Friday, July 24, 2015

6 Tips to Help Reimagine the Customer Support Experience for Your Audience

A couple weeks ago we mentioned the ongoing trend multiple companies are following of 'reimagining' products and services. While the product is an important component to the customer experience, it is not the only component that needs attention. Think about brand names such as Disney, Apple, Sony, and Amazon. When you hear these names you don't just think about their typically associate them with exceptional customer service. To achieve global success, your customer service and customer support need to match this product evolution. 

Here are 6 tips to help 'reimagine' the customer support experience:     
Statistics describing digital use around the world as of January 2015
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  • Embrace Social Media - Social media is not a new concept, but the necessity for companies to connect with their audience through these channels (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.) is now a must. In a survey, "42% of consumers complaining in social media expect 60 minute response times," and "24% expect a reply within 30 minutes, regardless of when the contact was made." (Convince & Convert) Support vendors are making this transition easier with interactive technology that can be deployed directly on their social channels. 
  • Leverage the Internet of Everything (IoE) - As we've heard previously, the number of connected devices is expected to reach 50 billion by the year 2020. Thanks to the IoE "companies are starting to use support automation to preemptively diagnose and fix issues with minimal human intervention." (Forrester) "The real value in IoT [IoE] is not just connecting devices to their users, but to deliver an integrated management platform, driven by big data to centralize customer service." (CSMWire)
  • Clear Website Design - People typically visit a company website first when looking for support. It is crucial to have a clear, flowing website layout for customers to easily find the information they need.  
  • Understand Customer Wants/Needs - The Voice of the Customer (VOC) is powerful data to incorporate into the development of any company. Leading brands have implemented self-service marketing tools that collect metrics/qualitative insight directly from the customers themselves. In one particular case, using an empty Virtual Agent (EZIntel), a leader in computer hardware manufacturing was able to use the knowledge they gained from their customers to make adjustments to their web design to better fit their audience. Learn more about collecting actionable customer intelligence here:
Shadows of many people with chat bubbles coming out of them.
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  • Improve Self-Service Technology - "In a survey Forrester recently found that web self service was the most widely used communication channel for customer service, surpassing use of the voice channel for the first time." (Forbes) It is not just enough to have sub par self-service options though. Customers are demanding a more interactive, personalized way for self-service interactions to flow.  
  • Single Point of Search - Providing customers with the convenience of having one place to search and find answers to their problems. For example, users can ask a question in the text field, and solutions will come up from multiple knowledge sources. (i.e. internal knowledge base, Google, CRM systems, etc.) Click the infographic below for an enlarged visual representation of this concept.                                            
search engine connected by plugs to spheres representing the different platforms SICURA can be connected with

Please share in the comments below some of the ways your company is 'reimagining' the support ecosystem. For more information on any of the tips mentioned above, please contact noHold.