Do Your Contact Options Match Customer Preferences?

Your organization may offer an excellent product or service, but when it comes time for someone to contact your team for support, how are they received? Preferences vary among individuals in regards to how to reach a company, and those may change based on circumstances (e.g. international travel may make the email, web and chat channels more convenient than phone). The following is a review of some of the primary engagement mediums and how your team can analyze and improve its support.

Chat

Quickly becoming a preferred option, chatting is popular with users due to short wait times, no need to dial a phone number and one-click ease of use. Another advantage of instant messaging is that a link can be shared and viewed by either party immediately. This platform eliminates difficulties experienced by callers or agents dealing with phone connection or equipment problems. Finally, customers have the opportunity to save the transcript for future reference, which is much easier than trying to take notes during a phone call. Here are some questions for managers to ask themselves to ensure the solution they’re providing meets or exceeds user expectations:

  • When someone initiates a chat, how long do they have to wait for engagement from an agent?
  • Are agents well-trained, to the point where they can honestly call themselves “specialists”?
  • Do agents concentrate on serving a single customer and solving just one issue at a time?
  • When handling a difficult case, are agents able to collaborate with colleagues or escalate to another tier?
  • How often are logs reviewed for quality?

 

Email

If you accept support requests via email, the address should be readily made available to all users as soon as they are registered. It should also be clearly displayed wherever customers expect it. Think: where would you hope to find a support email address if you were the one needing help?

  • Do users receive an automated response after opening an email case, and if yes, have you reviewed its tone and content?
  • How long, on average, do requestors wait to receive their initial response from a specialist?
  • After offering a solution, do agents follow-up when they haven’t heard back?

 

Phone

Dialing a helpline is one of the oldest forms of customer service, but it’s still one of the most popular. Real-time conversation can be the key to defining the problem and resolving it in just one interaction. Here are some points that can be used to analyze and improve the quality of your organization’s phone support:

  • Is the phone number visible in the footer of all pages on your website, or do customers have to dig for it? Consider the example of bank cards. Every credit or debit card has contact numbers on the back side. Therefore at the very least, your phone number should be presented prominently on your “Contact Us” page.
  • If your customers desire to speak with onshore agents, are you providing that for them?
  • When sales inquiries come in through the support phone line, are customers transferred immediately, or at the very least, do they receive a prompt call back? Any delay in communication can cost your organization a sale.

Self-Service

As users become savvier, more are taking to the web for solutions. One of the advantages of an online knowledgebase is 24/7 availability from just about any device. The following questions will help you to analyze the effectiveness of your current offering:

  • Is your self-service center up-to-date?
  • How often is content reviewed for accuracy?
  • Is it free of ambiguity, grammar errors and typos?
  • Is the site easy for new users to navigate?

In the future, new technologies may open up additional contact options. For now, giving customers what they want, when they want it is key to building loyalty and making sales through excellent customer service.

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