How Support Tagging Boosts Product-Support Collaboration
Every single support leader has either just finished a significant tagging overhaul or is slowly coming to realize that they need to do one. Tags can be the bane of many support teams’ existences—especially if they do the process manually. That said, tags can also be one of the most significant sources for product-support collaboration and whole-company education that exists. Depending on your tagging strategy, the stories carried by those little nuggets of information can be precious.
Think of it like this: you wouldn’t decide to go on a road trip without looking at any maps, reading many reviews, or considering any feedback from your friends, would you? The tags that your team adds to tickets, whether manually, automatically, or through a third-party tool, are all of those things that give direction and meaning to your company’s strategy. Believe it or not: they touch far outside of just your support team.
In this blog post, we’ll break down how you can use tags to provide value for every team within your company.
For support, Product can feel like a black box: there’s little insight into what Product does, how they do it, or what they are motivated by. It can feel like feature requests disappear into the ether for some support teams, never to be seen again. If we’re honest, though, that’s not the case: every team within the company relies on the Product team for something. They are constantly strapped for bandwidth and energy.
Tags can help streamline the data points going into Product to make them more digestible and easy to action. The first and most important way that they can do this is with feature requests. Not all feature requests are created equal—sometimes, something that may feel very painful for the customer is still unrealistic by your Product team’s standards. Seeing the volume of support inquiries that come in around a feature request and charting them to see how they progress over time gives your team much more dynamic data to work with. With custom user data within your helpdesk, you can also identify how expensive (or beneficial!) it would be to not build a feature. You do that based on the number of conversations multiplied by the lifetime value (LTV) of the customers asking for it. More valuable feature requests should certainly take priority.
Outside of feature requests, tagging data can also be useful when pointing your Product team members in the direction of helpful user interviews. User interviews have a track record of being immensely important when it comes to product strategy. For instance, the case of Febreeze revolutionizing their brand and marketing after doing some in-depth user research. Encourage your Product team to use your support inbox and the tags within it to find the best candidates for user interviews and beta testing.
Your engineering team is similar to your Product team in that there is always a lot of stimulus going in, and it can feel like not a whole lot comes out. With how much information an engineer needs to consume daily, you are doing them a favor by distilling insights via tags.
The most valuable information that you can provide to your engineering team via tags is about bugs. Tags help you gain a holistic view of each bug’s impact: how many people had them, and how much are each of those customers paying? Similarly, how long do issues associated with the bug take to resolve in support? You can get a real understanding of the expenses (and pain) behind a bug by using your tagging data. By multiplying metrics like the number of tickets, and the average customer’s monthly recurring revenue (MRR), you can calculate the potential cost of not fixing an issue promptly.
Many companies spend their entire marketing budgets on acquiring new customers rather than on any other aspect of the customer lifecycle. However, for every 1% of shoppers who become repeat customers, a company’s revenue will increase by about 10%. Why wouldn’t your team be spending at least a tiny bit of money on that? Using tags to understand what that demographic cares about can make the dollars spent go even farther.
Your marketing team can look at your helpdesk tagging data to see which areas are receiving the most volume of conversations. They can then use that information to direct the content strategy. Creating case studies, blog posts, webinars, and more evergreen content around popular topics helps retain existing customers and encourage repeat spending or word-of-mouth marketing.
Beyond that, depending on how much customer information you include in your helpdesk, your marketing team can gain insights into the features or specific products most enticing to particular customer demographics. For instance, they’d be able to see that people on a specific plan regularly reach out about a particular product, whereas customers on the tier above do not. That suggests that more content around that feature or Product may drive better retention with that demographic.
These insights have deep value when determining how to position the product, what content to write, and who they should be engaging with.
Lots of companies assume that customers leave because the service was terrible or the product was buggy. Actually, 68% of customers go because they feel that your company is indifferent to them. Your customer success team can use tagging data to get deeper insights into where customers are having trouble and where your team might be able to reach out proactively.
After all, nothing makes a customer feel cared about more than proactively anticipating their needs and helping them. Use your tagging data to get a handle on what issues customers are reaching out about and when. For instance, maybe you see a significant spike in customers contacting you about account management right before their trial date expires. Your customer success team can use that data to perfect and clarify your customer lifecycle.
Similarly, suppose you include data about the CSM on the account directly in the tagging data. In that case, both support and success can get more insight into how many conversations are getting through to support and what types of issues they are. It may be necessary to revamp your customer success onboarding process or meeting cadence to include information about these hot issues moving forward.
Tags help everyone
While it’s true that tagging data is incredibly impactful for your support team, it also improves every other team’s workflows at your company. Product and Engineering can use the data to enhance the quality of the product. Marketing can use it to make more meaningful targeting and content. You will empower your customer success team to create an even more meaningful customer roadmap.
There’s no way around it: more data makes your customers’ experience better across the board. You’re already collecting data; now it’s time to make the most of it. Share your tagging data and analytics company-wide to move towards a higher customer focus for all.