March 8, 2017 | By

3 Steps to Fixing Customer Support

The rapid evolution of technology is affecting the way organizations communicate with their customers. With more access to information than ever before and easy access to competitor products, customer expectations are rising. So much so that 82% of consumers have reported they stopped doing business with a brand following a bad customer experience.

As product manufacturers continue to build devices with features designed to streamline our every day life, customer support interactions are growing in complexity. Customers now expect everything to be instant and easy to use — including troubleshooting and support. Self-service including FAQs, online forums, etc. are quickly becoming the first step for customers looking to solve an issue.  Assuming a manufacturer has updated and easily accessible self-service tools, this is a great way to offload common questions off of support teams.  But it’s not for everyone or every problem.  More complex problems likely require a higher-touch support option.

Regardless of the complexity of the question, however, customers no longer have the patience of a  10-step process where they are repeatedly asked to submit the same information and jump through different channels and departments. Support needs to be a smart, fast, and simple.  Here are three key components organizations should consider to keep up with this new era of customer support.

Understanding your customers –  Understanding the customer lifecycle is critical to providing best-in-class support. What is the process to acquire a new customer? What steps does a customer take to select a product like yours? More importantly, where does customer support fit into that lifecycle? Support plays an integral role not only later stages of the customer lifecycle like retention or advocacy, but also early-on, during the consideration stage. As customers trial products, they will likely have set-up or usability questions. How will the support experience stack up?  This is a customer’s first impression of the customer support team.  Chances are if you make it a good one, purchases will follow.

Understanding your support teams Your support team shapes your customer experience. Though the nature of customer service work has changed, many organizations haven’t changed whom they hire or how they hire, train, and manage performance of their customer service reps. As a result, these teams often have high internal churn and customer satisfaction suffers. Flatten the team’s architecture and allow reps to learn from each other and share best practices. Coach reps to develop competencies that will help them to identify and solve problems faster while also streamlining their workload.

Understanding the support processes – Examine the customer journey and identify where there are customer support gaps or areas for improvement. What tools and processes do you have or need to acquire to fill these gaps? There are countless help desk and remote support tools available, though not all are created equal. To learn more about what features you should look for in a customer support tool, check out our remote support buyer’s guide.

Regardless of how strong your customer support processes are today, there is no doubt they will be challenged in the coming months and years as technology continues to change and new generations of customers. As you proactively adjust your customer support strategy to meet your customer behavior, you will begin to deliver customer experiences that exceed customer expectations.

Interested in learning more? Watch our on-demand webinar.

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