It is rightly said that customers are the best friends of any business venture, and that no business can afford to ignore customer service support if it is to retain customers over a long period of time. A permanent group of loyal customers is essential to stay ahead of the competition and maintain a niche position in the market. Companies must strive to offer the best possible customer service experience throughout a customer’s journey—including before, during, and after a sale. The customer service platforms of today include telephonic support, social media, text messages, web, e-mails, and other channels. Cutting-edge customer service experiences should be an indivisible part of the business commitments of any company.
A reality of the business landscape of today is that it takes months to find a loyal customer and just a few seconds to lose one. Creating a stellar customer experience does not happen by accident—it happens through planning, designing, and offering seamless customer service. The right customer support system can prove to be a game-changer for an organization and enable it to outshine its competitors.
Businesses must understand that providing smooth customer support requires employees across departments and designations to work in tandem in order to overcome challenges. Selecting the right customer service tools is incredibly important in the highly competitive marketplaces of today. The perfect tool caters to the unique needs of the customers of a company and helps take it one step ahead of its competitors.
The general features of customer self-service software tools include:
Multichannel communication support: Interactions with customers seeking support can take place over a variety of communication mediums. Efficient customer service systems are able to support multiple communication channels and consolidate customer conversations in one place, enabling easy management. These solutions enhance customer convenience, reduce the time spent on finding past interactions, and ease interaction.
Unified agent interface: As multiple channels are used by customers to interact with a company, support agents require a complete view of all the interactions by every customer in order to ensure swift and efficient customer service. A unified agent interface provides agents with all relevant customer information in a single window, enabling better and more personalized customer service.
Built-in ticketing system: A customer ticket management system sets up clear accountability between front-end and back-end systems. In multichannel support, tickets can be created via multiple interaction channels and presented in a single window in order to enable better customer assistance. The smart ticket prioritization features available in many customer service tools assist agents in the identification of tickets that are to be resolved first to ensure optimum customer experiences. Tickets are prioritized automatically based on service-level agreement (SLA), change in ticket status, count of pending messages, or a custom priority rule.
Online chat system: Online live chat systems assure quick answers to every single customer query. More advanced customer service tools offer proactive chat support systems for frequently asked questions (FAQs) that help free up support agents from basic queries and enable them to focus on more complex issues. An internal chat option is often a standard feature that enables support agents to communicate with other agents and supervisors as well as to get assistance from subject-matter experts.
Self-service customer portal: Self-service customer portals provide 24*7 customer support in real-time without the need for intervention by human representatives. This feature places control in the hands of customers, offers maximum convenience, and ensures easy resolution for common issues. Self-service customer portals decrease the burden on support agents by allowing customers to find answers to common problems on their own from the available knowledge bases, online forums, and other resources.
Mobile-friendly approach: Today, a majority of customers are accessing products and services over mobile platforms. With an increasing number of customer queries coming in solely through mobile applications, this feature can provide companies an edge over competitors in any industry.
The best customer service tools enhance brand positioning, provide transparency, are economically feasible, ensure systematic resolution of customer queries, use cutting-edge technologies, leverage automation, maintain a fast pace of business operations, and provide multichannel support in order to ensure organizational success.