Customer support has changed drastically over the last few years.
New technologies have powered up the capacities of customer support teams across the world.
But the use of these technologies alone won’t be enough to provide great support to your customers. It’s all about how you’d take advantage of these technologies to improve your efforts.
Let’s break down 10 customer support best practices to implement going into the new decade.
Understand Customer Support and its Goals
We’ll start with a simple but important practice.
You need to make sure that you and your team deeply understand customer support and its goals. For example, you’ll need to understand the differences between customer support and customer service.
What about customer success? How is that different?
Remember, customer support is a re-active set of practices that seek to help a specific set of customers that need special assistance when it comes to your products and services.
At the end of the day, you won’t be able to improve something that you don’t fully grasp or understand. In any case, a quick refresher on key concepts is never bad.
Choose and Track Your KPIs
Customer support KPIs will give you a broad view of your support team’s performance.
From the number of cases that have been worked on, to time spent per case, to customer feedback.
However, the best practice is to keep in mind that KPIs will not tell you what’s wrong or right with your support team. KPIs will only let you know about areas to look at when they change and it will be up to you to understand how those changes affect your team in the context of your business.
With so many different KPIs that you could be tracking, it can be hard to know where to start.
Luckily we’ve put together an in-depth guide with the top customer support KPIs that you should be tracking.
Make it Easy for Customers to Contact You
This one is a no-brainer. Making sure that your customers can easily contact you is incredibly important. After all, you wouldn’t want your customer to run into an issue with say, making a purchase, and move on without contacting your team first.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How easy is it for your customers to contact your support team?
- Can they only do it from one single contact page?
- Can your users contact you through multiple channels? (In-Person, Email, Phone, Live Chat)
- How long do users have to wait before they receive a response from your team? (Auto-replies don’t count!)
There are many more questions you could ask yourself about this topic. But the end goal remains the same, you’ll have to identify ways in which you can make it easier for your customers to contact your customer support team.
Respond Faster with Live Chat
In today’s world of customer support, quick responses are incredibly important for customers.
We’d say they are basically required if you truly want to delight your customers when they most require your help.
The best technology you can implement to increase your response time is live chat support. Not only will this increase your response times but it can also increase your revenue and sales. After all, live chat can also be a sales channel.
Don’t know where to start when it comes to implementing live chat on your site? Here’s our in-depth guide on how to provide customer support via live chat, including setup and best practices.
Let Customers Find Solutions to Common Issues
Over time, you might notice that many of your customers might be running into similar issues.
Therefore, your team might be spending a significant chunk of their time solving the same issues over and over.
Time is arguably every customer support team’s most precious resource. Ideally, you’d want to prevent them from wasting time by solving the same issue for every customer.
You can quickly improve this situation by creating resources for customers to easily find the solutions for common issues.
This can come in the form of an FAQ section, a more detailed help portal or a support community forum where users can assist each other with common issues. When setting this up, remember our previous point on accessibility and make sure that these resources are easy to find for users.
Use Customer Support as Fuel for Product and Service Improvements
While we’re talking about common issues, the best way to get rid of them is to permanently solve the issue itself.
If your support team identifies common issues that your customers are having with your product or service, there should be strategies in place to communicate these to your product development team.
After all, the best source for feedback about your product or service is your customer base.
Make sure you’re keeping track of common issues and integrating solutions to these into your product development flow.
Create Sub-teams for Customer Support
For most businesses, all issues might be able to be solved by the same support team.
But for more complex and larger businesses, you might need separate support teams into separate categories. For example, you might have a team that deals with technical support issues and a team that deals with account and billing issues.
The goal is here is to optimize the effectiveness of your team by having them focus on specific areas of expertise.
In this scenario, you will also want to categorize all your incoming issues and route them accordingly to the right team.
Hire the Right Staff
Speaking of customer support teams and staff, it is key that you hire the right support staff for your team.
You might say that this is true for any hire, but we’d insist that this is even more important in customer support. Since these will be the people that will interact directly with your customers when they most require your help.
A bad apple in a customer support team can cause a lot of irreparable damage.
As a result, we’ve put together our list of best interview questions to ask while interviewing for customer support positions.
Collect Customer Data
Uknown to many, customer support can be a huge channel for customer data acquisition.
This is quite important when you consider that customer data is considered as the most valuable kind of data for any business.
As a result, you’ll want to make sure that you’re collecting the key and valuable customer data that can stem from their customer support interactions.
The best way to do this is to implement and use a customer support tool that integrates into a powerful CRM platform.
One tool that does this is Moment, our fully-featured CRM platform with live chat and email integrations. Not only does it offer these features, but they are also included in Moment’s free plan.
Take Advantage of Further Technologies
Lastly, you’ll have to consider the many new technologies that can improve your customer support strategy.
For example, by integrating browser recordings into your customer support flow, you could have a view of your users’ screens directly while working on the issues they are running into.
This would not only improve your support team’s efficiency, but it would be another avenue to collect invaluable customer data.
Customer support is often more complex than it seems. However, that doesn’t mean that many of the improvements you can make to your support efforts aren’t simple.
In fact, you would be able to implement most of the practices above in only a few days’ time.
Where will you start?