What do you think of when you think of a rock star? Two things come to mind for me:

Making crazy awesome over-the-top music…

…and being a huge pain in the butt.

(It’s ok, I’m allowed to diss rock stars, I sing in a rock’n’roll band.)

The thing is, we keep hearing about “rockstar community managers” and “rockstar support people”. That’s not what we need. We don’t need people to play crazy solos on the support guitar and then demand only brown M&Ms. Here’s what makes a good support person:

  1. A prompt response
  2. A friendly attitude
  3. A willingness to listen, understand, and think critically before responding

That’s it. And the more we focus on encouraging and enabling our teams to do these things, the happier our customers will be. Here’s how we do that:

  • Share the load. We wrote today on the UserVoice blog about the benefits of having multiple people doing support. The other benefit? It means when each person does support, they’re more focused on it, which means faster, better responses.
  • A positive work environment. When you’re doing support it’s easy to get worked up. Encourage support people to feel comfortable taking a walk around the building. Let them blow off steam when they’re frustrated, but encourage positive language about customers – if you start calling everyone an idiot, it’s going to be hard to be positive.
  • Coaching. Sit in on a few email threads or phone calls and help your employees/coworkers learn to breathe, read between the lines, and actually address the customer’s issues. Doing support is stressful.

So as fun as they are, let’s all stop looking for our very own Jack White and start enabling our team to make customers happy. That’s what matters.

Photo courtesy of Montecruz Foto.