People love to get angry at you when you’re popular. The same goes for Klout. Their popular “online influence” tool regularly irritates customer service and community professionals. “You can’t choose whom to give good support to based on their influence! That’s wrong!”

The thing is, Klout agrees.

Great Support for All

Klout scoreI spoke to Megan Berry, Marketing Manager at Klout, about how their team does support, and one of the first things she said was: “We give we give equal support to everyone regardless of score. Everyone has Klout.” Megan explained that while Klout is great for getting your message out to top influencers or even choosing when to go the extra mile, they believe everyone deserves an answer (to the extent such a thing is possible). Megan and her teammates respond to any user question that comes up, usually within 24 hours. Klout score regardless.

In fact, Klout has a remarkably proactive attitude towards support. Megan says their goal is to answer every question, even if they don’t know the answer (for example, when they might be adding MySpace integration). It’s better for a customer to know Klout cares, even if they can’t help.

Support Through Development

manhole that says communicationThe most unique way in which Klout does support is actually through development. “If we’re getting a lot of complaints around a specific feature, we’ll actually make it better.” Sounds obvious, but most support teams are expected to grit their teeth and face the backlash created by the development team. By keeping close tabs on these issues and coordinating with the product team, many of the frequently asked questions for Klout become moot as updates address those pain points.

So, Can I Do This Too?

This model is applicable to most companies. What’s key here is the measurement – Megan keeps track of the number of questions, complaints, and bugs around a specific area of the product. When she comes to the product team, her feedback isn’t vague – it’s specific and measurable. And by improving that area of the product she not only lowers the amount of time and money spent on answering questions over and over, she also ends up with a better product.

“Communication between departments can be hard,” Megan admits. “But it means a better experience for our users and less time answering the same questions about the same thing that has been broken for a year. It’s worth the effort.”

How does your support department work with the development team?

Communication photo courtesy of Elyce Feliz under the Creative Commons Attribution License..