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Customers First: The Best B2B Customer Service Blog

Customer Support Solutions: Choosing a Replacement

[fa icon="calendar"] Sep 1, 2017 11:02:00 AM / by Matthew Brown

Just like an old car, sometimes you need to move on to something that meets your current needs. The kids have left the house and that minivan just isn’t practical to drive around anymore. The same can be said about software solutions. A company can be totally satisfied with their customer support solution for years but, as they get more customers, they may outgrow their current software and its capabilities.

So how do you know when replacing customer support software is a good move for your company? Here are 4 things to consider…

1) Make sure your customer support solution fits your industry – This is one of the biggest considerations a company can miss, which is like a family of five buying a sports car. Sure, you can make it work, but it’s far from an ideal situation. There are two main classifications for support software - B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer). The latter is focused on supporting many customers with little emphasis on the customer relationship or overall satisfaction. Whatever agent is available will help the next customer in the queue and the goal is to help as many customers as possible. B2C software was created to optimize this model of support by focusing on making support interactions faster. With B2B, it’s all about relationships. B2B customers are more valuable financially than B2C customers and more difficult to acquire. This means the top priority is keeping them happy rather than just getting them out of the ticket queue. B2B support software is focused less on getting the customer any answer and more on getting them the right answer. This response usually comes from an agent who knows and understands their business.

Looking for more information on the difference between B2B and B2C customer support? Click here to download our infographic comparing the two industries.

2) Don’t downgrade your customer support solution unless it’s absolutely necessary – Few things hinder a business and its growth potential worse than poor customer support. When replacing your customer support software, don’t try to cut corners by eliminating features that are customer-facing and receive a lot of interaction. For example, a company may opt for a software solution that doesn’t have customer chat. They may look at their metrics and see only 20% of customers use chat. Getting rid of it shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Maybe, maybe not. Those customers may include some of your most important and highest value deals. Further, those chats may result in fewer tickets being created, which can cost thousands in support hours. Think twice about switching to a solution that doesn’t offer live chat if you already provide it and some of your customers are using it. A downgrade like this will reflect poorly on your perceived financial state as a company and will also alienate customers.

3) Choose a customer support solution that can scale as you grow – To put it simply, it’s becoming more common for businesses using support software to include all customer-facing employees instead of just support teams. Don’t choose a solution that focuses strictly on small businesses or adds little value to other non-support departments. Select a support software that can scale as you grow with direct benefits for your entire company. This not only breaks down silos across different areas of your organization but it also increases communication and information sharing for the entire business. Integrations between support software and other systems (CRMs, Dev Tools, and more) can also work well to facilitate seamless information-sharing between team members.

4) Look for a customer support solution with forward-thinking features – A software may seem like a good fit right now, but don’t forget to take a step back and look at the provider as a whole before you sign up. How long has the company existed? What updates and enhancements have they issued lately? The best customer self service software solutions are forward-thinking in nature and do not rest on their laurels, hoping for users to stick around. In customer support, innovative solutions such as video chat and customer self-service solutions should be built in to any support software. These emerging features are being demanded more often by customers and offering them can create a competitive advantage in your market.

 

In conclusion, there are many things to consider when you are looking to replace your support software solution. Making sure you choose the right software for your industry (B2B or B2C) is a vital first step, while not skimping on features is a close second. Don’t forget to choose a customer support solution that can scale as you grow and one that is also building features to cater to future support initiatives. Replacing customer support software takes time, but being diligent and choosing the right solution can have a significant positive impact on a business.

   
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