How’d that work out for you? Did the cable guy show up and work faster than a speeding bullet? Or did you spend four hours waiting for him, only to be greeted by a surly dude reeking of Axe body spray?
At AppointmentPlus® scheduling software, we believe that customer service is so important that we measure our Support team’s satisfaction rate. And as reported in our Zendesk rating platform, AppointmentPlus subscribers have consistently given our customer support superheroes a satisfaction rating of 95% or higher.
How do we do it? I asked our client services and technical support manager, Stuart McLaughlin, to explain himself.
I learned the trick is not just his charming English accent.
To learn his secrets, watch the video below, read the transcript, and share this article with a friend.
Kendall: Hi, I’m Kendall Matthews, the Vice President of Global Marketing and Communication for AppointmentPlus. Welcome to another AppointmentPlus Live on Friday. I brought my good friend Stuart [McLaughlin] with me.
Stuart, tell all the good people about your role with AppointmentPlus, how long you’ve been with us, and your team.
Stuart: I’ve been with AppointmentPlus for three years now. I’m the Client Services Manager. I oversee the Support team and the Training and Onboarding team. We’ve got a great team and a lot of clients.
Kendall: Where are you from originally? Texas? (Laughter)
Stuart: London, England.
Kendall: Oh London, England…so you play soccer—or football?
Stuart: Football. (Laughter).
Kendall: What are the options for AppointmentPlus Support packages?
Stuart: We have different options for different client needs.
We have Basic Support, which is free. You just submit tickets to our Support team, emails, explaining what your issue is, and the Support team will get back to you by that ticket.
We also have Extended Support, which is $10 a month, and gives you phone access as well as tickets, so that you can call the Support team during business hours, 6 am to 5 pm Arizona time.
We also have Premium Support, which is 24-hour support, and accommodates the international clients we have.
Kendall: Our international clients are very important; [we have clients] in about 20 countries. With that 24-hour Support around the world, what are some of the things people call in about and how is the response time?
Stuart: We have a team readily available. So if a team member is on the phone with another client, there may be a brief hold. But normally you can get right through [with] someone ready to answer your questions.
Kendall: What have you learned about providing great customer support and success?
Stuart: It’s [about] open communication, honesty, and addressing the client’s needs. If there’s an issue or a defect, then you understand [the customer], sympathize with them, and try to get it addressed as quickly as possible.
Kendall: Where are [the AppointmentPlus] Support offices?
Stuart: We currently we have two offices: [our headquarters in] Scottsdale, Arizona, where we are now, and in Hyderabad, India. Both teams are trained the same way, handle the same issues, and are both kept up to speed on the issues. You should receive the same level of service from both.
Kendall: Does [AppointmentPlus] Support help with account configuration?
Stuart: Our Support team would typically handle how-to questions or [offer] certain [technical] fixes on your account. If your account isn’t working the way you intend it to work, you call it in and we help you to fix that.
We do, however, have an Onboarding and Training team that can help with [account] configuration questions. We also have an Admin 101 course that our clients can sign up for each week. It gives them a refresher of the account [features]. [We also offer] designated time with one of our trainers for either 30 minutes or an hour. That really allows you to dive in with one of our specialists and get trained on a certain area.
Kendall: Is that one-on-one specialized training you’re talking about good for groups that are just coming onboard, or is that more for [customers] who are changing [account] administrators?
Stuart: Either one. If you’re sitting down with one of our trainers and you have a team of people you want to learn the system, get them all in the room or on the phone for a conversation and we’re happy to answer questions from the entire team.
If you’re changing [an account administrator] or there is a product you don’t know about, [talking with Onboarding] would be a great opportunity to sit down and go through your account with one of our specialists. He or she can explain how the account was configured. Maybe there are some new needs [the customers has] that need to be configured.
Kendall: Can any staff member [of an AppointmentPlus customer] contact Support?
Stuart: We allow our clients to configure their accounts in a way that meets the needs of the roles and responsibilities of their staff members. So we have different access types within the accounts. Only the [account] administrators can contact Support. [Each AppointmentPlus account] has headquarters administrators and location administrators.
Kendall: What’s the difference?
Stuart: A headquarters administrator is more or less the overseer of the entire account. They can the billing information, which you may not want everybody on the account to see.
The next level would be a location administrator. They can change preferences, add staff members, and submit Support [tickets] or call the Support team.
WHY GOOD SUPPORT MEANS TREATING THE CUSTOMER LIKE A HUMAN BEING
Kendall: Are your Support queues automated? [Customers] want to talk to humans.
Stuart: Oh I understand. I feel their pain. You only get one [automated] question when you call the Support line: do you want to speak to sales, or do you want to speak to Support? Press number three to talk to Support and you’ll get right through to a human.
There is no automated system, no numbers or buttons. If [a member of the Support team] is available, they’ll answer the line. If they are assisting another person, you may be put on a brief hold with the option to leave a voicemail.
If you don’t want to sit on hold for a couple of minutes, leave your account number, your information, a good callback number and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
After hours we have a system that takes the call, takes a message and sends it over to the Support team. Once the Support team sees you have that premium [after-hours] support level, we’ll get back to you immediately.
Kendall: Sometimes people like to do their own research [to answer software questions]. Does [AppointmentPlus] have a Knowledge Base?
Stuart: We do have an AppointmentPlus Knowledge Base. When you go through your account there is a help tab in the top right corner, the same place you’d go to submit a Support ticket. [It connects you to] a full Knowledge Base that has lots of articles to explain different setups, [and can help with] troubleshooting and explaining features.
Kendall: People want to self-learn.
Stuart: Definitely. Self-service is a thing a lot of people enjoy doing these days. They don’t want to have to call [Support] and speak to someone; they want to find the answer immediately and get it fixed.
Kendall: Stuart I really appreciate your time. Folks, you know we’re here for you. We take scheduling very seriously. Whenever you want to continue to grow, or have questions about how to plus-size your account, Stuart and his Support team are available.
APPOINTMENTPLUS CLIENT SERVICES QUICK FACTS
The AppointmentPlus Client Services team consistently maintains a 95% and above Zendesk customer satisfaction rating. The team offers a wide range of subscriber assistance, including:
- Phone support for our clients
- Email ticketing and incident explanation
- One-on-one training sessions
- Individual account assessments (Ensuring your account is configured to provide maximum scheduling efficiency)