Building an effective support team is important for customer satisfaction. According to a report from Forrester, 71% of US online adult consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good service. Training is a traditional and effective way to improve your team’s communication skills and product knowledge. In addition to that, you can also use some technology tools to boost the efficiency of your support team.
Live chat is a real-time communication channel for customer support. There usually is a delay with email support, which lengthens the case handling cycle. When supporting customers on the phone, you can only deal with one case for one time. Instead, live chat enables you to respond to customers’ requests promptly and handle multiple cases or customers simultaneously.
Professional live chat software usually offers features that can help you increase the productivity of your support team. Typing indicator empowers you to see what a visitor is typing before he or she sends out the message so you have the ease to prepare for the response in advance. Canned message gives you the ability to provide accurate answers to frequently asked questions in a timely manner. Visitor tracking allows you to analyze customer behaviors so as to make the communication more personalized and targeted. According to our statistics in Comm100, an average 30% increase can be made in support efficiency by deploying live chat on your website.
A support ticket system is especially useful when you need to manage customer queries from multiple channels, such as email, live chat, help desk, web form, social networks, phone call, etc. or when there are multiple members in the support team who need to collaborate with each other. You can keep track of all the customer communications in one place and have all the cases under your control, no matter where they come.
When a ticket is created, it can have properties such as status, priority and assignee. Status and priority show which tickets need to be handled and which need to be done first, while assignee makes it clear who should do it. The ticket properties can be automatically updated with pre-defined rules, such as changing a ticket’s department, setting a certain priority or assigning the ticket to a specific operator, etc. Besides, notifications or follow-up emails can be automatically sent to you or your customers based on the rules you pre-define. Properly configured, these automation tools can largely improve the efficiency in resolving your customers’ inquiries.
As a widely used self-help tool, knowledge base can be deployed to provide easy-to-access help for both your customers and internal team. It gives customers an option to solve the issues by themselves and saves you from answering the same questions repeatedly.
When customers ask about something already covered in the knowledge base, you can quickly give them accurate answers by directing them to the correspondent knowledge base articles, which will reduce the case handling time as well as the duplication of work. Many customers prefer to find answers by themselves if they have a good way to, unless the issues are really tough or urgent. A well-built knowledge base can help reduce inbound support requests significantly. That’s why some famous brands such as Oracle are using it as one of the most important support channels.
Online community is another popular self-help support channel, which creates a shared platform for customers to post their inquiries and feedback. The topics in a community are usually more varied than that in a knowledge base as they are user-generated. Many customers can find answers to their questions after searching the community. And when you get some active members who are glad to help others, more issues can be resolved without even involving your support team. Online community is also a great way to collect customer feedback about your brand or products, which can then be used to guide the improvement of your products and services. Companies using communities for customer service include Microsoft, Google, Lenovo and many more.