Customer Support Solutions: How to Choose the Best Software for Your Business
Your customer service platform is one of the most important tools in your support tool bag. It forms the foundation of the service you offer and the satisfaction you achieve.
Say, for example, your consumers wanted the option to connect over multiple channels or find the answer to their problem through self-service portals. Your support software solution, however, was limited to only phone calls. Even if you have the best agents and the fastest response times, your customer experiences will suffer from your lack of flexibility.
As a contact center manager, creating exceptional support experiences is the driving force behind your work. Building an excellent support team starts with the tools you provide your agents, and this includes your customer support solution.
If you want to take your support to the next level, use this guide to find the customer support software solution for your communications and business.
What are customer solutions?
These solutions are tools a business uses to meet customer requests. Ticket management tools and live chat software, for example, can help improve customer relationships. These would qualify as customer solutions. A website builder, on the other hand, isn’t directly used for consumer-facing efforts and doesn’t qualify.
Since the nature of your work determines the type of platform you need (serving B2B customers vs. consumers, for instance), there are dozens of options available. As you search for your own solution, be sure to look for an option that fits your business and needs best.
How to choose the best customer support software
Customers care about having good experiences, but they also desire consistency. To find the right support software, you first have to start with the solution you use to address customer communication in every area of your business.
Is contact center software a support solution?
Contact center solutions technically fall under consumer software categories because these tools are used to resolve customers’ issues. Unlike most support solutions, however, contact center platforms offer several other tools that you use to connect with your consumers.
Though you can enjoy the same advanced features that make each individual tool effective, a contact center platform gives you access to a wide range of solutions for customer support in a single place. You can use one vendor for all communications, connecting your operations and agents to the rest of the company. As you use your simplified communications platform to provide a smooth agent experience, you can improve your consumer experiences as well.
Finding the right contact center service platform
At this point, business owners and managers may be saying, “I already have a call center or contact center solution that enables me to serve my clients. Do I need more software?”
If you are fully satisfied with the top features and results you enjoy through your current system, the answer is probably no.
If you are using too many tools or fighting your solution to provide the ultimate experience, however, it may be time to replace your software provider. Your tools should always be an asset to your business, never a drain.
Below, we’ve explained some of the ways a top solution can benefit your services. With the right contact center customer support solution, you can make effortless support experiences your competitive advantage.
Top features of customer service software
1. Omnichannel capabilities for live chat, social media, video calling, and more
The ability to connect with customers on any channel is critical to success in today’s business environment. If someone wants a quick answer and the option to talk to a live agent, you should give them the option to click on a chat window to start the conversation.
Omnichannel capabilities also simplify interactions. When customer service agents need to shift to a new channel to better serve the caller, for example, they can do so without interrupting the conversation or transferring them to a new agent. The added ability to send documents, videos, pictures, gifs, and audio files allows agents to further enrich every conversation, providing personalized connections and ensuring customer happiness.
Phone calls continue to be an important option for all types of service, but people are also turning to new channels for customer service experiences that better fit their needs. To meet them where they’re at, you first need a solution that offers more capabilities.
2. Seamless integrations with a ticket system and other agent desk software
Few tools are more essential to support efforts than the one used to assign and solve tickets. A good multichannel ticketing solution assigns tickets through your contact center software, helping you stay on top of consumer issues and ensuring everyone enjoys quick resolutions.
To avoid disrupting the rhythm of your support center, your platform must integrate with the tools you already rely on. Give your customer support agents the resources they need by choosing software that integrates with tools such as:
- Project management software
- Sales CRM software
- Reporting and analytics
Supercharging the tools your agents are already comfortable with can quickly and easily improve the level of service they can offer. Changing the software you use can already be a disruptive transition, so use seamless integrations to keep your agents happy and ready to meet their goals.
3. Internal collaboration tools
Can you remember the last time you were put on hold or transferred while talking to a brand’s customer service team? Regardless of your problem or question, the reason for the extended wait was likely due to one reason: your service rep didn’t have the answer to your question and had to send you to someone who did.
A large part of negative customer feedback involves this very scenario. If your agents don’t have the ability to get in touch with the person who has the answer they need without putting the caller on hold or transferring them, the interaction suffers. Offering internal collaboration tools helps improve support in a number of ways, including:
- Reducing handle times, wait times, and transfers
- Increasing first-time resolutions
- Simplifying real-time agent coaching
- Improving engagement
Giving agents access to this knowledge base of company and client data allows them to resolve issues quickly and improves overall customer success. Agents will be able to achieve results faster, saving time and keeping everyone happy.
How do you provide customer solutions?
For most businesses, support software is used within their contact center. By accessing all of their support tools through their main software, they can deploy an all-in-one customer service solution that has everything they need to offer the best service.
Once you find a solution that meets your needs, explore the options the provider offers for improving your customer experiences. Many paid plans start at a very affordable price and provide additional options as add-ons. You know what your contact center needs, so don’t be afraid to ask about features such as open APIs and integrations or another industry-specific solution.
The best software providers will give you the chance to try a demo of their products to see how they would work for you. As you explore your options, be sure to ask for your own custom demo.
How can you improve customer service efficiency?
The speed of your support is important to both you and your clients. With the ideal contact center and efficient customer service solutions, you can enjoy software built for a superior buying or support experience. To see these benefits in your own operations, consider implementing the time-saving suggestions below.
Customer service solutions: Making agent support part of the customer service definition
AI is the future of support, so it’s important to start using it now. Rather than just replacing agents, however, AI works with your team to make their work easier and faster. You can use it to automate workflows, take over repetitive tasks, offer customer self-service options, and answer simple questions with a canned response. Since your agents’ time is freed from these mundane tasks, you can achieve more resolutions a month per agent, improving your overall results.
Give your employees the best chance to succeed with the support software that meets their needs. Their desk features should give them access to resources such as:
- Whisper and call-barging coaching tools
- Comprehensive customer histories
- Easy-to-create, custom scripts
- Time tracking
- Unified communications
- Mobile apps
Every customer contact is easier when your agents feel prepared to handle the interaction. The less frustration your agents feel with their tools, the better they can perform.
Capability often equals speed. The moment your agents join your team, give them the knowledge and training they need to achieve high customer satisfaction. Offer training sessions that cover your software and procedures, such as chatting with website visitors and knowing when to give consumers controlled access to experts. Create online communities that provide an easy place for new employees to get answers and find support. Develop a team of top-tier agents that feel prepared to meet every customer interaction with efficiency and a smile.