Today’s customers demand fast and efficient services. Whether it’s about buying products, ordering food, or calling a support agent, they expect their needs to be met 24/7. This trend poses both a challenge and an opportunity.
For one, support teams are under pressure to handle a growing number of inquiries and deliver personalized and effective responses. Failure to do so leads to customer frustration and team burnout. But delighting customers is financially rewarding as 77% of them will recommend a brand to a friend after having a single positive experience.
Companies are thus working hard to deliver exceptional customer service. And while there are different ways to achieve this goal, text-based support remains one of the most effective ways to serve customers. Messaging apps, social media, live chat, email, and other channels can turn your team into a support powerhouse. And while you might worry that scaling up these channels might open support ‘floodgates’, there are many ways to optimize text-based, conversational support.
Developing multilayered support infrastructure
The key to delighting customers is putting in place a sophisticated support infrastructure. Your agents should handle messages from key customers, emotionally charged complaints, and difficult product issues. Meanwhile, self-serve tools, including chatbots, FAQs, and knowledge base articles, should deflect repetitive questions. And problems that you expect, such as those caused by planned maintenance or known bugs, are to be answered pre-emptively using outbound messages, product tours, and messenger apps.
This multilayered, text-based support infrastructure allows you to tackle more inquiries in less time. Your agents will deal with complex problems, while self-serve and proactive channels enable customers to quickly find the answers they seek.
Setting up this system, however, will take time and patience. To help you get the most out of a text-based support funnel, we’ll explain several ways of optimizing it. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the need for your support team to collaborate with and get buy-in from other departments.
Partner with support ops and product teams
If your company has a support operations team, use it to optimize your bots and automation tools. Not every customer service department has access to this team, so take advantage of this opportunity if you can. It may save you a lot of time and effort. As your agents deal with various inquiries, a support operations unit can build processes, systems, and tools to take your customer service to a new level.
It’s equally important to engage a product team. Customer service agents can notify engineers about known issues and bugs so they can be fixed quickly. Close cooperation of support and product teams can lead to better products, as customers’ perspective will be an important consideration in all discussions. A weekly meeting between the two teams could be one way to bring them closer together.
Grow revenue by working with marketing and sales departments
Delayed delivery, product outages, or website downtime usually leads to high call volumes. Instead of waiting for customers to call, consider reaching out proactively to notify them of potential issues and provide help. If marketers own outbound messaging, then you’ll have to work with them to reach customers. It’s always a good idea to send personalized messages to customers. If a problem affected premium customers in a specific region, then you could tailor your message accordingly. And the marketing team will benefit as well by staying on top of various customers’ challenges that support agents discover during their work.
Aligning your support team with sales can have major benefits, too. You can train customer service agents to identify upsell or cross-sell opportunities and then forward them to sales reps.
Also, support teams can alert their colleagues from sales about common customer problems. This can lead to better sales pitches as reps will know what pain points to press as well as what questions to expect.
Use tech to improve your text-based support
Your customer service staff can get the most out of text-based support only through cooperation with other teams. After all, delighting customers is a complex undertaking that requires inputs from support ops, product, sales, and marketing professionals.
Support agents also need advanced technologies that allow them to manage text-based interactions across every digital channel. To that end, RingCentral offers a range of solutions. Our platform allows your team to get in touch with customers using messaging (Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc.), in-app messaging (iOS and Android), social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), live chat with contextual information access, email, and consumer review portals. All these channels are accessible through a single interface.
Also, RingCentral’s AI-based smart routing assigns messages to agents with the right competency. And it merges customer identities across multiple touchpoints into a single profile, enabling your team to review previous interactions with specific clients.
Originally published Sep 22, 2020