Lately, technology has condensed, reduced, and minimized the overall customer support time, be it a resolution, acknowledgment, or response. So much so that:
“93% of customers will make a repeat purchase with brands that offer excellent customer support.”
When we say customer support, it means providing in-store support or solving post-sales support queries and doing it in REAL-TIME. Timing is the game here. You need to ask yourself whether your ‘customer time’ is the same as your brand’s ‘resolution time’ or at least the ‘response time.’ If you do not meet these basic requirements, your starting point is already a compromise.
The customer support landscape is ripe for disruption. Brands are slowly making progress toward a real-time and lively customer experience. Today, only a few companies leverage all the technology at their fingertips to enhance real-time customer experience.
For example, Amazon is at the forefront of building a compelling customer journey. They’ve connected their virtual assistant, Alexa, with customers’ purchases. A customer can make an order just by verbally mentioning the product. If we talk about the post-sales service, Sephora beats the competition. Sephora uses messenger apps like Kik to provide a real-time, personalized experience to the customers. Their strategies seek to create interactions that feel tailored to the customers.
Newer channels of communication have made it possible for brands to resolve queries within moments of registration. You’d wonder that this possibility already existed through older communication mediums (email, telephone, or walk-in support). So, where exactly does the value of real-time support lie? Where does the value of newer channels lie? Where do these two intersect? This is precisely what we’ll talk about today. We’ve got you covered with the latest strategies to build real-time support for your business.
Did you know that the 1750 BCE complaint tablet to Ea-Nasir is widely known to be the first complaint ever registered? The business-customer relationship has been present since the time we began exchanging goods and services. It used to take days to resolve customer problems back then.
Thankfully, customers of the 21st century no longer need to spend hours working on clay tablets to tell us how they feel about our products. The popularization of the phones first and then the internet has made the whole ‘instantly reach out at the time of query’ phase significantly simpler.
A century ago, if customers had complaints, they would visit the store and get them resolved. The support process was personal, direct, and straightforward. It was because of the physical proximity between the brand and the customer. The experience took place in real-time.
Today, if I have a problem, I can still visit the store. Still, I will more likely do at least one of the following instead: email, phone, find the answer myself by browsing the query or FAQs (if the brand provides it), tweet about it, write on the brand’s Facebook page (or even LinkedIn for that matter), leave a bad review, so on and so forth.
So, what does this say about our concept of real-time? Has it changed significantly between now and the time a century ago? What exactly are my expectations? How does time relate to this context? Have I (as a customer) become more impulsive and impatient? Has time become more public, more empathetic, more appeasing, or more agitating?
The answer is simple: I have more options to choose from. And so does every customer. If customers can have an online instant response (and by instant, I mean at lightning speed) and that too remotely, they’re going to push companies to provide them a real-time experience (an online one).
So, how do you achieve this?
The more channels you have, the more possibility of serving a real-time response. The solution lies in finding out what aspect of your customer support is most effective in serving a real-time response.
In a way, every single aspect contributes to real-time support. It includes everything from your customer responsiveness, response time, support culture, a customer-centric approach, and the tech tools that you use. But most importantly, it depends on your support channels!
As we discussed earlier, the notion of ‘real-time’ support is not that new. The latest customer-responsive channels (Twitter, Facebook, chatbots, and so on) have given it a new meaning. Many companies offer social media channels to enable real-time support, but most haven’t mastered it yet.
The new mediums of communication benefit both customers and brands. Clients can now pass their queries and feedback on and get quick assistance. On the other hand, brands can easily find and interact with their customers through their preferred channels and serve a seamless support experience. Nowadays, support takes place more in real-time worldwide, and you need to choose the proper channels to deliver at this rapid pace.
Picking the correct channel for your audience (or rather a segment of your audience) sounds like a monumental task. But that will bring you higher customer satisfaction rates, improve your brand reputation, and enhance the overall CX.
In 2021 real-time support should be efficient, easy, and should match the support expectations of your customers. And enhancing real-time support MUST be a priority for any brand if they want to achieve maximum success. When you revamp your support processes and enable a more real-time experience, your brand is bound to grow higher and better. Here are a few ways to build real-time support experiences for your customers:
Customers prefer live chat over any other medium of communication. For some industries, chat growth has increased by as much as 150%. It can be because more than half of all the customers prefer to chat with someone in real-time and online rather than calling and contacting a support rep.
Instant communication has changed the way companies connect with their customers.
And, it is not just telephonic support that’s losing out to live chat. There are other digital channels too!
A survey found that live chat has become the leading digital contact method for online customers, as a staggering 46% of customers prefer live chat compared to just 23% for email.
Through live chats, you can:
Live chat is not just limited to a pop-up window on your support website. You will need to switch between multiple mediums to meet a single resolution. It is precisely where the versatility of DeskXpand helpdesk comes into the picture. DeskXpand is helpdesk software that allows you to communicate with your customers in real-time through their preferred medium.
You’ll be glad to know that DeskXpand instantly converts your received emails into support tickets, but that’s not all. DeskXpand opens up additional avenues of communication through customers’ favorite social media channels. That’s right! Your team will even be able to field direct message inquiries from multiple channels. Take a free demo and find out.
According to a survey, companies with satisfaction ratings above 90% had an average chat duration of 11 minutes and 47 seconds. The ones with lower scores had an average duration of 8 minutes and 42 seconds.
These stats contrast with the usual belief that live chat is all about short, quick answers.
Well, it is true but not exclusively. Live chat is the best opportunity for you to have a 10-15 minute conversation that might have taken days over email and that too in real-time. You don’t necessarily need to aim for the shortest possible interaction to retain delighted customers.
For several companies, AI chatbot technology isn’t a practical option for real customer service yet. On the other hand, many companies use chatbots to answer level one (most basic) queries.
There are cases where it can work well for much larger companies with bigger budgets and training data sets.
According to a survey, chatbots received slightly higher customer satisfaction ratings (87.58%) than those transferred to a live support agent (85.8%). Of course, these findings are more about the irritation of being transferred than about the bots. So much so that 29% of customers are frustrated by scripted and impersonal live chat responses.
Another brilliant way to help customers get answers instantly is to provide high-quality self-service. A study by Nuance Enterprise discovered that 67% of customers prefer to use self-service options instead of speaking with a customer support agent or a company representative.
Your self-service should help customers solve common product issues independently. It can include answers to all the simple issues and questions in an organized manner. These self-service options can be of various forms, such as knowledge base, FAQs, tutorial videos, or simple documentation of your products and services.
The primary purpose of these articles is to provide customers with information that can help them troubleshoot their problems. Your team can provide detailed troubleshooting steps for common problems and share them with every user. Besides, you also need to make sure that your website is navigation-friendly. Your customers must be able to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Use advanced search algorithms to make navigation easy. You can also use helpdesk software to categorize your knowledge base articles into various categories and sub-labels.
DeskXpand Knowledge Base
The primary objective of the knowledge base is its site-wide visibility and 24*7 support availability. You can place an easy-to-use widget to redirect customers to your online library. This way, they can access it easily regardless of whatever page they’re on.
Do you know what would create the most compelling real-time support experience? A live chatbot that is tightly integrated with a comprehensive knowledge base.
Real-time customer support is the best way to improve customer loyalty and reduce your churn statistics. Real-time support will help you build trust with your customers. Not just your support, your products, and your services will also meet positive changes through customer insights.
The data received during real-life support interactions are more likely to benefit the product team in making decisions regarding product improvements. And as for your company, having your customer’s feedback and ideas just one survey away is pretty priceless by itself.
Immediacy requires you to think on your feet. So, real-time support can be daunting for your support teams. But, if you have the right strategies in place, it is likely to be more interesting than intimidating. Plus, you can dig deeper into personalized solutions and achieve a higher resolution rate than in a traditional channel.
The final decision on whether or not to enhance your real-time support is yours to make. If you think you should have it because the trends say so – go for it. If you feel it would be beneficial to your business – go for it. If your customers are demanding it – go for it.
Perhaps, in the end, real-time support is all about understanding the context and managing the behavior. So, if you’re looking for a helpdesk to enable or improve real-time support in your business, we’ve got just the right tool for you.
DeskXpand is built keeping in mind the importance of serving a real-time support experience. It helps you build a one-to-one relationship with your customers through its exceptional features. We are an ISO27001 certified development company with 14+ years of development experience. Make sure you don’t miss checking out DeskXpand’s live demo.