Just say Help.
I am annoyed. That’s why we have blogs, right? Because something annoys us and we want to express our annoyance. Well, here’s mine: Stop coming up with cutesy names for your customer support team.
AHHHHHHH there, I said it! We are in a spiral right now of customer success, happiness, loyalty, ninjas, heroes, gurus, coach, rockstars, superstars…it has to end!
I’ll admit I’ve been the advocate for not calling your team “customer service”, but I believe that’s to compare and contrast what we provide on the web versus brick and mortar stores. Customer service and customer support, in my opinion, are very different things. They imply and conjure up very different ideals for a company. Customer service has traditional implications of the return line at WalMart, calling Verizon, waiting for Comcast. None of those imply the kind of service we want to provide to our customers on the web, right? By using a word like “support,” you instead imply that there’s someone waiting to offer support. There’s someone who can fix that thing, give you an answer, offer a refund or credit, or steer you to another product that may work better for you.
Well, that person isn’t a ninja, stalking the night to eliminate enemies, and she’s not a guru leading you into meditation so you find the answer within yourself. That person isn’t hired to keep you happy, that’s more like prostitution. And they aren’t invested in their customer’s success, as if using their product is your life goal. Rockstars are archetypically drug-binging, alcoholic narcissists…not really who I want answering emails for customers. Oh hi, you’re my Customer Hero? So, you’re saying you hired a fantasy daddy figure to save the day for your customers, because your product is so messed up it requires Superman to explain it?
Customer support for the web is the only place in the world where, for some reason, we feel this strange desire to come up with the coolest, most unique terms to define what we do. You never hear a lawyer described as a “Defendant Success Ninja,” or a heart surgeon called a “Cardiovascular Happiness Engineer”.
In a perfect world, we’d all just use the words “Help Team” and leave it be. No ego, no titles, no hyperbolic attempts to raise our status above everyone else doing the same job for every other company. We’d just make it really, really clear, We’re here to help.