We've written many times about the importance, even necessity, of meeting and exceeding customer expectations when it comes to customer support. As the B2B world slowly comes around, we're seeing more and more studies that support this - like Forrester's recent report on top trends in customer service, and this article from SmartCustomerService regarding the same.
According to research, customers now rely more on self-service than they do on phone. While phone is still (and likely always will be) a popular method of support, customers are going to the web more and more to try and solve their issues as a first resource. This means it's more important than ever to offer comprehensive self-service support options like a customer knowledge base, chat, and even community forums.
While multi-channel is a term that's thrown around a lot these days, a huge part of the research was around not just offering different channels for customers to reach out, but making those channels unified - so that each request is recorded and easily answered in ONE system. This is beneficial to both agents and customers (and as a result the company as a whole):
- Customers don't have to repeat themselves every time they use a new channel or talk to a new agent
- Agents know all the history a customer has with you as soon as they get a request (no matter where it came from)
- Companies save time and money by reducing handling times and increasing first-contact resolution
What's surprising is that most organizations still haven't implemented omnichannel support - and in fact many don't even have agents cross-trained to handle multiple channels at all. With the right system, this should be a non-issue, if all channels feed into the same customer support software, then all you have to do is train your agents on that software. Of course doing this right, to ensure a superior customer experience, requires a few key components (click the links to read our white papers):
- Hire the right people
- Provide your agents with the right tools, including a comprehensive knowledge-base
- Offer omnichannel customer self-service
- Give customer support the attention it deserves!
While the Forrester report talks a lot about contact center environments, the reality is the same for any customer-facing help desk. Customers report that one of their biggest frustrations is having to repeat their question or explain their issue over and over. They want to feel that you value their time, and having empowered agents with the right tools and the right system in place will show them that you do.
Gone are the days of siloed or tiered customer support, successful organizations can and must collaborate - across systems and departments - to truly enhance the customer experience.
Forrester's Kate Leggett says it best - "executives don't decide how customer-centric their companies are - customers do."
If you'd like to learn more about TeamSupport's collaborative, customer-focused help desk software, and how it can help you elevate your customer service, watch our short video: