In the last couple of years, there has been a real revolution in the way consumers react with brands. Ever since the customers can reach the company via phone, there has been a tremendous decrease in the amount of letters sent to these companies. Another major impact came with the arrival of emails and web forms that have not only made our interactions with the companies that much easier but also given us the required time to organize our thoughts and prepare all details in advance.
Another revolution came with the launch of Facebook back in 2007 when companies started realising that its possibilities go far beyond than being just a P2P platform. What followed was a sudden and uncontrollable explosion of love and hatred coming directly from the consumers which ultimately led Facebook to upgrade its policies and provide tools for proper company/customer communication. Twitter and other social media channels were quick to follow.
Now, companies also understand this fact well enough, that’s why they try to deliver excellent customer support in the channels where their customers exist. For example, if your customers are more active on Twitter, then you will need to be accessible to them there and if they are avid email users, then they will expect you to provide great email support to them. I mean, you get the idea. The same thing happens for every channel.
But deciding on what channels to choose for customer support shouldn’t be left on guesswork, that’s why I have shared below four of the must-have customer support channels you should consider exploring and figuring out for yourself if these works best for your company and your customers or not.
Social media also has its own distinctive way of running things where
a) Twitter works best for short question answers (recently increased from 140 to 280 characters).
b) Facebook excels in customer-2-business interactions due to its being more of a personal platform.
c) Instagram is unparalleled when it comes to food, fashion, lifestyle, tourism etc.
And the list goes on. All in all, social media provides an excellent way to speak directly to the world on their own terms though you must select the channels where you expect most of your clients to be.
Live chat work as an excellent customer support channel simply because
a) It gives you the ability to solve your visitors’ problems in real time.
b) It is an information-rich channel where clients can easily access information.
c) It works great for sales and upselling just like an actual salesperson.
Live chat, in the near future, is expected to replace the traditional shop sales and help you with the conversion process which you might have lost otherwise. But if you are not directly involved in online selling, then it might not be a good option.
Messaging channels or in-app messaging are the new trend. Some of the most common messaging channels are FB messenger, WeChat, Viber, WhatsApp etc. Its major features are
a) It a fantastic way to make yourself available when clients need you the most.
b) It offers convenience and flexibility to be contacted even during off hours.
c) Instead of forcing them to adopt new channels, messaging works well with the ones they are familiar with.
Like live chat, text messages also have a bright future ahead, the only difficulty seems to be selecting the ones your customers appreciate the most as there are many options available.
Integrating email into your customer support strategy will be one of the best decisions of your life. There’s a reason why email is still considered as a mother of all digital interactions.
a) Email gives you ample amount of time to review your answer and reply at your own convenience.
b) Provides you with a good opportunity to reply faster to your clients.
c) Emails can be partially automated to cover most of the standard situations.
Just having a website makes it compulsory to have an email because sooner or later people will try to contact you via this channel. You can too, on your end, encourage people to use emails as they work wonders with complicated issues that require lengthy answers.
Nowadays, customers want service that is both fast and human. Although both these ideas might seem odd at first sight, achieving them with the help of a multi-channel customer support strategy is pretty easy. This strategy works not only with the alignment of both the strength and weakness of each channel but also how the customers prefer using them.