For sales organisations, customer service skills can be as important as individual sales skills are in determining overall business results and sales performance. After all, research shows that 78 percent of customers have pulled out of an intended transaction due to the poor service experience provided by the selling business.
HP Software, one of the leading IT firms in the world, has a strong belief in customer support as a key differentiator. In this article, we take a closer look at how HP Software enhanced its customer service through coaching, and subsequently experienced tangible improvements to customer satisfaction and other outcomes as a result.
For HP Software, it is important to deliver the complete package, both in terms of quality products and consistent, world-class customer support, so that customers get the most from those products. For this reason, while it is essential that sales reps possess excellent sales skills, reps must also have strong customer support skills too.
To improve the level of support the company provides to its customers, HP Software turned to Miller Heiman Group, the global leader in customer service and sales performance solutions, in order to provide training and coaching programmes that would bring about clear, measurable benefits for their business.
In addition to setting some more general goals, such as improving the quality of their customer support, HP Software also established some more specific, measurable objectives, so that improvement could be more quantifiable. In particular, the company wished to see improvements to customer satisfaction levels and resolution times.
After careful assessment of the options, HP Software’s Global Support Delivery team, led by Aileen Allkins, identified and rolled out two Miller Heiman Group programmes. Specifically, the programmes used were:
- Getting to the HEART of Technical Support™ – A programme which helps to develop the soft skills and customer aptitudes of all of your staff, from entry-level reps to seasoned technical support engineers. The programme is delivered in a classroom environment, or through online modules and follow-up sessions.
- Making It Happen™ – A programme that provides frontline managers, supervisors and other leaders with best-practice coaching skills. As a result, they will be better equipped to deliver consistent coaching to staff, provide useful feedback, deliver one-to-one performance reviews and work with staff to set targets.
Upon completion of the two programmes, the company’s support engineers and reps received TSIA CSP-I certification, while the managers and leaders received CSP-M certification. Just as importantly, however, the two groups were able to work on their communication skills and coaching skills, respectively.
Results in the company’s Costa Rica support centre location, the first to meet the conditions for TSIA’s Support Staff Excellence certification, demonstrated the effectiveness of the two programmes in actually improving performance. In a period of just a few months, overall customer satisfaction increased by 3 percent.
Moreover, resolution times were improved by 4 percent and this was achieved without hindering the quality of those resolutions whatsoever. In actual fact, resolution quality also improved by 3.4 percent. As a consequence of these improved performance metrics, complaint and issue escalations decreased by 15 percent.
Outside of these improvements to key performance metrics, the coaching programme also brought about further benefits related to team building and overall motivation. This was partly thanks to the classroom teaching bringing the team closer together, but also because the new skills learned helped to spark the enthusiasm of employees.
For HP Software, delivering excellent customer support is a necessity and the company was able to enhance performance in a clear, measurable way, thanks to the training and coaching programmes offered by Miller Heiman Group. As a consequence, customer satisfaction, resolution times and resolution quality were all improved.
You can learn more about the various Miller Heiman Group training products and performance solutions, including those used by HP Software, by clicking here. Furthermore, you can find out more information about upcoming events and register your attendance for them by clicking here.