To me, three of the most important are empathy, personalization, and expectations. Here’s why:
Empathy. Support engineers should be not only technically astute but also warm and empathetic, signaling to customers that they are valued. If they work from a place of empathy, they will focus on the right stuff with the right urgency to reach a resolution. That improves our customer experience because they know we care.
Personalization. If you grind employees into the ground, you may get some amazing metrics, but eventually they will burn out and leave. So rather than having one blanket policy for everyone, be flexible. Give employees responsibility for allocating their time. Provide training opportunities and time during normal working hours to help them stay sharp, explore new areas of interest, and encourage long-term career growth in and out of the support team.
Expectations. Ask any customer support org and they will tell you that they struggle with setting upfront expectations, often waiting days or weeks for customer replies. What if the engineer felt empowered to say they wanted to resolve this quickly and the way to do that was to stay in close communication? Or what if we could use AI and machine learning to give customers assistance without having to open a case? This attitude shifts the relationship to a partnership where the company and the customer tackle an issue together, rather than throwing it over the fence.