Most customers expect a quick response to their questions, and offering 24-hour support is the best way to make that happen. Creating a team that can address customer issues around the clock isn’t always easy, especially if you’re a small business looking to stay competitive. That doesn’t mean you can’t consider other options that will help you serve your customers.
Automate Customer Service Support
Through the help of help-desk software, management tools, and automation techniques, you can ensure your customers receive a response even if an agent isn’t available.
1. Canned Response
A canned response can be programmed into your email and chatbox directly or through help-desk tools if you want a customized or personalized message. Canned responses can come in the form of an answer (if a keyword is found), a courtesy message, or as a way to direct the customer to a separate 24/7 support team if you have one in-house or outsourced.
An appropriate canned response should include the following information:
- Thanks or appreciation for contacting the company
- An acknowledgment that their request was received
- A way to direct the customer if the problem persists
- Direction to additional help or self-help portal
Without a canned response, your customer may not know if you received their email or chat box message, which may cause them to find the answer somewhere else, like your competition.
2. Ticket Routing
Management tools and help-desk software can place all of your customer inquiries into a centralized platform that puts them in the appropriate division. This makes it easier for agents to solve customer problems based on priority and individual expertise. Coupled with the canned response, agents can resolve issues without making the customer wait hours or even days.
If you offer support by phone, you can provide 24-hour support by setting up voicemail. Voicemail gives your customers the option to leave a detailed message, one that they would have otherwise given the agent, no matter when they call. Your customer support staff can place these voicemails first in the queue, so they’re handled as soon as possible.
After speaking to hundreds of your customers, you’ll start to notice a pattern of frequently asked questions. While it would be more personable to answer these questions with an agent every single time, it may be impossible for you to properly service a problem in the middle of the night.
It’s faster and more satisfying for your customers to solve a problem on their own, so empower this line of thinking by creating the following self-help services that still offer 24-hour support.
4. Customer/User Content
Customers who want to support your product or service will create content that solves a problem. Since most people use services like YouTube, you’ll find step-by-step tutorials that guide the user to a solution. You can turn this user-generated content into a customer knowledge base using blog posts, videos, and other meaningful articles.
To make it easier for your customer to access this information, ensure that:
- Videos are mobile-friendly and support the aspect ratio
- The information is easily found through a search engine
- All content is knowledgeable and updated frequently
- Links are checked consistently to ensure they’re active
- Knowledge focuses on a visual format, i.e., pictures
Content will improve your Google ranking, which will help new customers find you.
5. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page
Create a page dedicated to answering common questions your customers have, but keep the content brief where possible. Your customers are more likely to contact you if they have to read through a manual or watch a 30-minute video. Make sure you write the questions and put the response directly underneath it to avoid confusion or frustration that makes them leave the site.