We can all learn from our mistakes. We’d just prefer it if everybody else made them. Fortunately for us, in the world of customer support platforms, many companies have blazed the trail before us, particularly when it comes to automating elements of customer service.
Make sure you don’t make any of the costly mistakes that have been made by so many before you with customer service platforms.
Mistake #1: Not Catering to Multiple Support Channels
Today’s customers expect multi-channel customer support systems offering a variety of choices to resolve issues, whether through self-service, email, phone, live chat, or social media. Not offering these options can harm your company’s image by making it look smaller than it is, or unworthy of its customers.
Mobile-initiated queries, which make up a significant portion of support requests, for instance, are often overlooked. It is crucial that automated support solutions be customized for the smaller screens of mobile devices since you can’t risk frustrating your customers as they struggle with your system. In fact, according to Google research, 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company.
The sure-fire way to ensure that all of your grounds are covered is to:
- Offer comprehensive support through all available channels and touch points.
- Use a dynamic FAQ and self-service channels to allow customers to solve problems on their own.
- Choose an automated support system that is customized to all screens and devices.
Catering to multiple support channels becomes easier when you put up an automated front line of defense to catch the easiest support questions before they are handled by a human. This can be in the form of a dynamic FAQ where the customers can independently search for answers to their queries out of a well-developed knowledge base.
In this day in age, no company can get by without having an always-on, ever-present solution set on all social media channels. One way to ensure your customers get the best possible responses in the shortest possible time, is by integrating a chat bot solution that your customers can interact with even through their every day chat platforms such as Skype and Facebook Messenger. A virtual chat bot that taps directly into your company’s knowledge base to provide more personal, relevant information right to the customer’s messaging interface can be the ultimate tipping point for customer success.
Mistake #2: Making Self-Service a Barrier to Live Support
The correct use of automated customer service platforms will reduce the incoming calls your company deals with on a daily basis, but contacting support should still remain simple and accessible to the client.
Automated support does not eliminate the need for human support.
Vague error messages, hard-to-locate support contact numbers, and inflexible software, are all signs of a company that’s trying to reduce costs without improving user experience.
Instead of sending the wrong message to your customers, make sure to keep stick to these guidelines:
- Make self-service an option – not a requirement.
- Offer both live and automated support in tandem.
- When customers can’t find their resolution, offer practical satisfaction tools such as escalation to human support.
Mistake #3: Lack of Provision for Support Staff
The human touch is irreplaceable. If the customer is unable to find the answer to a query, there must be simple tools to get answers through alternative channels such as live chat, social media, or email.
It is imperative that the support staff be well-trained to deal with irate customers in a courteous manner. Don’t forget that every written word online is on record forever.
If you’re offering multi-channel support options, man them effectively. Placing contact information on your support page is easy, but if a customer tweets your company for support, the last thing they want to be told is to contact you by phone.
Avoid falling into these traps by:
- Training your staff to deal with difficult customers.
- Offering self-learning, automated tools so that your agents won’t need to perform data maintenance often.
- Having staff in place to answer queries through all support channels.
Mistake #4: Choosing a Solution That’s Hard to Implement
One big mistake that many companies make is to “etch-a-sketch” their support system by throwing out everything they had and starting afresh.
Avoid the damaging consequences of having to struggle with a new system, by:
- Choosing a SaaS solution that will fully integrate any support center with an efficient deployment, offering you return on investment instantly.
- Ensuring that there is an open API to implement the system at any touch point.
- Ensuring that the system can effortlessly scale with contextual engines rather than the cumbersome manual maintenance of knowledgebase systems.
Mistake #5: Decentralized Customer Data
One of the most frustrating experiences for a customer is going through multiple support channels and having to repeat information. No matter how they contact your company, the response on the other end of the line should already be acquainted with the client’s history.
You can avoid this cycle of irritation by:
- Keeping accurate, up-to-date profiles on your customers.
- Ensuring that automated systems document any ongoing interaction with the customer.
- Having this information ready to peruse in one central place.
Mistake #6: Underestimating the Power of Feedback and Analytics
Many companies disregard feedback from users regarding support, without realizing that it is a goldmine of useful information that can be used to repair and highlight issues.
Rather than miss out on this hidden treasure, make sure to:
- Implement a powerful customer support system that can summarize and pinpoint issues.
- Get feedback from both end-users and your employees.
- Keep feedback anonymous, and assign someone unbiased to analyze the feedback to spot trends.
User feedback allows you to maintain your knowledgebase, directs where information is lacking, and allows you to spot trends that could damage your company. An automated customer support system can offer real time insights, trends, usage analytics, and it can track metrics, ROI and conversions.
Offer Better, More Time-Efficient Service!
Customer service solutions should be implemented to offer better service. An automated customer service solution should not be a barrier between you and your customer, it should help them get answers as quickly as possible.
You need an automated customer service system that is easy to deploy and scale up, to offer support across multiple channels, to keep centralized customer data and to offer advanced feedback and analytics tools. This way, you’ll avoid the biggest modern support hazards, satisfying both your customers and staff in one fell swoop.