Customer retention is crucial to the success of your business as is implementing a consumer-centric mindset throughout your organisation. Keeping your customers happy and engaged can always be a challenge, but building the right infrastructure to support your customers should be given the highest priority. Consumers not only expect their experience to be frictionless but also expect that they have support from your business across a variety of channels such as; email, chat and the all-important ‘self-help’ FAQ section on your site.
“90% of consumers expect a brand or organisation to offer self-service customer support; 60% of consumers have a more favorable view of the brand if self-service is mobile-responsive."
For new and existing organisations looking to set-up or improve their consumer support, quite some challenges will begin to emerge. How many people do we need? What CRM should we use? How do we make this scalable? What associated costs are there? What’s our expected ROI? … and the list goes on.
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Historically, consumer support teams were very large and were seen as a financial black hole. The teams handled very high contact rates, wait and resolution times for consumers were long and the overall experience, in general, was poor. But as consumer expectations have become more demanding, businesses have been forced to become faster and leaner in their approach.
Staffing vs AI Technology?
To have an effective support ecosystem, there is no one or the other between staffing and technology, if you’re not utilising both in unison then you are already behind your competitors. In a recent report from Zendesk, their research showed that a ‘Focus on reliability across the customer experience by responding to contacts 6x faster and resolving contacts 4 times faster is due to leaning on advanced features and improving the agent workflow’. Faster resolution boosts customer satisfaction and leads to customer retention. Getting to a resolution via human intervention, FAQ or a bot are all valid avenues. Source: The Zendesk Benchmark: how fast-growing digital natives can innovate and scale
You no longer need a large team, you just need a smart team! Sounds obvious, right? But for a team to work smart they must act proactively and optimise their tools and workflows. We have a few high-level suggestions on how to do so.
- Developing Self Care Modules - Building FAQ’s and a Help Centre can be an arduous task, but when done correctly and made easily accessible, it can be the number one source of contact deflection. Allowing consumers to find answers through a simple search or by using AI automation tools, generates faster resolutions and encourages retention. By reducing your contact rate it also allows you to save on overheads which can be funneled into other areas of the business.
- Create Subject Matter Experts - This title is thrown around a lot in support organisations, but having a team that proactively monitors your content, environment and most importantly is consistently interacting with your customers is an invaluable source of knowledge. If properly leveraged, they build trust with consumers and partners, help to avoid large scale problems and fuel internal innovation generating a strong ROI for your business.
- Omni-Channel Support - If you can effectively develop the first two suggestions, then omnichannel support is easy. Why? Because you already have the answers! Your lean team of customer success specialist can simply direct your customers accordingly to the right information and they can proactively communicate on any trending issues. Most importantly they complete the cycle. Based on their handled contacts they can create new or missing content and add it into your self-care module.
As part of any successful e-commerce business, a customer-centric mindset is of paramount importance. After all, why go to such an effort to acquire customers only to see them churn the next week?
Your consumers want answers fast. They want self-care content and the reassurance that if they still have questions, someone will be there to 24/7 to answer them. Investing in support activities to create a frictionless and comforting experience, generates real long-term ROI.
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