Business Practices | | Published April 18, 2016

5 Signs Your Customer Support Strategy Isn't Working

The backbone of a business is the relationship it has with its customers. That's why it's incredibly important for B2B companies to have a top-notch customer service strategy to handle those moments of dissatisfaction. Below are five warning signs a business's current support strategy isn't working:

1. Customers are complaining and leaving
A multitude of support-related complaints is the No. 1 indicator that a business's approach is not effective. The more customer service complaints a customer has, the more likely he or she is to terminate a business relationship. Even one canceled contract from a B2B customer can have serious consequences.

"Customers shouldn't have to contact support over problems that are easy to fix."

There are a number of reasons customers might complain about the support they've received. For instance, they may not find support through their preferred customer support channel, or they may have been assigned an agent they didn't enjoy working with. No matter what the reason, such problems shouldn't be dealt with lightly.

2. They're unable to solve simple issues
Customers shouldn't have to contact support over problems that are easy to fix. Doing so uses agent time and energy both of which are better spent on more complex customer issues. Customer support reps should be focused on complex problems that require a human touch, not simple ones that don't need creative problem solving. These calls often add unnecessary costs, especially when the answers can be found through self-support.

3. Customer details come as a surprise
Customers get frustrated if a support agent does not know their individual details, including past calls to the service team. Older support methods such as tiered systems - where agents are assigned a specific caliber of questions based on their level of knowledge - aren't structured in a way that reps get to know the ins and out of their customers. A collaborative approach where reps can share and access the same information is necessary to provide high-quality support.

4. Agents are inefficient, and tickets are resolved slowly
This is another issue often seen in tiered support systems. New agents answer simple questions, while those with more experience tackle tougher issues. However, customers who call the support desk must always begin at the lower tiers no matter how complicated their problem is. This means they have to waste their time with at least one - if not several - support reps before being directed to one with the required knowledge to help them.

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These five signs indicate a business should rethink its customer support strategy.

This segmentation also prevents reps from collaborating with team members. When agents can't communicate and keep one another updated on new solutions, they aren't combining their knowledge to provide the best answers possible for their customers. This means tickets are resolved less efficiently, and entry-level reps never get to gain more experience. Instead, they burn out answering the same simple questions over and over.

5. Support agents don't know what their team members are doing
When reps can't share customer information, their lack of knowledge could lead to a faux pas. They're more likely to miss out on key changes within their customer's organizations, calling contacts the wrong name, addressing issues that no longer apply and ignoring prior correspondence. What's worse, sometimes messages between customers and support are simply forgotten. Such social gaffes aren't limited to customer support, especially when every department of a business works in departmental silos completely independent of each other. For example, customers won't appreciate a salesperson trying to upsell them when he or she already has issues with the primary service.

These five signs are indications a business should drastically rethink its customer support methods. The most straightforward way to do so is to use B2B customer service software that offers collaboration, self-support, integration and omnichannel contact. Agents are able to work with one another, share information and better serve their customers who can in turn find answers to simple questions online and, if necessary, contact support thorough whatever channel they wish.

Looking for a new B2B customer support software? Check out the latest Help Desk Report from G2Crowd: 

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