zero time to waste going back and forth with messages.
  4. Know what’s happening offline – if it is state standardized test season, sign off on an email with “Good luck to your students on the big test – go get ‘em!”

It’s important to recognize that a lot of the work a teacher does happens after the kids go home. Figure out where teachers go to grade papers and lesson plan. Here in New Orleans, you’ll find dozens of teachers at Starbucks and PJ’s Coffee on Sunday afternoons. So we’re there, too – camped out at a table with our Kickboard t-shirts on and a stack of “I Heart Data” stickers nearby.

In just two hours a week, you’ll be surprised by how many teachers stop by to share a cool new way they’re using your tool or want their questions answered by a product expert. The power of “real human being” customer service and relationship building should never be underestimated.

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