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Customer service 101: PaperCutterize your technical support

Yes, Papercutterize is a made up verb…. but I couldn’t think of a better way to describe the ‘je ne sais quoi’ (French for “ I don’t know what ”) of our approach to the tech support that we provide. 

I’m certain that every company strives to provide excellent customer service, but very few achieve greatness. So what is it that elevates a company’s levels of support from the standard to the spectacular?

If you’re looking for ways to boost your technical support and customer service,  I’d like to propose 5 things I think PaperCut does really well which ensures, more often than not, we exceed expectations and put our customers first.

1. Recruitment

At PaperCut we have built an amazing culture that we seek to protect at all costs. Our CHIN values (Caring, Honest, Intelligent, and Nimble) feed into everything that we do, and we take every opportunity to celebrate those who have demonstrated behaviours in line with our values.

We are, therefore, very intentional about our recruitment, and deem the calibre of a candidate’s character just as important as their technical abilities; if not, more so!

By recruiting on cultural fit, rather than merely technical skill set, we ensure that our values continue to drive our methods, and are at the forefront of the service that our customers and partners receive from us.

2. Responsiveness

Putting highly trained technical experts on the front lines for anyone to make contact with is certainly a bold approach, but one that we’ve embraced here at PaperCut. Our CEO and co-founder Chris Dance has always spoken passionately about the removal of barriers to interact with us.

So whether we’re contacted via email, our website, or a phone call, it will be answered directly by a support engineer who can immediately begin investigating and troubleshooting.

The behaviours that we instil  in our support teams are to ensure that tickets are responded to within a couple of hours where possible. No matter from what part of the world the ticket has come and which regional support team is online at that point, we want no one to be left waiting for a response.

3. Warmth and humility

Here at PaperCut we often refer to the ‘PaperCut family’. We like to treat everyone as our own! We encourage our support engineers to express their personalities in their support tickets, and use a warm, friendly and approachable tone. Although we can put on our ‘sensible hats’ when necessary, we do try not to take ourselves too seriously when at all possible.

We want to engage with people in a meaningful way where, irrespective of the outcome, the person is left with a sense that PaperCut really cared about them and their issue.

Yes, there are of course times when urgency dictates that a more directive approach is necessary. But even then, it always serves us well to maintain humility, to understand the limits of our abilities and to always assume the best in people.

4. Curiosity

Allowing endeavour engineers to express their natural curiosity and use an inquisitive approach is so powerful when it comes to solving problems - especially for problems over which you may not have direct control. Trust is a big deal for us, and although we obviously monitor and review service standards regularly, we extend our support engineers a great deal of trust to use their best judgement during the investigation of an issue.

During a ticket investigation, we seek to take people on a journey of mutual discovery… On this journey we recognise that the PaperCut support engineer is learning about how our product has been implemented in each unique environment, and they must explore the technical architecture of each unique environment. Meanwhile, the customer, partner, and any other 3rd parties, are learning about the nuances of the PaperCut application of which they may not be familiar. Together we discover how all of these different elements interact with each other to potentially contribute to any problems.

It should go without saying that questions are the most powerful tool available to anyone in technical support. Asking the right question at the right time is often the key that unlocks the door to resolution. By encouraging support engineers to remain curious, we often find that even the most confusing or complex problems can be resolved.

5. Engagement

It can be necessary during this journey of mutual discovery to bring in additional help for the investigation. Perhaps by adding the PaperCut Partner or the customer’s Network Team into the investigative group. However, we will always maintain ownership of the issue ourselves. We never want anyone to feel as if we are offloading their problem elsewhere.

Once we’ve been contacted, we will own the issue from the outset. Yes, we may need some additional help. But we will always remain engaged with the problem and see it through to resolution.

Creating a spirit of collaboration on our support tickets is a skill that really helps us maintain the warmth in our tone. We take care that any handovers or introductions that are needed during the course of an investigation are done in a way that ensures these additional parties are eased into the process, not just dropped in while we parachute out. Teamwork makes the dream work, and we strive to create a team ethic when there are multiple parties investigating an issue.

The  not-so secret ingredients of PaperCut technical support

There you go. That’s how we do the “special something” that we do so well. PaperCutters are not perfect, but in doing our best to demonstrate these (and many other) positive behaviours, we’ve been able to create a technical support experience which we believe is second-to-none. Hopefully, it’s not only a pleasure to receive but is also very much a pleasure to be a part of delivering. 

Adapt any one of these approaches and you too can PaperCutterize (or “verb-erize your own verb here”) your own tech support or customer service offering.

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