How to Encourage Self-Service Customer Support
Traditional customer service call centers may become less prominent in the coming years. There’s a big push toward differentiating customer service and customer support. Even though the two sound similar, they use very different approaches.
Customer service is the more reactive form. After a customer experiences a problem, they get in touch with the company that made the product to fix the issue. On the other hand, customer support is more proactive, with the goal of helping customers solve any problems on their own.
If you want to move your business to a self-service customer support model, check out these tips on training your staff.
Anticipate Customers’ Needs
The main idea behind customer support is to try to minimize the chances of your customers needing live customer service. To do so, you need to anticipate your customers’ needs by putting yourself in their shoes.
Whether you’re putting out a new product or not, make a team of employees from different departments, like sales, marketing and more. Together, try coming up with as many possible problems that customers may have with the product. These problems can range from assembling the item to taking care of it to learning how to return defective products. During this step, you should also analyze previous customer service interactions. Collect data on the reasons people call customer service to see if there are any you missed during the brainstorming phase.
Make Information Available
After you’ve collected reasons that customers call customer service, you can start looking for ways to prevent these calls. Make the solutions to potential issues readily available, whether it’s included in the packaging of the products or easily found on your website.
Even if you already have information like this available, you may need to remake it. If your assembly instructions aren’t detailed enough or your return instructions are hidden somewhere on your website, your customers will likely get frustrated and call customer service anyway.
The information to help customers solve problems on their own should be easy to find and easy to understand. Bring people in for a focus group to see how easily they can interact with the products. With this data, you can see first-hand how your customers may run into problems and if your given information is enough.
Continue to Provide On-Call Customer Service
Even when you greatly improve your customer support, you shouldn’t get rid of your customer service entirely. Sometimes, all customers want is to talk to a real person. They may also come across a truly unique problem that doesn’t have a solution available yet. Customer support will help your customers become better at problem-solving on their own, but it can never completely replace customer service. When you improve your customer support on your business’s website and beyond, you may be able to reduce your number of customer service call centers.