The Customer Support department is one of the most important parts of any company. Clients’ opinions about your company is built on the experience of communication with your customer-facing workers. A significant percentage of this experience depends on workers. Polite, patient, and friendly staff who help solve problems will improve your reputation. Conversely, routine communication with customers and indifference can ruin the attitude towards your brand.
But even the most polite and qualified employees cannot always cope with the flow of customer requests — sometimes it takes them a while to process requests or requests get lost during peak hours. Also, it is essential to use customer support smart widgets which will help you communicate with potential customers automatically. Use smart widgets to send them triggered calls to action based on their behavior on the website.
Here is a list of things to focus on to improve your customer support department in 2021.
1. First, customers should always have a choice about how they can communicate with your brand. Live chat on your website, phone support, email communication, social networks — all of these channels are equally important. For example, 13chats — a marketing automation tool — has solutions that automatically ask people for their email address or phone number if a support manager is not able to reply or it takes them more than 2 minutes.
It will be more convenient for your potential client if they can contact your company without searching for your contact details. It is necessary to use a multichannel approach in 2021.
2. Carefully select employees not only for their professional but also their personal qualities. The best employee for a company’s hotline is one who loves and knows how to communicate with people. Here, benevolence, patience, and stress resistance are more important than professional qualifications.
3. Speed up the processing time for written applications using bots and chatbots. For large companies that get a lot of calls and requests, it is necessary to implement software that will help filter requests, distribute messages by topic and send responses to users using a template.
For example, 13chats uses a chatbot to identify if a person wants to communicate in a messenger chat, or if they want to sign up for a demo call. Also, if businesses have a significant portfolio of products or services, it is possible to navigate them through them easily with a chatbot.
4. Prepare for peak support workloads in advance. There is always a time when the workload on the company’s support team increases: for example, during the holidays, bad weather, or promotions. These situations do not come unexpectedly.
Determine you usually see an increase in requests or calls by 100-200% and restructure the work schedule of specialists. These days, you should be fully armed: have the maximum number of people at their workplaces, processing queues of applications for the most voluminous requests. It is also important to inform customers about delayed responses during peak times.
5. Create a knowledge base and answer frequently asked questions. All customers need solutions and instructions from time to time. Employees can use the knowledge base to find the answer to questions quickly. On the other hand, customers will read the FAQ, find a solution to their problem independently, and will not contact the company’s support service.
6. Motivate employees. Employees should be aware of how vital their job is to your company’s success. Introduce a system of penalties and rewards for each response to an application or question. Collect statistics: the number of processed requests, the response rate.
7. Create as simple a support structure as possible. Nobody likes to wait ten minutes for a specialist to connect them with the right person. Such a delay provokes queues on the telephone line and long chains of messages in chats. It can become challenging to find the person responsible for the customer and control the result.
8. Improve qualifications. Continuous employee development is the key to success. Those who started with enthusiasm tend to lose interest over time. Management’s job is to ensure that the quality of your customer service does not deteriorate over time. Therefore, it is necessary to constantly conduct general training courses, training courses for beginners, and courses for experienced support staff.
9. Collect metrics. Read call data to improve business hotline management. For example, statistics on the speed of receiving requests and responding to them (service level) and data on the quality of the response (level of satisfaction) are how Dodo Pizza controls the work of their support team.
10. Build a service based on customer requests — calls to the company’s support service — a ready-made study of the target audience. Correct bugs pointed out to you by customers, listen to their suggestions, and improve the service.
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