Don’t you hate having to waste your time explaining things to vendors? There are other priorities—like running an entire business. What organizations need is a website support team that understands problems as well as members of its own, without the need for lengthy or repetitive explanations. When your website support team isn’t the best fit for your business, you're going to have a hard time.
If certain indicators pop up now and again, that's not ideal but it shouldn't be a deal breaker. But if it starts happening more frequently, it may be that your website support team just isn’t right for you anymore. Maybe your needs have grown, or your business has evolved. But if the support you’re getting doesn’t feel like a constructive dialogue that leads to positive action, then it probably isn’t great support.
Let’s look at some of the red flags that indicate you're outgrowing your website support team.
Negative & repetitive website support team signs:
1. Your site support team takes too long to resolve issues
Critical components of your website fail to work as needed, and the delays keep getting longer. Your website support team tells you they’ll have it fixed by a certain time, but they never quite seem to make the deadline. This may be because they don’t have the expertise or experience necessary to troubleshoot the kind of issues that keep coming up on your website or web app. Another possibility is that they don’t see your business as a priority.
2. You’re getting a lot of complaints from users
f your users are noticeably impacted by the number of times your website or app is down or facing issues, that probably signals a major problem with your support.
3. Your support team is increasingly unresponsive
Your support team seemed quite eager to help at the start of your engagement, but over time their interest seems to be cooling off. It could be that they have some other projects that are keeping them from paying full attention to your website.
4. They invoke the SLA even for the smallest of requests
Every bug or change request becomes a discussion about time and money instead of prioritization and schedule.
SLAs exist to keep expectations clear between both parties, but if your team is routinely denying your requests based on the SLA, that’s not really serving your needs well, is it?
5. You don’t know how secure your data is
Security threats can have a very high cost. If you don’t have clear answers to how your site or app is being kept secure, that’s not a great sign.
6. You feel they’re holding you back
Your support team may be busy fixing old problems when you need them to be available to perform upgrades or extend existing capabilities. Maybe you want new features added, but your team keeps getting held up before the release. Or let’s say you ran a great campaign and now you’re getting a lot of traffic, but your team is barely able to keep the site up.
The result? Lost business.
If all the energy of the website support team is being sucked into solving existing issues instead of brainstorming towards newer plugins or features to work on, or new technology to experiment with, that’s a huge roadblock in your path to growth.
7. Their efforts are not aligned with your long-term business goals
Perhaps your website or web app was perfect for your business when it was built, but it’s not really meeting your needs anymore. And every time you ask your team to tweak something so you can get better results, they either tell you it can’t be done, or they are unable to provide options that are relevant to your specific business needs.
8. You don’t really see any value being created through website support
You can’t clearly see what your support team is adding to the business, and you don’t really know why you should continue with them.
If these indicators are becoming familiar, it might be time for website support team growth.
Support SLA's should be aligned with your goals.
What’s important is not only that you should have site uptime, great performance and someone to fix problems as they arise. You also need your support team to be thinking about servicing your website differently.
Customer success is about more than fixing problems and more than meeting basic website hygiene criteria. It means, simply, that your support team has your back.
Instead of arguing with you in response to your making a request, they would already be thinking about what would boost your website’s performance. Instead of thinking about how to maximize their profits, they would be thinking about how they can help you meet your business goals.
This also means that your support SLAs would be designed with your business success as the end goal. Instead of simply working to hit a bunch of disparate targets, your support team would be working to facilitate your success in the most meaningful, impactful way. They would constantly reorient their efforts to support the long-term objective of your website or web app, and work in a strategic and proactive way towards getting you those outcomes.
Think of all you can achieve with a team whose goals are fully aligned with your business needs. Clearly, efforts like these can be transformative for your growing business.
Customer success thinking unlocks potential.
With a customer success approach, your website support team would be thinking about ways to help you sustain profitability and growth. Both your internal website support team talent and your provider should think on these six important success points.
Establish. Start with understanding why your site, platform, or app was built. What do you need from it? What are your long-term goals? What does success look like to you? And with that, what does failure look like?
Discover. Conduct an audit to see whether the site is achieving what it is meant to, and how healthy it is. In light of the above, identify the key problems to be solved, as well as new opportunities as yet untapped.
Benchmark. Establish milestones that are closely tethered to your chosen metrics for success.
Forcast. Anticipate and plan for future events, monitor ongoing activity, always keeping a finger on the pulse of the website.
Retrospect. Take feedback seriously. Learn from every setback and figure out ways to do it better.
Your website should be supported by a partner who is invested in your success and focused on adding value. If your team is not doing any of the above, it’s possible that you're about to experience some growing pains. We recommend a consultation.
Nathan Roach, Director of Marketing
Germany-based consumer of old world wine and the written word. Offline you can find him spending time with his wife and daughter at festivities in the Rhineland.