You’ve made great progress with your venture, and your startup is at the point where it needs in-house customer service.
The big question you have now is, “How do I get started?”
Outsourcing customer service is a good option when starting out. But if you’re at the point where it makes more sense to have your own Customer Support department, you’ll want to look at these basic solutions to get started.
In the modern digital landscape, cloud-based solutions make contact center setup simpler, more agile process that can easily be scaled. Going cloud-based with a provider like Contaqt is the simplest and most cost-effective way of starting out in the customer support world. Consider this first step carefully, and from there you can choose to focus on one or more of these three things.
1. Voice Support is Important, with Caveats
Live agents on the phone are a classic of customer service, and favored by many demographics. However, there are studies that suggest this may no longer be the best choice. Still, there’s something comforting when speaking directly with an agent.
A 2011 study of students from the University of Michigan found that extended use of social media and personal devices to communicate in lieu of the spoken word resulted in a 40% decrease in the capacity for empathy. This has monumental implications for customer service, and is especially true for older demographics. Customers want to feel cared for, and empathy is crucial to that.
Modern cloud contact center software solutions have voice telephony, so setting it up is as simple hiring people and setting them up with your solution’s telephony client. Get in touch with a provider of choice and ask for a demo, and find the cloud provider with the best fit for your business.
2. Live Chat is the Game Changer
This is where things get interesting. While voice support has its place, it’s become increasingly trendy with today’s startups to focus on live chat instead, and there is a good reason for that. You’ll find an entire plethora of recommendations to go chat from customer support professionals today, and that’s because live chat has the highest level of customer satisfaction among all channels at 73% satisfaction, compared to 61% for email and 44% for voice support.
It’s a sign of the times, perhaps. Modern smartphones, computers and social media have changed the default mode of communication to a text-based model, and if your startup is targeting the younger demographic, this is your channel of choice. Voice is the most time-consuming method of customer support, and data shows that 79% of customers love chat because it provides quick answers.
As with phone telephony, cloud-based solutions have chat support built in, so be sure to inquire with your provider on how to make use of their chat functions.
3. Automate your Support with Chatbots
Live chat is very popular and effective, so you may want to take the next step: a chatbot can handle your customer’s concerns 24/7 with near instantaneous answers, and fast service is a huge deal for customers. A study from Aspect Software Research shows that 44% of customers prefer to deal with a chatbot than talk to a human.
Another great thing about them, you don’t need to hire a dozen or a hundred agents. Just install one chatbot and you’re done. The bot can resolve a good chunk of your customer’s inquiries without supervision, in an automated manner.
The caveat is that the chat bot will lack that human touch, and won’t be able to provide the empathy that is very important to customer interactions. The answers provided by the chat bot AI will also be limited to pre-programmed solutions with a clear context, so the AI may need to be adjusted over months to get really good at answering concerns. It’s great at answering simple concerns like status inquiries, but may fail at handling more complex issues.
Still, augmenting your live chat with a chatbot may be the ideal solution to get the best of both worlds. A basic chatbot can be expensive to setup, but once it’s in place it’ll pay for itself very quickly. They also integrate easily into your cloud solution’s chat, so they’ll fit right into the bigger picture of your customer service.
Setting up an in-house Customer Support department can be a daunting task, but working on these three basic solutions with a cloud-based provider can take out a lot of the tedious legwork while doing a lot of heavy lifting for your customers. If you’re really keen on doing customer service, now is the time to get in touch with a provider and explore the best ways to give support to your customers.