Support demand is rapidly and continuously increasing and few businesses are prepared to address the rising needs of their customers. According to TeamSupport’s State of Support report for 2022, overall support demand is rising at an average rate of 11%. That means your support team is getting more emails, more requests, more everything.
Chances are that your support team is already getting hammered by the sheer volume of customer issues, not to mention the potential for complexity.
The simple solution is to just hire more support staff, however for most businesses that isn’t a viable option. About 80% of customer support leadership reported anticipating or already having experienced a reduction in the ability to hire.
If a support team begins drowning under the weight of ticket volume, the quality of the support will drop, and dissatisfaction will spike. The more dissatisfied customers are, the more likely they are to churn.
Essentially rising support demand will likely hurt your business’ revenue.
Despite the potential for significant problems, businesses aren’t relegated to just gritting their teeth and suffering through it. There are a variety of ways to tackle the challenge with precise applications of support software solutions, and they don’t rely on bloating a support team. To properly address this problem, both demand prevention and delivery efficiency are essential.
Support demand is rising
Support demand growing at an average rate of 11%.
80% of support leaders expect or have experienced decreased hiring abilities.
59% of companies report growth primarily due to: new customers, more proactive engagement, and lose it mainly due to product quality issues.
46% of companies report growth in assisted support demand.
The effects of rising support demand
Today most support demands are initially caught by the frontline grunts of self-help and automation tools. However, while many customers can solve problems on their own through these channels, many customers require more complex problem-solving, or the self-help channels weren’t robust or clear enough to actually help the customer. So while the majority of tickets are initially touched by self-help, the majority of these bleed through and need special attention by human support staff or assisted interactions.
It can’t be overstated – if the ever-growing customer demand is not met, the performance of support will drop, negatively affecting customer satisfaction, and thus increasing churn and blowing up revenue. Failing to meet customer needs and expectations can be nothing short of cataclysmic in the current economic climate. So why even risk it in the first place?
How support demand affects growth
Some 59% of businesses say that they experience growth due to the positive factors of new customers and more proactive engagement, and that they experience contracted growth due to issues with product quality.
If this is read only on a superficial level, the reader may take no note of how this ties into support demand. But churn due to issues with product quality is very much a support issue, and one that can be significantly mitigated by meeting support demand.
Additionally, many businesses fail to realize the importance of their current customers when it comes to growth – expansion, cross-sell, and upsell opportunities are often ignored in the name of the white whale of new business. But if a business is hemorrhaging customers due to low satisfaction, not only are they experiencing churn, but new customers will be wary of making deals with companies who maintain poor service reputations.
Maneuvering support demand complications
So it’s established that rising support demand is piercing the armor of business’s revenue stream, yet there is no reason for businesses to resign themselves to losses. There are almost always creative solutions to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and meet the rising support demand head on.
Support teams need to quickly ramp up their efforts to prevent issues. Issue prevention and self-help channels are all too often given the short end of the stick while businesses instead bet on the muscle power of human staff.
This bullheaded reliance on human power and ignorance of self-help options is self-sabotage at its finest. In fact 45% of companies already report growth in demand for self-help resources.
A powerful self-help solution, with high customizability for a business to tune, is incredibly important for tackling rising demand, but it's only the first step.