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Customers First: The Best B2B Customer Service Blog

Customer Support Tools: 5 Must Haves for Success

[fa icon="calendar"] Jul 7, 2017 11:01:00 AM / by Matthew Brown

Being successful with business to business customer support isn’t easy. From working with a wide array of customer support tools to providing several unique services, creating a solution that encompasses these efforts takes time and money.

With so many different ways to support your current business customers – including phone, email, live chat, text message, and automated experiences (chat bots or robot phone messages) – deciding when and what type of support to offer can be challenging for a business. Picking and choosing what to include in an omnichannel customer support solution isn’t easy.

Here are 5 must have customer support tools for successful customer support to enable your company to have positive interactions with customers.

1) Support contact database – To facilitate positive customer experiences, you must first enable your agents to know your customers. This is accomplished by implementing a B2B customer support software solution that also stores customer information (and, more importantly, makes it actionable). This database includes information at not only the contact level but also the company level to make sure you are keeping each customer happy.

2) Voice conversation system – This may seem straightforward, but believe it or not some companies are actually abandoning voice support to save costs. There’s nothing more frustrating as a customer to have an emergency but you’re unable to speak with a real person. If your company doesn’t want to provide a public phone number for support, use a customer support software that features voice and video chat you can share with customers as needed.

3) Online ticketing system – A reason why some companies have abandoned their voice options is because they want to have all conversations with customers happen online. Utilizing a ticketing system makes it easier for internal teams to collaborate to solve ticket issues faster. It also creates a better customer experience than some voice solutions as customers aren’t bounced from agent to agent or subjected to long hold times.

4) Live chat solution – Sometimes even the best online ticketing systems can be bogged down with minor requests from customers. This is where live customer chat shines as a great tool for support. Chat is ideal for answering simple questions quickly and efficiently, and it’s becoming preferred by customers in all industries as the demand for immediacy in conversations is rising.

Want to learn more about how live chat is used in customer support? Click here to download our infographic for an overview of live chat and how its usage in support differs greatly from sales.

5) Self-service offering – If you’re looking to reduce the volume of conversations across all channels, self-service is the way to go. Directly integrated into your customer support software solution, self-service is an online portal your customers use to answer their own questions. Although it can take time to build and there is upkeep involved with a self-service solution, there’s no denying it saves companies time and money. This is accomplished by enabling a customer to answer their own question with a quick search instead of having to contact support.

But what about automated tools?

B2B customers in particular do not want to interact with automated support as it stands today. Many customers find navigating phone trees complicated and chat bots don’t always give the right answer. Automation should happen behind the scenes – like ticket automation sending the right tickets to the right agent. Another example is SLA (service level agreement) notifications, or automatically triggering an alert for an outstanding ticket that requires a response in a certain timeframe. Integrations with other business tools like Slack or Jira can also greatly improve the efficiency of your support team.

 

Successful customer support is not something you can achieve overnight and there are many tools that are needed to build a comprehensive solution. From the traditional voice and ticketing system to emerging solutions like visual chat and self-service, offering multiple ways for a customer to get an answer from you is important. In addition, keeping all customer information in one place is crucial not only because it makes agents more efficient but it also lets your company add automated elements to your support solution. While there are other customer support tools out there, these five are the foundation of any successful customer support software.

   
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Improve Omnichannel Support With Self-Service

 

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