The Need For Customer Support in the Age of Information
In the digital age, when even those from Gen X “ask Google”, the question of customer support is a unique one.
Companies that sell products release comprehensive user guides and instruction manuals along with the product. Almost every website features an FAQs section and a chat window. Support forums also have a lot of information. Additionally, you can always find blogs, articles and video tutorials uploaded by third parties if you run into some trouble with your product.
With so much information, some companies tend to withdraw offline customer support. However, there is a significant lack of empathy when providing information with little regard to the context of the query.
A tactical approach to customer support
At Allsec, our philosophy is to forge meaningful relationships with customers on behalf of our clients. While we understand the benefits of well documented processes and instructions, we better understand the customer.
Sometimes, even the most loyal and tech savvy customer may be baffled by policy restrictions or may find himself unable to proceed beyond step 5 on the instruction manual. When he hits a roadblock and attempts to reach out to support staff, and auto response will only frustrate him more. What’s worse, it may not solve his specific issue.
Alternately, there are those customers who want quick fixes as opposed to being walked through the entire process. The solution is to find the right balance between providing information and having sufficient support staff on hand to augment support functions.
Finally, omnichannel presence is important for customer service. For example, if your customers are online, it makes sense to have an automated chat assistant provide a solution, followed by a personal chat assistant, and if the issue remains unresolved, a calling assistant can take over. The feedback loop is an essential feature of this type of approach as you need to ensure the customer requires more support to make the best use of your resources.
The pre-game warm up
The first step to successfully mirroring a company’s essence in areas of support is to develop SOPs and process flows based tightly on their mission and vision. While customer satisfaction can only be gauged during the execution stage, planning and strategizing (project transition, knowledge transfer) plays a major part creating a backend database for history and seamless support.
The success of support functions is largely based on solutioning, whether they are client driven for the outsourcing partner or customer driven for clients.
The final word
It should come as no surprise that the companies with the best customer support service have the most satisfied and loyal customer base.
While strategizing and execution play a large role in seamless customer support, they need robust auxiliary processes such as training and feedback mechanisms to truly produce effective results.