The typical customer support team must balance a constant stream of customer requests with product issues and product or service-related information that they manage. It is a big task for any operation, especially today, as savvy customers connect with brands using multiple channels. Customer support has become a 24/7 function with little room for downtime or mistakes.
As a result of these increased service demands, companies are moving to implement new solutions that can help them provide more efficient support. There remains a clear gap in many markets between the service demands of customers and the capabilities of their customer support teams. Data from a recent series of studies at thinkJar indicates that, on average, only 45% of customer requests submitted on social media are answered. That represents a significant amount of lost opportunity.
One of the ways that customer support teams can evolve beyond traditional systems is by utilizing a collaborative inbox. These systems provide teams with the ability to monitor, assign, review, and close support requests from a single, shared dashboard. Beyond email management, some support team platforms also include additional capabilities such as knowledge bases and customer portals that are seamlessly integrated with the inbox. These solutions make it easy for customers to find answers and keep track of their prior support requests. In today’s post, we’ll discuss four important ways that a collaborative inbox can improve your customer support process.
Connect & Enable Teams
One benefit of using a collaborative inbox platform is the extensive suite of tools available to help your teams manage email and communications. Customer support personnel can create draft email responses that can then be reviewed by other team members and updated before sending. Support agents can also add comments to connect with other team members without having to message them on a separate platform.
Having access to all support emails together in one location also allows your team to focus on finding the resolutions to customer requests instead of tracking down team members or searching for communications. It also helps prevent miscommunication among teams. By keeping all information in a central location and visible to everyone, a collaborative inbox helps to eliminate information silos.
Streamline Your Workflows
With a collaborative inbox, you can prioritize the improvement of your internal processes. Since the setup of a collaborative inbox has already been streamlined for ticket management, team collaboration, and email management, you don’t need to worry about integrating these capabilities from separate systems. You also have complete control of permissions among staff members or teams and can customize your workspace structure to accommodate any individual team or customer group.
Expand Customer Knowledge
One of the best ways to make the most out of your customer support activities is to learn from repeat issues and take proactive steps to prevent future support requests. Many collaborative inboxes also come with a connected knowledge base that can be populated with articles, procedures, and other helpful information. Knowledge bases can be set up for internal access only or as a public, customer-facing resource. Internal knowledge bases provide your customer support team with a robust resource to quickly locate answers to customer queries. Public knowledge bases, on the other hand, provide customers with in-depth information to solve common problems and find solutions to pressing questions, reducing the number of customer support requests for your team to manage.
A complete history for each email is also stored in a collaborative inbox, which helps you track changes and ensure accountability among the team. It serves as an audit trail and can save a lot of time when records are needed. Customer support staff can also reference this email archive at any time to learn from past issues and find information that may be helpful for current requests.
Provides Complete Email Management
Of course, the foundation of a collaborative inbox is the processing of customer support emails. Using a shared inbox gives your team the ability to view real-time status and assignments for each request in the queue. Since an effective platform will utilize a cloud-based system, your information will be synced to all points of access with a proper backup. A cloud-based system provides reliable access to current information, ensuring that your support team is armed with the latest information to handle requests. With a centralized inbox, you can also set important team goals, such as “inbox zero,” or specific metrics such as ticket response time that can be tracked and viewed through transparent reporting.
Customer support teams must manage many requests and resolve them in a reasonable amount of time. As companies continue to search for ways to streamline support processes, the collaborative inbox has proven to be an essential tool for many situations. These systems provide important features and capabilities that can add value to your support team interactions.