How to Up Your Multi-Channel Customer Support Game

by Workbooks Online

In a world where a purchase can be made at a click of a button, similarly technology changes have led to customers wanting to contact businesses in a myriad of ways. No matter where your customers are — be it sipping coffee in a cafe, waiting for their flight at the airport, sitting at their desk or basking in the sun on a beach — their expectations remain the same. That is, they should be able to reach you anytime, anywhere.

CRM in multi-channel customer support

Although some customers still opt for the conventional means of communication, such as emails and phone calls, this is not the case for most of the younger generations. Millennials generally have an aversion to phone calls with 68 per cent choosing text messages as their preferred method of communication. 

Meanwhile, 65 per cent of Generation Z-ers prefer online interactions and expect rapid responses from whomever they’re speaking with. With the majority of customers saying that customer service plays a huge role in establishing their loyalty to a brand, it’s vital for businesses to continuously evolve with the times and adapt to the requirements associated with various communication portals. 

Ease of access 

Every business must strive to offer a way for customers to get an answer to their service query wherever and in whatever way they are comfortable interacting at that particular point in time. The communication channels range from social media pages, telephone, text, and email to information / resolution portals found on their website. The solutions include mobile apps, live chat, and on-site assistance for businesses with a retail or physical outlet. 

No matter the communication preference of your customers, the goal should be to provide quality service at a similar level across all channels so the experience is seamless. It is about convenience and speed resolution for the customer who engages with you as and when appropriate, while ensuring that all outcomes are consistently positive. 

This is where CRM can really play a big part. All information can be found in one place. Every query and case ever handled is logged in one place. With all historical details to date, agents know what has been done before and can take over from that point on. A knowledge base can be built on previous resolutions and so everyone in the support team can leverage it to achieve maximum efficiency and deliver superior customer service.

Comprehensive portal of knowledge

For many, the ideal result is to receive the solution to their query or problem without going through the process of talking to a customer service agent. They would prefer to deal with an online service portal than to interact with a real person. To address the preferences of this group, companies can use a CRM platform to enable a self-service system / portal. This allows the company to post the answers to the most commonly reported issues.

In turn, customers can conveniently and quickly search the solutions posted, and use the predetermined responses to try and solve their queries. With easy access to a portal of information that can offer a comprehensive knowledge base, users can simply search for the answers themselves. In addition, this portal includes live forums where customers can interact with each other and discuss issues and solutions among themselves without the supplier/vendor/company involvement. Another option is still for customers to directly send their online queries to an agent who will then work to resolve the concerns.

To ensure that the system remains relevant and useful, the company must continue to update it to include new problems and their corresponding solutions. This system substantially eases the burden on the customer support staff. However, it’s not the only way to utilise CRM to improve customer experience.

Efficient real-time support

CRM can help the team deliver a more efficient and higher-quality service to customers who prefer to speak with a customer service agent as well. With a CRM platform in place, customer service agents can readily access a comprehensive data bank that can assist them in dealing with queries. In this system, the staff can simply look up similar cases or guides that are related to the customer’s concerns. 

Implementing CRM can boost a business’ customer service reputation. Consumers expect agents to “know who they are, what they have purchased, and have insights into their previous engagements.” Hence, this convenient way of retrieving pertinent and helpful information will result in better-quality advice.

As for live cases, customer support teams can use CRM software to keep track of the details that they can later use for assessment. Equipped with the complete picture, the company can re-evaluate its processes and determine any areas for improvement. The data collected in these interactions also offers a seamless way of sharing knowledge among agents, which can lead to the discovery of more accurate and effective solutions. 

In line with the goal to provide a smooth customer service experience to clients, CRM is a useful tool in establishing ownership of queries or cases. With the information gathered from the platform, the customer support team can deal with issues in batches. A specific or go-to person or group can be assigned to handle similar queries, which can drastically reduce friction as the customers won’t need to repeatedly explain the same issues every time.

One of the most important things for a good customer service experience is speaking to a knowledgeable agent. Aside from this, a CRM can design a process that automatically identifies the most qualified customer support agent to handle specific cases. This increases the possibility of providing quicker resolutions. 

Final thoughts

Any business worth its salt must make sure not only to meet the expectations of its customers but also deliver quality service across its multi-channel customer support portals. Channels are connected so conversations are seamless, agents are more productive, and information can be shared across your entire company — all without losing focus. Let customers reach you in whatever way is best for them — web, mobile app, email, voice or chat — and easily continue the dialogue across every channel… A seamless customer journey and experience, end to end!