Artificial Intelligence. Machine learning. In 2016, these buzzwords were some of the most often used terms by vendors, but misunderstood by buyers. So what do these terms actually mean? While many use the two terms interchangeably, there are key differences.
Today we are excited to announce our upcoming release featuring Collections and our new investment from Slack. As we look back at our progress and learnings in 2016, we are very excited with the growth we have seen and what is in store for 2017!
The rise of messaging apps is fundamentally changing the way your support team communicates internally as well as externally with customers. Slack is the fastest growing SaaS application in history and is quickly becoming the communication and notification hub of your team. Our own survey of over 80 support teams revealed that 82% of teams used Slack. Perhaps more surprising was that the average number of Slack bots installed per team was over five, indicating how entrenched and utilized the app is internally. Much like your ticketing solution, Slack is another destination that is sitting open for your support team all day. But it’s not without its challenges that affect the productivity of your team.
“What’s in your support stack?” If you ask a support leader this question there will be many obvious categories of products they might use: their ticketing solution, tools to build a customer-facing help center, shared inbox for social media support, messaging apps, and a variety of handy tools to help optimize an individual agent’s productivity and workflow. However, one crucial technology category is often overlooked: an internal, agent-facing knowledge base. This is where all of your key support team knowledge is stored: troubleshooting guides, product FAQ’s, how-to guides, and API details to name a few.
I know what you’re thinking: “My team already uses google docs, dropbox, and an internal wiki, isn’t that a sufficient agent-facing knowledge base?” While those tools give the illusion of an internal knowledge base, they aren’t quite the same thing. Simply put an agent-facing knowledge base must accomplish three things:
Live everywhere your team works
Be the single source of truth for your support team’s knowledge
Augment your existing support stack
The end result of this should be an increase in individual agent productivity and improvements in your team’s key performance metrics such as improved first call resolution rate, faster response time, and improved NPS and CSAT scores to name a few.
A few weeks ago, Guru traveled to Palm Springs, California, for Elevate Summit, a peer-to-peer customer support event put on by the folks at cosupport. Guru is quickly becoming a part of the support stack, running alongside ticketing systems as an internal, agent-facing knowledge base that allows reps to stay in their workflow. We surveyed over 50 support professionals - both in leadership positions and agents with the hopes of learning more about our support customers and their pain points.
Customer support hasn’t always gotten the love it deserves. Traditionally, most SaaS businesses hire a team specifically dedicated to support, and these agents interact with customers on behalf of the company’s products and services. They both respond to customer complaints, and alert developers of potential bugs.
Browser extensions have become quite the game-changer for enterprise businesses over the past few years. Within a rather short amount of time they’ve opened our eyes to a new, more productive style of working. It’s no longer far fetched to assume that most enterprises utilize at least one, if not a few of them on a regular basis. They have unquestionably exploded in every industry.
Modern B2B marketing has centered around powerful marketing automation tools. And while these tools have been successful in generating large amounts of leads, they have flooded sales with leads outside of their pre-established Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). In fact, according to TOPO, only 10-20% of the leads generated by marketing are from accounts on the sales team’s target list.
As a result, a new, strategic approach to B2B marketing has emerged. This approach is referred to as “account based marketing,” and it aims to coordinate sales and marketing efforts with highly personalized content and knowledge that’s delivered to the right accounts at the right stage of the buyer journey. While marketing is running multi-channel campaigns on targeted accounts, outbound sales is focused on these same accounts, and enabled by marketing teams to support their efforts in the most personalized way possible.
A few key pillars of an account based strategy include:
- Personalized messaging and content
- Marketing, sales, and support collaboration
- Well defined ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) and Buyer Personas
- A land and expand approach
In an account-based world, knowledge can be your differentiator. Knowledge about your product and services, your competitors, your thought leadership, etc. The knowledge has to span across various teams in your organization - from sales, to marketing, to support and customer success. So much so, that account based marketing is often referred to as “account based everything” (ABE).
Here’s why you need a good knowledge base in order to successfully execute a world-class ABE plan.
If you're getting ready to hire new sales reps, then your business is most likely growing at a fast rate. Things are good, revenue is increasing, you’re on top your game and nothing can stop you now! That is, until you make those hires, and realize you need to oversee the onboarding process as well and make sure everything goes accordingly. This not so uncommon mistake can be more detrimental to your business’ bottom line than you think.