New Ways to Reduce Incoming Customer Support Requests
Customer support has been coming under more and more scrutiny lately. It is one of the primary indicators users turn to when evaluating customer service (although Billing and Refunds are also up there).
Incoming support requests are a big deal, both in terms of overhead expenses and in that it creates an avoidable interaction between the user and your system, slowing down the work flow and giving them an opportunity to get needlessly peeved.
“Instead of relying on the latest management theories and best practices, the best way to reduce support costs is to minimize the amount of support that potential and current customers need in the first place.”
This obviously makes a lot of sense. But you don’t need me to tell you to improve your UX or use analytics to figure out where the bottle necks are. So instead, I’ll tell you that the most effective way to reduce customer support requests is through providing a sturdy platform for self-service. Many problems may be solved before reaching the tipping point, ie, the need to open a support ticket.
A substantial part of improving online customer service these days consists of Googling the problem instead of turning to an internal database. This has a lot to do with users preferring a familiar interface over the need to learn (your) new one. Since your users are likely to Google their issue anyway, you might as well integrate a Google search bar in your knowledgebase, so that they are using a tool they are familiar with but staying within your operational framework.
Another helpful set of self-service tools to provide for your users are walkthroughs and site-tours. Or, as we call them in the industry – on-page guides. These are easily integrated guides, tooltips and walkthroughs which you can embed in analytics-proven sensitive points in your SaaS/website workflow.
Another idea is to automate your customer support with smart rules. This is a quick and smart solution for re-prioritizing older tickets and preventing the creation of duplicate tickets (by frustrated users who have been waiting long enough).
We’ve written before about the need to integrate your customer service channels in regard to online booking, but this applies to any form of customer service. Integration is important for reducing redundancy and making sure your social media staff and support staff are on the same page.