While some businesses regard customer support as the way their representatives talk to the customers, the overall scope is actually larger than just that one conversation.
Customer support is a company-wide process, and its success is determined by how the whole organization reacts to meet the customers’ requests in a sustainable manner.
Sustainability in business means that you can indefinitely carry out a process. However, when there’s a backlog of customer requests, things start getting overwhelming.
According to The Rockefeller Corporation, 82% of your customers will shop elsewhere if you offer them poor customer support. That’s why it’s important to learn how you can sustainably deal with customer support requests.
5 Ways To Deal With Customer Support Requests
Did you know an unhappy customer tells about 10 to 15 people about their bad experience? Some customers even tell nearly 20 people. That’s 20 people who could have shopped from you only if you satisfied the first customer.
Nowadays, customers aren’t only complaining about poor service through word-of-mouth. They’re also posting on social media. Unfortunately, you’ll need five positive posts to merely match the impact of a single negative social media post on your customers’ decisions.
Most customers - 82% to be precise - report that they’d be happy with the customer service if it was quick. Sure enough, that’s exactly what you want to do.
However, when your email fills up with customer requests, you have to prioritize at the expense of satisfying some customers while leaving the other untended for a long time. Fortunately, there are some ways to deal sustainably with customer support requests.
1. Understand Your Customers
To create a remarkable customer service experience, you first have to learn about your customers. Where do they come from? What age group do they belong to? What kind of problems are they most likely to face?
Once you’ve understood your customers and their requirements, you can go ahead and tailor your services according to their needs.
For instance, let’s say your customers are middle-aged men and women who’re not very tech-savvy. Thus, they’ll more likely need assistance in following tech-related instructions.
So, you should focus on creating automated responses for common questions that a non-tech-savvy person might ask when using your service. In this way, you can make your support more customer-centric.
2. Respond Quickly
As discussed above, customers want quick responses. A Nielsen survey showed that customers would rather have an incomplete quick response than no response at all.
So, you must answer your customers’ questions quickly. Surely, it won’t be possible to resolve every query instantly.
However, you should at least let the customers know they’re heard and cared for.
Once they get a response from you, they’ll know that you have received their request. Tell them you’re working on it. Unfortunately, most companies fail even to acknowledge their customers’ emails.
On average, companies take about 12 hours to deal with a customer service request - no wonder the customers are unhappy.
A 2005 study found some interesting things in this regard. While 80% of the companies said that they were offering superior customer service, only 8% of the consumers actually reported getting satisfactory service.
Considering this, it’s likely that your customer service is not as good as you might think it is.
3. Use a Customer Support Software
As your company grows, so will the customer support requests. Thus, it becomes hard to manually keep track of the requests and or handle them efficiently.
To streamline things, use customer support software, such as HelpSpace. It simplifies your customer support by providing several inbound channels, self-service sites, and a team inbox.
Since you can organize customer service requests, it becomes easier to handle them. You may respond to them immediately or assign a request to any particular agent in the team.
Even better, you can write self-service articles and send their links to your customers. Half of your customers believe it’s essential to solve the issue themselves. Moreover, 70% of them want companies to have a self-service app or site on their website.
You can fulfill these customers’ requirements by setting up self-service sites.
According to the findings of a Benchmark report, only 20% of the organizations answer their customers’ questions completely in the first reply.
However, by adding links to self-service articles through HelpSpace, you can offer your customers a solution in the first reply while saving your time too.
4. Prioritize Requests
While it’s imperative to keep things moving in a customer service queue, you still have to prioritize some requests over others. Here are some things to consider when doing this:
Have you segmented your customers? Do some segments require immediate attention?
How long has a particular consumer been waiting to get a response from you?
Do you want to prioritize first-time customers since you only get this one time to impress them?
Or would you rather prioritize customers whose cases are already in operation?
You can set criteria for prioritization to ensure that all customers are heard. For instance, any customer who has not received a single reply for three hours should be prioritized over new requests.
5. Keep Information at Hand
If you’ve been dealing with customer requests for quite some time, you’d know which questions are more frequent. Make sure you have the responses and information about these queries at your fingertips.
In this way, you won’t have to dig for details every time a customer leaves a query. Moreover, it allows you to respond to your customers efficiently and instantly.
It helps to have the details in the customers’ profile. Have they contacted customer service before? What were their previous interactions with you? The quicker you get to know about the customer, the sooner you can handle their issue.
To ensure the sustainability of your customer service, you have to ensure that your customers are satisfied. Only then can you carry on with the same processes. For that, get customer feedback periodically. Tweak or replace practices that customers are unhappy with.
It won’t happen overnight, but you’ll definitely end up with sustainable practices in place with a customer-centric approach and some degree of trial-and-error.