The Critical Role of Online Customer Support Tools

on July 25, 2019

We’ve reached a point in consumerism where customer support is ready and primed for innovation. Customers are looking for more seamless and easier user experiences. In a world that’s going digital, many companies still aren’t leveraging all the technology that’s at their fingertips.

If your company wants to stand out from the ‘customer service’ crowd, it’s vital to think about introducing online customer support tools that help you to innovate. We don’t just mean social media.

Customers Prefer Self-Service

Many companies still struggle with finding the right technology to avoid the burden of a customer-service phone call. Customers prefer self-service, and would rather find what they’re looking for with online support tools. Listening to Mozart music while on hold to a customer support team has long lost its appeal – if it ever had any – and people are now seeking the quickest solutions to solve their problems.

The younger generation of consumers are a generation of ‘anti-phone-callers’. They don’t want to call companies; they’re looking for a positive customer experience online. Innovating your online support does not merely mean creating a company Twitter or Facebook account where customers can tweet complaints or leave reviews. Great online customer service comes from planning a streamlined customer process to build strong customer confidence.

“One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” – Jim Rohn

Whether it’s customer service, product quality, or ‘love of brand’, customer experience is always at the top of the list when it comes to whether or not a person will decide to keep doing business with a company. 

At the moment, 80% of companies believe they deliver “super customer experiences,” but only 8% of customers agree. Companies have a long way to go. That means there is tremendous opportunity to disrupt a competitor or gain market share in an industry. 

Focusing on customer experiences and online support tools may be the most important investment a company can make in today’s competitive business climate.

Technology Provides a Better Experience

There are a whole lot of channels that customers communicate on. It’s sometimes easy to lose sight of creating memorable customer experiences. Technically, it’s true that customer service is more complicated than ever. However, what should be remembered is, customers only want what they’ve always wanted: to be taken care of.

“Here is a powerful yet simple rule: Always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Customers might be a little more demanding now and a bit less patient to receive the solutions they’re looking for, but that’s because technology has given them the tools to provide that speed – and you’re either on that sailing ship or not.

Generally, customers don’t care if you have ‘multi-channel’ capabilities, they only care that they can connect with you. The quickest, easiest way to ensure that is with online support tools. 

24/7: 365

In a world that’s going global, it’s becoming more difficult for companies to work the 9 to 5. Customers want to be able to find answers to their problems at any point of the day: morning, noon, and night. According to influencer and author Jay Baer, 32% of consumers expect a response within 30 minutes through social media channels. 

Having the right information online at the right time, can significantly reduce the frustration often felt by customers. If you’re looking to make waves in your industry, it should be a top priority for you to implement useful customer support tools. Be there for your customer – no matter how they reach out to you – by being consistent. In return, you’ll build a brand with a foundation of satisfied customers.

The most important features expected by an effective digital customer support experience are:

  • Easy navigation 
  • Clear and easy to understand information 
  • Easy and quick resolutions

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How Online Support Tools Can Help

A company may be in control of defining its brand promise, but it will always be the customer who decides whether or not the company delivered on that promise. There’s a lot riding on delivering a positive customer experience.

Online customer support tools encourage consumers to have better interactions with a company and you can empower your customers by implementing great customer service tools. 

We’ve put together a list of five top customer support tools that help to provide great user experiences. Here they are:

  1. Document360: This ‘knowledge base software’ is perfect for building a self-serve online library of information about your product, service, departments, or topics of interest. This kind of software is great for empowering your customers and helping them find easy solutions.
  2. Salesforce: This well-known CRM program can act as your all-in-one hub for business sales, CRM, and customer support operations.
  3. LiveAgent: With this program, you’ll find all vital help desk functions, including live chat, file sharing, contact forms, email support, and integration with social media.
  4. Slack: Connect your help desk, your CSM system, and your social accounts with integrations apps for Slack.
  5. StatusPage: Communicate quickly with customers about status issues and events.

The Three Things Driving Online Support

The future of online customer support is exciting – if its embraced. It will change the way companies speak with their customers and will innovate new ways to communicate globally. 

Although the channels may change, the message hasn’t—customer service is all about resolving issues for the customer. Successful digital customer service demands several key cornerstones. 

These are three main areas that are currently driving the future of online support:

  • Self-service: Customers like to do it themselves. They want to figure things out quickly without the hassle of waiting on responses. This is where programs like Document360 can be beneficial.
  • Community-based help: We all work better in communities. Customer communities and help threads are trends that are always growing.
  • Predictive support: Providing ‘help’ to customers before they know they need it is the holy grail of customer support – this is where things are innovating.

Customer support tools are getting smarter, and self-service is becoming a lot more relevant, helpful, and powerful. If you don’t make it easy and quick, you lose your customers and prospects. The easier and quicker you make it, the more customers you’ll win.

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Predictions for the Future

Experts predict that by 2020, 85% of all customer service interactions will be handled without the need for a human agent. With the development of omnichannel customer service environments, it’s vital for companies to invest in their teams and technology.

The world is becoming fast-paced and consumerism is becoming an ‘everything right now’ industry. To keep with this speed and these expectations, it’s important to build a customer strategy based on easily accessed information.

“Excellent customer service is the number one job in any company. It is the personality of the company and the reason customers come back. Without customers there is no company!” – Connie Elder

When your company embraces these changes, it will be able to increase customer satisfaction, protect its brand, and potentially shift customer service to become a profit center.

The future of customer service belongs to the companies who view customer support as a competitive advantage rather than a business cost. 

Always keep in mind: great companies speak to their customers, not just their brands.

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