Enhance Your Support Structure
Customer support is a team effort. When things run smoothly your customers can’t help but notice. But if things go wrong they’ll notice that above all else. Which is worse? Ineffective communication and collaboration in the support team have a drastic impact on customer trust. Make sure you don’t overlook any opportunities to improve your software support process. Here are three tips to get you started.
1 – Keep Your Software Support Team in Sync
When software support teams aren’t in sync the misinformation can have devastating impacts on your customer’s trust. Not only that, it becomes even more of a problem as the number of tickets increases. There are three key areas to address to keep things on track. These areas are knowledge, tools, and communication.
Too often, support documentation is either scattered throughout the company or outdated. When this happens, the support team ends up giving incorrect information to the customer. When a customer has to call back repeatedly, they will become more frustrated with each interaction. The best approach is to create a knowledge base or a central repository that contains all the information a support person needs to give accurate information.
The knowledge base should:
- Provide answers to common problems
- Provide a means to update the information when needed
- Be accessible to the entire team.
A centralized location for all support information will help team members respond quickly and accurately to customer support requests.
Keeping software support teams in sync requires tools that help them be more effective at what they do. Beyond a knowledge base, the team needs to work in the same ticket tracking tool. Sometimes 1st-level and 2nd-level support teams work in different tracking systems. Given the level of communication required between these teams, everyone needs to use the same tool. That way everyone has access to the same support tickets and can coordinate information easily.
Real-time communication is also a great way to keep everyone on the same page. Email is not an effective solution for a support team. Not everyone checks their email regularly throughout the day. As such, they may miss important questions or opportunities to provide input. A real-time chat tool gives everyone immediate access to the team. They can ask questions and anyone in the group can respond. In this way, team members can get help right away to provide the customer with a quick and hopefully more accurate response.
2 – Provide Quick Answers
Providing customers with accurate and timely answers demonstrates that you value their experience. This sets a positive tone for the interaction. Providing timely answers is easy with the correct approach.
Forrester believes that customers will start to demonstrate a backlash against chatbot support. Why? Because 60% of chatbots don’t offer escalation options during the chat. Instead, customers have to call the support line directly if they wish to speak to someone to escape their issue. This switch in the workflow can be upsetting. Especially if they have a quick question. An omnichannel experience is the solution.
According to a ZenDesk study, 28% of customers say multiple communication options are part of a good customer experience. The solution is to create an omnichannel experience. That way, customers can contact the team via their preferred communication channel. The same report says:
- For simple service requests, 60% prefer email, 58% prefer phone, 48% prefer live chat, 24% prefer SMS/ text, and 18% prefer social media
- For complicated service requests, 76% prefer phone, 43% prefer live chat, 40% prefer email, 15% prefer text, and 12% prefer social media
They should be able to switch between social media, email, phone, and chat seamlessly. This level of availability demonstrates that you value their time and are committed to helping them address their concerns.
Provide Self-Service Options
Customers have come to expect an immediate response from customer support. You’ll cut down on support issues and keep customers happy when you allow them to find answers on their own quickly. One solution is to create a customer knowledge base and FAQ on the website. The knowledge base should provide help with common issues and provide solutions.
3 – Be Proactive
It is nearly impossible to address issues before they come up. However, identifying them early and fixing them immediately will contribute to a positive customer experience. Create a plan to proactively identify potential issues before they become larger problems.
Recognize Recurring Problems
If the same issue continues to resurface, it’s time to address it. The team will need to find the root cause of the issue to determine the best approach. The team should have a way to identify recurring issues. A better approach would be to have the ticketing system alert the team of anything that occurs beyond a predefined threshold.
Dedicate Technical Staff Time to Fix Issues
The technical team already has a lot on its plate. Working on these types of issues puts them behind on their projects. However, it is important to address the root cause of these issues so they don’t continue to happen. Thus, management must dedicate time specifically to fixing these items. It’s the most effective way to prevent them from recurring.
Get Customer Feedback
Tapping into customer feedback is a great way to help identify potential problems. Get feedback from customers regularly. Ask for their opinions and acknowledge their recommendations. It is a great way to spot something earlier rather than later. Not only that, involving customers this way shows the customer your company values their experience.
To provide the best support, make sure that your software support staff is communicating with one another and working together on each problem. Also, make sure that you are providing answers quickly to avoid frustration or confusion for your customers.
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