To remain competitive, companies must continue to experiment with new ways to provide more engaging customer support. Customers are communicating with brands across multiple platforms and expecting more rapid and personalized responses. Today’s definition of customer satisfaction may not have changed much versus the past, but the ways we provide service certainly have. One of the best approaches for companies to maximize team performance is by investing in new software tools that support collaboration.
According to data from Accenture, 76% of collaboration leaders are investing in emerging technologies that create value for their customers, and many CMOs view technology as a key component for delivering positive customer experiences. "Companies seeking to keep pace with industry leaders must embark on an omnichannel transformation—one that views touchpoints not in isolation but as part of a seamless customer journey," McKinsey & Company explains. Effective collaboration is a must for providing seamless customer experiences from end to end.
Today, nearly any company can access new software that can improve team communication, streamline workflows, and improve overall service levels. Increasing customer satisfaction now requires the efforts of your entire service team and organization. Here are a few ways leading companies are directing their support teams' efforts.
1. Using a Shared Inbox
To manage a large volume of customer requests, many support teams are turning to a shared inbox for complete email management. Having a single location to view, assign, and complete customer support requests helps keep everyone on the same page. Each team member can also customize their workspace to focus on their most important tasks. A shared inbox is usually cloud-based, giving the entire team the option to access the system from nearly any device. By streamlining basic support workflows, team members can focus on providing quality responses that can increase customer satisfaction.
2. Collaborating on Replies
A single agent can often complete customer requests, but there are times when more support is needed. For more complex or challenging issues, many support desks are using collaborative tools to improve their performance. Some examples include in-app messaging, tags and comments, and task assignments. Using a system that auto-refreshes and enables real-time updates is key to ensuring there is no lag between actions. Many teams also take advantage of third-party integrations to connect their support desk software directly to other collaboration tools.
3. Contributing to a Knowledge Base
A knowledge base is one of the best self-service resources that a company can offer customers today. Through a customer portal, users can access a knowledge base to find answers to common questions and enter comments. Making the environment collaborative helps to ensure that customers can find the latest information easily. Combining input from support staff, customers, and management enables companies to create an always up-to-date, growing knowledge base that serves as a robust resource for both customers and support agents.
4. Personalizing Support
When it comes to customer support, personalization is a way to build trust and fine-tune your support activities to address each customer's needs. Support teams can reassign or share support requests with other agents who have unique skillsets that can add value to a response. In addition to more effective resource allocation, a diverse team can also dedicate the time needed to develop customer relationships through personalized messages.
5. Providing 24/7 Customer Support Availability
Support desks often need to manage requests originating from multiple time zones. When you combine this with the fact that a customer may submit a request at any time, there's a clear need for constant support. The most effective support efforts involve teams, sometimes on staggered shifts, that can effectively divide responsibilities and transition work to others when the time is right. Companies are also using customer portals and chatbots to make essential resources available even when a live agent may not be.
6. Enabling Omnichannel Support
The number of social media platforms continues to grow, increasing the number of potential ways to interact with customers. Since a customer may utilize multiple channels, many companies have members of their support teams dedicated to monitoring particular feeds. Software solutions can help streamline communications and workflows, but ultimately, the team is responsible for responding to requests in a meaningful way.
According to SuperOffice, Aberdeen Group found that 89% of consumers are frustrated when they have to repeat their problems and questions to multiple customer service reps. Collaborative customer support solutions with a centralized history of all customer interactions across channels arm your representatives with the information they need to pick right up from the last interaction for seamless omnichannel support.
Today’s support teams may have many new software tools at their disposal, but the fundamental practices that lead to high customer satisfaction are very much the same. Today’s remote, global teams now have the opportunity to collaborate on centralized and cloud-based platforms. The efficiency of these systems can enable any team to improve the customer experience and generate more satisfied customers.