While you can choose to pool all of your energy into development or marketing to get your product/service alive and out into the world, you’ll only ever see some of that potential return. After all, what is a reliable product without a reliable company behind it?
Investing the time and resources into building a solid, scalable customer service strategy is necessary to creating a brand that’s both profitable and sustainable. According to a recent Customers 2020 report, experts predict that customer experience will soon surpass price and product as the key differentiator from one brand to another. In other words, how you handle customer service matters.
When Applian Technologies was working on improving their processes and becoming more streamlined, they performed a support audit of their channels and found a lot of inefficiencies. Their goal was to scale up as a startup, and their human labor intensive customer support strategy was holding them back. From our experience with Applian building customer experience, we came up with a few pointed steps to lead to a scalable support roadmap.
1. Find the Perfect Help Desk Platform
After performing a full-fledged audit of your customer service efforts, it’s time to adopt a help desk solution if you haven’t already. And, if you have, it might be a good time to refresh things or even look into new platforms if things aren’t scaling up as quickly as you’d hoped.
The right help desk solution will centralize your communications across email, chat and social media, and be easy to manage day-to-day. With a platform like Zendesk, Freshdesk, or Desk.com, support teams can quickly identify repetitive issues, respond to customers and solve problems, and access key analytics to help optimize further along the way.
2. Offer Multi-Channel Customer Service
Offering multiple channels of access to support is the best way to keep customers happy 24/7; with the tools available today, it’s possible to provide consistent customer service without outsourcing live support or keeping agents up at all hours. The basic minimum multi-channel support platforms include:
- Live chat support
- Phone number
- Helpdesk or CRM
- Knowledgebase and FAQ
- Interactive troubleshooters
While agents are offline, interactive knowledge bases, FAQs, and troubleshooters can offer customers access to many answers and solutions. Zingtree integrates with any CRM (like Zendesk and Desk), as well as live chat tools (like Zopim and Intercom) and publishing platforms (like WordPress), so you can strategically connect the dots with your customer service strategy, and help to streamline the entire process as you scale up.
In fact, when Applian technologies set up an interactive support system, they saw a 20% overall reduction in support cost and a huge reduction in the volume of back-and-forth support tickets overall.
3. Train Your Support Agents Early and Often
Onboarding new agents early and training (and re-training) them often is a hallmark of any company that truly understands how the knowledge of their employees can impact performance, satisfaction, and motivation. As customers are more empowered in their control of purchasing when, where and how they choose, so too should customer service agents be; training should always include a tutorial on how and when to go above and beyond for consumers.
Interactive training programs, much like interactive knowledge bases, are an ideal way to share information. With an online, standards-and-scenarios based training program, support staff can continue their company education in an easy-to-digest format, with complete information available on every facet of the business that they might need to know.
4. Keep up With (and Analyze) Reports
At the end of the day, the numbers and data surrounding your support strategy won’t lie. Set up your CRM tool to dole out automated reports based on the key statistics and indicators you need to keep track of, as well as for Twitter, Facebook, and any other platform you’re communicating with customers through. Aggregating and analyzing this data can help you to consistently improve as you scale up, identify any bottlenecks or trouble spots, and prove to the board that your strategy is really working.
Zingtree offers powerful analytics and reports to help make pulling data every month as simple as possible. Depending on how your interactive decision trees are set up, you can quickly see high-level usage stats, breakdowns by agent, overall traffic, and much more. Additionally, Zingtree works with Google Analytics to allow you to get even more robust and powerful tracking data.
How scalable is your current support strategy?
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