Businesses are aware of the importance of customer support because they do not want their customer base to shrink. They want their customers to come to them again and again for getting their requirements fulfilled. In fact, companies spending unduly large sums and a good amount of time for putting in place various customer support channels is not an uncommon thing at all. This is because the competition is fierce in every field. Customers have also been becoming smarter day by day and they expect efficient and high-quality service from companies.
But at the same time, businesses face budget pressure and financial constraints. It is in this context they are advised to streamline the customer support channels they have put in place. This is so as to get optimum results for the efforts these businesses put in.
But this is easier said than done. Streamlining multiple customer support channels can turn out to be an arduous task, though it is not impossible. Thanks to the new technologies available now, companies can get tangible results for their efforts. Let us find out how you, as a business owner, can effectively streamline the multiple customer support channels.
1. Stop seeing your support channels as separate entities
Though your social media pages and help desk can be accessed round the clock, customers can talk to your phone agents only during the day. Further, customers may send their queries through your social media or help desk all through the day. But your agents will be answering those queries only when they are available in the office. This may disappoint customers because they want to have quick and instant responses. If you want to avoid such a situation, you must adopt the concept of coordinated multiple customer support channels. In other words, you must not view support channels as separate entities. This means that you should ensure that all the channels you have put in place are appropriately integrated.
Simply put, you are offering several options to your customers. But, regardless of the option they choose, you need to ensure your customers a promise. This is of making the teams working on all the channels informed of the queries and concerns of the customers.
2. Have a CRM system to hook up all the channels
There is the best way to integrate all the customer support channels. This is by having a CRM system for hooking up all of them. Such a system won’t require your customers to repeat their queries or doubts to the team members of every channel.
3. It is not necessary to offer all the channels at once
Your aim naturally, should be to offer all the favorite channels your customers expect to have. Yet, you are advised to refrain from offering those channels about which you do not know much. Similarly, one can say this for the things at which you and your teams have not developed competence. In other words, the channels you offer should be easy to put in place, adapt, and work. You can strive to offer the tough ones at a later date and when you are really ready. For example, phone support is considered a tough channel by a number of companies. This is because this channel not only needs an efficiently working IVR system but a number of agents as well. You should train the agents regularly also because they may have to have one-on-one communication with the customers.
4. Create a knowledge base
Your agents should provide customers with the solutions they want. Yet, having a knowledge management software is one of the most effective ways for deriving optimum benefits. And, you must derive these benefits out of your multiple customer support channels. For example, you can have an FAQ section on your website. Consequently, this can be the best way for quickly providing appropriate answers or solutions to your customers. This section should comprehensively cover all points or queries that are likely to arise in their minds.
Of course, creating a knowledge base will help your own agents also. Especially, it can serve this purpose if the agents have easy access to the knowledge base. Having this access, they can refer to it for providing answers to the queries raised by customers.
5. Make your agents work in all the channels
You must ensure that your agents are trained to work on all the channels. This will help you in using their services wherever you want. On the other hand, if an agent works on the same channel for a long period, monotony may set in and her efficiency is likely to hit a plateau soon.
Another negative point is that if an agent in a particular channel falls sick, the needs of the customers who opt for the channel may not be fulfilled. Remember that you can not afford to disappoint your customers. You must also not forget the fact that disappointed customers may not hesitate to switch loyalties.
6. Knowledge management
It is not enough if you have created a knowledge base. You have to manage the knowledge base appropriately as well. By effective management, it is meant that it should be updated regularly so not only your customers but your support staff will get the most recent solutions for the issues that may confront users of your products or services. Knowledge management should also consist of informing your customers as to whom they should contact whenever they have queries or concerns.
To put it in a nutshell, effectively streamlined multiple customer support channels will give a terrific boost to your business because satisfied customers will never leave you.
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