In your world, customer support is a means to an end: It’s a method for keeping customers loyal and keeping the business going. But customer support shouldn’t be an afterthought—it should be treated as a critical component of your business from the get-go.
A well-designed customer support system can make or break a business. After all, you can have the most excellent products and services globally, but if customers don’t feel like they’re being supported well, they’ll be quick to go elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s a truth that many companies have to learn the hard way.
Creating an effective customer support structure isn’t easy, though. There are a lot of factors to consider that may not be part of your other business systems.
That’s why every organization needs to consider these seven features when setting up their customer support software.
7 Must-have features of a customer support software
1. Omnichannel support
The organization should proactively adopt an omnichannel support strategy to differentiate the brand from its competitors and get ahead of the competition.
Communication channels have evolved over the years, and it is no longer sufficient to provide just a phone number or an email address to handle customer issues. Instead, customers want to be able to reach out to you through whichever channel they prefer, and they expect that their communication will be handled in a consistent manner across all channels.
There are several solutions available on the market that offer omnichannel communication support. These solutions are built with a unified messaging platform that ensures consistent handling of customer communications across multiple channels. They also ensure the synchronization of interactions between separate channels and provide real-time notifications about each interaction.
Everything a customer says via one channel is instantly reflected across all other media, which creates a seamless customer experience and keeps all team members up-to-date with the latest information about each customer interaction.
With these solutions in place, your company can focus on providing good customer service instead of worrying about how to handle multiple customer interactions in different communication channels.
Companies use self-service portals to provide resources for customers to solve their problems and issues. The portal is structured to make it easy for customers to find the relevant information to resolve their problems. Some of the reasons that make self-service portals successful are:
1. Customers get a feeling of independence and control. It offers the choice to the customers to choose from available options to resolve their issues
2. It is convenient as customers can easily navigate the portal as per their needs or preference.
3. Customers can find answers quickly from the repository of FAQs.
4. Provides maximum convenience and easy issue resolution for customers
In addition, the self-service portal is changing how businesses are marketed and sold by giving potential customers full access to information about products and services available for purchase. Self-service portals provide more information than what is found on many websites.
3. Unified Agent Interface
When customers need a quick answer, the support team needs to be able to provide it. The more efficient that customer service is, the higher the satisfaction of your customers will be.
A unified agent interface (UAI) provides a seamless experience to customers by giving them all the information they need, along with the ability to engage in a conversation through multiple platforms.
The unified agent desktop gives agents on-the-spot access to customers’ historical interactions and transactions across all departments of an organization. It also offers agents a 360-degree view of what customer expects to make customer service more personalized and effective.
4. Internal communication mechanism
With a team of customer support agents, an internal chat feature could help them communicate with each other in real-time and resolve any issue at the earliest. With this feature, agents can share customer information with other agents and get assistance from subject matter experts within the team. This feature can result in quick ticket resolution by getting help from subject matter experts within the group.
Customer support agents spend a lot of time-solving customers’ issues, so it’s essential to have a channel to communicate with co-workers or supervisors. With the internal chat option, they can quickly get assistance from other team members when they are stuck. With this feature, customers could get a quick response, and their ticket resolution could be accelerated.
5. Sentiment analysis
Customer sentiment analysis is becoming increasingly important in the contact center industry, as businesses are striving to deliver a more personalized and responsive experience to their customers.
With the help of AI and other emerging technologies, companies better understand how customers feel about them, allowing them to develop strategies that can address customer concerns or enhance customer satisfaction.
For example, speech-to-text technology allows customer service agents to identify expressions of anger or frustration in a particular customer’s language. This will enable agents to prioritize ticketing in order of urgency and respond more effectively to the customer’s needs.
In addition, artificial intelligence can analyze specific keywords or phrases contained in various support channels (like social media) and determine the overall tone of conversations with customers. Businesses can then use this data for strategic planning and developing new products and services.
6. Updated knowledge database
While customer support agents get many different kinds of queries, it would be impossible to keep track of every detail of an organization’s product or service offerings. So a company maintains a knowledge base, or “KB,” for short, which is essentially a collection of information readily available to any agents who may need it.
This allows them to access what they need and helps keep them from getting caught up in product details that aren’t relevant to their current situation.
This knowledge base needs to be easily searchable so that agents can find exactly what they’re looking for. It’s also best to update the information regularly to contain the latest details about things like product updates and new features.
That way, the information won’t be out-of-date when an agent needs it and will give them confidence in its accuracy. And if the knowledge base has been set up correctly, it should even provide leads on how to answer certain types of queries—which saves everyone time in the long run!
7. Automated process
Automated ticket routing can free up your team to focus on retention. A recent study showed that a lack of support from the company behind the product is one of the leading reasons for dissatisfaction and churn.
Yet, when it comes to supporting, companies often struggle with manual processes for solving tickets and making sure that customers are satisfied. This can be a severe problem, as many studies have shown that people who experience pain but don’t receive help will quickly move on to another provider.
One of the biggest challenges with customer support is managing the massive number of requests you get from customers regarding their products. At the same time, if you’re using an old ticketing system or managing tickets by email, you’re missing out on many opportunities to help customers and keep them happy.
This is why so many companies are moving to automated systems for ticketing and customer retention. Instead of handling each request manually, you can use software to understand where each customer is in their journey with your company and provide guidance at the right time and place in their journey.
Automating these processes allows you to create dynamic rules based on real-time data about your customers and their preferences.
Customer success management will continue to evolve with technology and feature enhancements. As customer support shifts from an engine for the sales team to a standalone operation, it may be time for customer success leaders to reevaluate the existing suite of solutions they’re using to support their customers.
We hope that you better understand the key features in today’s leading support software suites by now. Customer information hubs are becoming an essential part of many customer success operations worldwide—and a cornerstone of your CX strategy. As new technologies emerge, we can expect more features to be added around AI and automation in the next decade!