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In today’s get-it-done world, customers are not interested in engaging in polite conversations with agents. They don’t need to feel like their concerns are validated, that their problems are being dealt with, or that they are making a contribution to the success of a brand. In most cases, end users would have explored alternatives before trying to reach a contact center. This means that they may already have heightened levels of frustration before reaching an agent.

Today, customers are expecting one thing – to get their problem solved as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Here are five tips to deliver an excellent customer service platform.

  1. Do One Thing Really Well.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Bruce Lee

Some of the most successful online apps today have taken this approach on their path to success. Google perfected search, WhatsApp perfected mobile messaging, Instagram perfected image sharing. The same holds true for delivering a winning customer service platform.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, 84 percent of customers prefer one simple support option…as opposed to presenting a broad selection of customer support channels and allowing users to select the channel they think suits them best. So, rather than presenting email, in-app messaging, social and telephone, it makes sense to present one easy-to-use option. This is one of the reasons that Helpshift has focused on the in-app mobile experience, because when it comes to solving problems, users should easily be able to navigate through a customer support journey, solve a problem and move on.

  1. Communicate.

Good communication requires planning. Design a communication flow that matches the communication type.

  • Communicate early with in-app messaging or push notifications regarding issues you are aware of.
  • Learn from analytics about friction points in a user journey and allow users to self-serve with intuitive FAQs. FAQs act as a communication channel when users prefer to self-serve or after office hours.
  • Free your agents from having to deal with repetitive and simple issues through automations. This allows agents to focus on the most interesting and complex issues.

By listening to customers, Helpshift has been able to design a product that users love. In order to achieve solid customer communication, design a process and hire and train the right team that can take on the most complicated issues.

  1. Build for the Business and End User.

The Oxford dictionary defines an agent as ‘a person who acts on behalf of another person or group.’ If we consider an agent within the context of a traditional voice-only customer interaction – most often, this definition holds true in name only. In a traditional contact center, agents often do not act on behalf of the end user or the product team, and rather act as an in-between that prevents the end user and product team from communicating.

Agent or Gatekeeper?

Customer service agents often act as gatekeepers. The gatekeeper role separates the agent from the product team – preventing the end user from having any real business impact on the product roadmap.

In the traditional voice-only scenario, and without any real accountability, customer service agents may look to the path of least resistance and simply want to end a call as quickly as possible instead of solving a user’s problem. This results in agents deferring a problem until later, or appeasing a user with responses that do not resolve the problem.

A company’s goal is to provide the best possible support in terms of the outcome for both the business and end user. User feedback is an important input channel for the product roadmap. By utilizing technology to actively listen to the end user and allowing the end user to directly impact a product, Helpshift technology acts as an agent for the end user and business alike. Issues are reported and resolved, and products are improved.

  1. Be Relevant

A recent study by Adobe revealed that the average American smartphone user checks a smartphone about 85 times per day. As more people see the smartphone as their primary device, smartphone applications become more relevant than ever. Being relevant today means being where your users are – available inside of a mobile app.

  1. Be Available

As the internet permeates geographic borders, like-minded individuals are forming tribes across borders and time zones while on the move. It is important to offer self-service options even when internet access is sparse or after-hours for your company. Bombarding users with out-of-context messages, while using their most valued communication channel(their smartphone), is detrimental to a customer relationship.

In today’s world it is not only millennials and ‘generation Zers’ who are impacting the way in which we operate. Today, all users are frustrated by poor customer support. Time is valuable and users are demanding that their problems are solved in a timely manner.

Published April 6, 2017
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