Customer support: Definition, importance & 10 key strategies
Make it easy for them by displaying your contact information in logical places on your website. Also, consider meeting them where they are by offering live chat support within your product or accepting support requests over social media. Sometimes, delivering excellent customer support means making it easy for customers to help themselves. In fact, 81% of consumers attempt to resolve issues on their own before reaching out to customer support, and 71% want the ability to solve most issues on their own. When customers reach out to your support team, more often than not, it’s because of an issue they’re facing. Customer support teams have an excellent opportunity here to turn your customers’ experience around through speedy and high-quality support.
Customer support refers to interactions around helping your customer use your product or solution. Click here to access a detailed guide that covers the most important customer service skills for agents to build, including superior communication skills, subject matter expertise, and problem-solving skills. And the top brands are already consistently providing it across channels, sometimes before the customer even knows they need help. A good example of automation that facilitates human interaction is automated lead assignment.
Ensure soft skills are just as important as the “technical” ones
Customers who pick up the phone can benefit from live chat with an agent; however, both channels are subject to business hours. There are a number of different channels to deliver customer service. Many companies use more than one way for consumers to reach them, especially larger ones.
According to a report published on Statista, the global customer satisfaction rate with live chat stood at 83.04% in 2019. It gives customers the ability to instantly clarify their doubts and concerns regarding your products and services, making their purchase decisions easier and quicker. This goes to show that businesses need to stay abreast of varied communication channels that their customers prefer. That being said, nothing can replace the good-old personal touch when it comes to customer interactions.
The role of customer service
This will give you a complete view of a customer’s interactions with your company. When a customer reaches out, the agent has all relevant data on a single screen — demographics, order history, preferences, and more — so they know how to help. And they will know who to pull in from another department to help resolve the issue, if need be. Eighty-five percent of customers expect consistent interactions across departments. It doesn’t matter whether the customer is on self-service channels or chatting with a sales rep. Customers want continuity — not redirects to a different team or having to repeat information. Eighty percent of shoppers will abandon a retailer after three bad experiences, for example.
Organizations that use chatbots typically train them on frequently asked questions and tasks, and program them to their specific industries. The difference between customer service and customer support is that customer support teams support a product, while customer service teams provide service to a customer. The call center customer service teams of the late 20th century were held to operational metrics tied to cost-cutting, such as first response times and call resolution times. But providing excellent customer support means focusing more on holistic metrics that are tied to company-wide goals, such as customer satisfaction and NPS.
However, despite their best efforts, not many are able to survive tough competition. On top of that, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has only aggravated the situation, forcing many promising small businesses and startups to shut shop. One of the most important customer support trends for the future is the efficient collection, analysis, and application of customer data. Responsive or reactive support is support offered when a customer reaches out with a query or complaint.
These stats are a testament to the fact that to survive cut-throat competition, brands need to invest in a team of talented people who understand and embody great Customer Support and service. Brands today have access to multiple cutting-edge technologies and solutions that allow customer support personalization at scale. Edge computing can improve real-time data analysis, CRM creates a single record of all customer information, and automation tools make the implementation of decisions and actions faster. However, none of these technologies can help your brand establish a personal connection with customers. With the help of the latest developments in technology, brands are doing everything in their power to constantly delight customers – ensuring they meet customers wherever they want (email, chat, social, phone). Gone are the days where merely meeting customers’ expectations was enough.
Anticipatory support is support offered to customers proactively, foreseeing their needs at various points during their lifecycle. A Customer Support strategy that aims to improve loyalty, places a lot of importance on anticipatory support as it demonstrates a brand’s commitment towards serving its customers well. Another crucial aspect of customer support includes helping customers with timely maintenance and upgradation of systems. Doing this keeps customers up-to-date with the latest versions of the company’s services and ensures high performance and security levels. When a customer reports a technical issue, the customer support team has a two-fold responsibility. Firstly, they must effectively communicate with the customer and note all the essential details pertaining to the problem.
Your one-stop resource for everything related to customer support – let’s start delivering exceptional service today. As the team expands, simple, sensible processes make it easier for everyone to do a great job. No one is left wondering what they need to do – it’s clear what is required in a number of defined situations. If you don’t have robust processes in place things will break as you scale and your quality of customer support will suffer as a result.
Overall, surveys can be a great way for businesses to improve their customer service by getting feedback, figuring out where they can improve, and measuring customer satisfaction. Personalized support can improve customer relationships and show that the company values its customers. The development of technologies like chatbots and live chatbots has made it simple to customize customer service and delight customers. They can get in touch with the company via any of the several support channels available. Therefore, it’s essential to plan for an omnichannel customer experience and guarantee quick, efficient service. With an omnichannel approach to support, it is essential to keep centralize all customer data in a single place.
Read on to learn the potential benefits and limitations of each tool. Brummel agrees that support leaders across industries tend to hire first for the necessary technical skills and promote those who’ve mastered them. But, again, it really depends on your particular business and industry, and the people you’re supporting. For example, maybe a customer reached out about a stolen credit card. Beyond identifying what information was compromised and then taking steps to solve that problem, going the extra mile can go a long way.
To create long-term brand loyalty while making a difference, look for ways to give back and get involved in charity efforts to demonstrate your company’s values. When it counts, consider how you can show your appreciation or support for your customers. You might provide discounts to veterans or teachers, or donate a percentage of your proceeds to a specific cause or charity. Demonstrating kindness and empathy is critical when aiming to build long-term brand loyalty and stronger customer relationships. Your CSRs are bound to receive feedback, inquires, and more via social media.
When a lead enters the system, AI determines which agent is the right fit based on their workload and skillset and then assigns that lead to that agent who can reach out as soon as possible. Similar technology can be used with live chat and your ticketing system. Just because email is asynchronous doesn’t mean it shouldn’t feel personalized.
- A knowledge base is typically a large written database containing everything your clients need to be successful with or derive value out of your product or solution.
- Customer service and support teams incorporate various tools to operate efficiently.
- Every customer should get the same level of help no matter who they interact with or on what channel.
- Some of the ways to provide effective customer service include providing a friendly and warm experience, listening, and empathizing.
- The term customer success first originated in the ’90s but has gained greater traction over the past decade, especially in the world of SaaS.
- Eighty percent of shoppers will abandon a retailer after three bad experiences, for example.
Customer support agents must solicit feedback from customers at every stage of interaction with them. According to Microsoft’s 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report, 77% of people view brands more favorably if they reach out to them for feedback and implement it. In the future, innovative technologies such as AI and machine learning may transform customer service and customer support even further.
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