Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Virtual Agent Tips and Tricks: 5 Reasons Why Your Support Site Encourages Customers to Call You

     Have you ever wondered why, in a Web dominated era, phone calls are still one of the most common channels for receiving support? To add to that, phone calls are one of the most expensive channels for support teams to upkeep, often more than $10 just to pick up the phone. One motivation for consumers to call in is due to the way support sites are organized. When designing a support site it is important to encourage cost effective methods such as self-service.  Here are 5 reasons why your support site discourages self-service and encourages 'call in' behavior.
  1. A list of FAQs doesn't cut it. Let’s face it, a low cost list of FAQs is costing more money than it should. When the end user can't easily find a solution, he/she is forced to call. 
  2. The live assistance option is front and center. If live assistance is what the customers see first, more often than not, they will use that channel. It's best to provide multiple options, without making live assistance difficult to find. That said, if you encourage end users to call you, they will. 
  3. There is no GPS for navigating a website. Your customers might be asking themselves: Where do I go for sales questions? Where do I go for support? What's the cost to your company if the end customer engages with a live chat agent for sales rather than the support agent they need?
  4. The company has built a library full of wonderful content, but there is no easy way to find the right resource. To the end user, some common phrases are: I have a problem,error, not working, help! It's not easy to solve the problem without an interactive experience, especially when troubleshooting is necessary. 
  5. Lack of promotion. Most customers are not aware that there are options. Make it known that support and sales options are available and make it fun for customers to use. One way to make consumers aware of the cost effective support solutions is by making it fun, encouraging them to come back. Apple's Siri advertisements demonstrate a friendly 'pal' when you need answers to questions. Think about this: A Virtual Agent for your website can be just as engaging and even fun to interact with. In addition to answering the typical support/service/marketing questions, embed contests, surveys, candid and 'quirky' responses to add some personality. In addition, make it easy for your customers to share with their own network through social sharing. 
     Having a multi-channel website is essential, but positioning and encouraging self-service is equally important. Using these tips will help cut the cost of support and increase Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). The more your consumers use self-service, the greater the ROI will be. Does your support site encourage ‘call in’ behavior? Maybe it’s time to evaluate.