Providing good customer support is crucial to the success of a company in this day and age. Here are three practical best practices to make sure that your customers receive great service.
Use Filters, Macros, and Automation
Customers will be contacting your support agents through various channels and about different topics. Even if you use a limiting number of channels, or even only one – Deflecting and automating is the best way to free up agents for complex issues.
The first step should be setting up simple filters to send emails into corresponding subfolders. This will keep everything neat and tidy and reduce the risk of open tickets getting lost in the noise and clutter. The filters you set will depend on your business and industry. For example, if you are an e-commerce company, it makes sense to have dedicated filters for these 4 common categories:
- Refunds / Returns – the keywords here would be ‘refund,’ ‘return,’ ‘order cancelation,’ or similar.
- Product Inquiries – use keywords such as ‘I am looking for’ or ‘do you have a’.
- Warranty Issues – suitable keywords are ‘broken,’ ‘stopped working,’ ‘warranty,’ and others.
- Shipping – example keywords would be ‘shipping,’ ‘tracking code,’ ‘DHL,’ ‘UPS,’ or the provider you use, but also words such as ‘customs’ or ‘lost parcel.’
Of course, the list is not set in stone and should be regularly updated and optimized. But this simple step will already reduce the frustration of seeing a full inbox on Monday morning – with everything sorted according to the topic; support agents will not have to do splits between different types of questions and inquiries. It will be easier to prioritize, leading to higher productivity and happier customers.
The next step is to reduce the time your agents spend on answering repetitive and basic questions. This is where macros come into play. Modern CRM solutions, such as Zendesk, allow admins to create macros from existing support tickets. You define a specific set of placeholders, and the appropriate information is pulled automatically from your database. When used correctly, Macros can improve agent efficiency, reduce time to resolution, and speed up the time to proficiency for new hires. A few best practices to keep in mind:
- Review your Macros regularly. Rogue macros or outdated ones should be purged, else they could confuse your customer and unnecessarily prolong resolution time.
- Avoid open-ended macros. If your automated response email has a question, the customer is prompted to reply to it. This defeats the purpose of the macro. Your goals should be an immediate resolution.
- Be open – explain why the customer is receiving an automated reply. A simple “in an effort to answer faster…” can go a long way.
- Very often, macros sound mechanized and non-human. To make them sound natural, always make sure to include the following three elements at the beginning: a personalized greeting, a restatement of the issue, and an empathetic promise to help.
- Add tags to your tickets with macros. Tags are small snippets of data that let you classify it – for example, change of shipping address. These can later be integrated into your database for the service platform. Remember, every bit of data is valuable, but you must use it.
Triggers are automated actions that happen after a specific customer action, without your agents having to do anything. A classic example is the automated order confirmation email. They are potent tools to provide immediate support – for example, when customers open a ticket, they should be told how long it will take to receive a response and be offered some self-help options. These automation functions are highly customizable and your CRM system will have a library of templates in different languages. You can set up triggers to automatically follow up with customers or send them reminders, such as an abandoned cart discount.
Using AI More
The use of artificial intelligence and big data in customer service is growing daily. The benefits of chatbots are:
- Increased automation and deflection – you can increase agent speed and accuracy by optimizing your processes.
- Customer self-help – customers can find answers to common questions easily, decreasing your resolution times. However, this requires a well-maintained knowledge base for the AI to draw from.
- AI can take over repetitive tasks, freeing up agents for more complex inquiries. Overall this creates a better working experience for agents.
The most crucial input for your chatbot is the content. It is vital to create quality content and to update and audit your databases regularly. Especially if you receive negative user feedback about specific topics, it is an indicator that the knowledge base needs an overhaul. Your service will only be as good as the database that you provide. The earlier you start, the better
Now that you have set up your filters and macros and are collecting data and feeding it back to your bot, you must provide consistent service across all channels. New ways to communicate with customers emerge frequently. The latest trend is going for social messaging apps, such as WhatsApp. Omnichannel integration consolidates all interactions with a customer across all channels – email, website chat, social messaging, calls, and others – for agents to easily access them when they need it. For the experience to be truly seamless, each touchpoint should be accessible by the agent and easy to manage. A good solution is Zendesk’s Agent Workspace – where support can reply to customers across platforms from one place.
If you consider bumping up your customer care to the next level, contact Unwired Logic for a consultation. Don’t forget happy customers are loyal customers.
If you’d like to learn more about Zendesk and CX solutions please feel free to contact Unwired Logic at firstname.lastname@example.org or click the “Learn More” button to be taken to our contact form