3 Practical Ways to Boost Knowledge Sharing Between Product and Support
Updated: Dec 14, 2022
// This is part 3 / 5 of a blog series written in collaboration with Rejoy. If you haven’t already, please read our previous post on how to build a collaboration system.
Knowledge sharing definition is an act of exchanging information between individuals, teams or departments. The success of the SaaS company can be significantly impacted by this exchange of information, despite how little it may look.
Sharing knowledge between customer support and product teams is important as it impacts the customer experience. When customer support has a deep understanding of the product, they can assist customers faster and better. Similarly, when product teams know what features customers are seeking or how they experience the usage of the product, they can take actions to improve the product for the customers.
Take a look at the list below to get a more thorough understanding of how product knowledge affects business:
Customer experience (the speed, the quality of the support, and cohesive support experience across the team members)
Support staff (employee motivation, more independent work, feeling confident in work)
Product development (product improvements and prioritization, fewer escalations)
Support scalability (knowledge stays in the company, faster new team member onboarding)
Even though the benefits are very clear, many companies are not successful in this, due to a lack of knowledge-sharing processes.
In SaaS business, knowledge between product and support is typically shared in three different situations; when launching new features, when escalating tickets to product, or when product needs feedback from customers.
To overcome the barrier of missing a process and to address the above-mentioned knowledge-sharing touchpoints, we have listed 3 ways to make things happen!
1. Maximizing awareness of product changes and new features
Depending on the impact of the release, prepare release notes, perform group training, and quizzes and evaluate if any process updates are needed. If you are creating a product launch guide, allow support to read it prior and add their additional questions, if any.
When launching a new feature or change in the product, consider the questions in the following table.
When setting a go-live day for the new feature, provide enough time for support to get prepared. The new feature, or a change, might require changes to:
Adjust business processes/workflows (or build new ones)
Create or adjust email templates / canned responses
Update the customer-facing Support Portal
Give additional training to the team, etc.
2. Consolidating information for product
The most important aspect of knowledge transfer is from support to product to influence product roadmap. But what helps product teams in prioritizing features or bugs? It is information in aggregate.
Below is an example list that you can use for both bugs and features:
# of reports: The number of customers and times this issue has been reported.
Total related revenue: The total revenue from all customers that have reported this
Affinity to product roadmap: Which feature does this issue map to, whether it is an existing or upcoming feature?
Churn risk: Risk percentage that the customer might churn if the issue is not resolved
Category: This is something that needs to be agreed upon with product teams, but this could include technical documentation, frontend, backend, self-service tool, etc.
Snippet: A few quotes or notes from customers mentioning the issue
Support tier: The service tier of the customer.
Links: videos, emails, or any other material that links from snippets so that product teams can dive into them if needed.
Impact: The impact of solving this issue, i.e. unblocked from onboarding, revenue expansion, reduction in escalations, etc.
3. Reducing escalations to engineering
When the customer support team is able to solve the majority of the issues themselves, everyone benefits: the customer gets faster responses and resolutions and the engineering team can concentrate on developing new features.
To check the baseline of how many tickets are being escalated to engineering, you can calculate an escalation rate. This is done by dividing the number of support tickets escalated by the total number of tickets. The escalation rate varies from business to business, but we found it’s best to keep it to less than 30%.
The following procedures are useful to help keep customer support's knowledge updated and the escalation rate low:
Depending on which team you made responsible for the knowledge documentation when defining roles and responsibilities, this team or person should be constantly documenting new information based on incoming inquiries. Every question that gets escalated to product should go through an analysis:
Is this already documented, if yes, why the information was not used (maybe the information was not clear, or it was not possible to find)
If information is not documented, does it make sense to document it? Is this more likely a one-time issue, or could it happen again?
If there is no need to document it, is there any other information about this topic that could be shared, e.g. how to troubleshoot similar issues?
Educating the support team about the product is key, whether it's done via a learning platform or live training. By ensuring that everyone on the support team understands how the product works, we can provide better customer service and avoid any potential issues.
Live training is always going to be the best option, as it allows for immediate feedback and questions. However, not everyone has the time to commit to live training. That's where a learning platform comes in handy - it can be accessed at any time, and people can learn at their own pace.
Whichever method you choose, utilizing quizzes is a terrific technique to guarantee that the team has comprehended the information.
Offering support team members internal tooling to troubleshoot and analyze problems is crucial to lowering the number of escalations. By having this option available to them, they will be able to resolve many issues on their own.
These internal tools aid in the analysis as well as troubleshooting, enabling the support team to fully understand the problem and find a solution on their own.
Additionally, by offering this tooling internally, it shows that you trust your support team members to handle these issues themselves. This will not only lead to fewer escalations but also help support team members feel more empowered in their roles.
Sharing knowledge between product and support can have a big impact on the company's success. Processes such as documentation, training, and feedback loop helps to ensure that knowledge is shared effectively between departments. By implementing these processes, companies can improve communication and collaboration, leading to better customer satisfaction and overall success.