A recent case study I read featured a large software infrastructure company -- and reflected what we have been seeing across the customer support industries.
The company needed to act quickly, given the fact that a large number of customers (who would typically prefer the self service support) were now bombarding their call centers and direct support lines.
This is a challenge that a wide range of businesses face when it comes to post-sales customer support or customer service -- and often puts a burden on their traditional customer support channels which including phone, email, and support centers.
Not only is this a burden on customer support teams, who almost always have their hands full with escalated cases, but it's a often financial drain too.
With some in-depth research into finding a good solution, the company leveraged a customer community software platform that they customized and launched into a full-fledged online self-service customer support solution, offering a great resource that their customers could turn to for answers.
As observed by many, when given a good online alternative to direct support, a lot of customers prefer self service support.
Most of us are used to visiting the website and searching for help or using the website as a first option for customer service or support. It's only when we don't find answers online or find it difficult to get what we're looking for do we call a support number.
Businesses need to tap into this by ensuring that first line of customer support is the point at which most of their customers find the answers they are looking for -- and that calls for a strong online solution.
There's reasons why you need to provide a support community ... your customers need an option to log into a community where they can find documents, resources, videos, podcasts or use discussion boards, forums, Wiki's or chat to seek out solutions.
Here are what some businesses who have implemented a customer community have seen:
With a strong social customer support infrastructure on the website as the front line of support, businesses can use the benefits of social software to achieve greater customer satisfaction levels -- while keeping a check on costs. It's definitely the way forward for the customer support and service organization.
Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.
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