How do you best support your customers online in a way that answers their questions and works for your business?
What are the components of an online support environment that you need?
What are the common pitfalls and how do you avoid them?
There are a lot of things to consider when building out and maintaining an online support environment for your business. At Navitome, we’re all about clarity of communication and the maximization of information utility. We’ve been having a lot of conversations and surveying people to learn how they support customers online, how they got there, what works, and what doesn’t. In our next few posts, we’ll share some key lessons that we’ve been hearing in our conversations.
Lesson 1 – Doing What’s Expected Is Not Good Enough
Getting help online is incredibly common. At work, we might be trying to figure out how to make an email template. At home, we might be trying to figure out how to download the concert tickets we just bought. Since support is such a widespread thing in our lives, we all have expectations of what should exist in an online support environment. Some knowledge base or documentation, a chat service, and a ticketing system are often expected elements of an online support environment.
Simply having these cannot be your goal. Your goal needs to be supporting your customers in a way that’s effective by using these components. Each component should be well-thought out, maintained, and work in conjunction with the other components. Each component should have a purpose, goals, and a maintenance plan.
Here are some very common issues that companies hit when they don’t do this.
- Customers use the wrong component for their problem. For example, you don’t want people opening support tickets for questions that are already answered in your documentation.
- Companies are overwhelmed with support requests and lose track of issues.
Companies don’t know how to prioritize what content to create or maintain.
- Companies get frustrated and discouraged that their investments in support aren’t working.
Here are some things that we heard from companies that are succeeding that you can try.
- Think about the different types of problems for which your customers need support. Now, map them to where you’d ideally like to solve those. You might want to factor in speed to a resolution, cost, and priority into this thinking.
- If what you’ve mapped out above isn’t happening, do you have the data to understand what is happening? If not, how do you get that information?
- Based on the information you learned in bullet two, how do you get your customers to use the support component you want them to? We’ll cover this in the next few posts.
In the next few posts, we’re going to dive into what we’re hearing, what’s working, and what’s not with common components of an online support environment – chats, support ticket systems, and knowledge bases. This’ll help you avoid some of the common pitfalls and make the most out of each component.
To learn more about what we’re doing to help, check out this demo.