4 qualities SMBs need from a customer support platform



Your business is growing but collecting, organizing, responding to, and reporting on customer support requests is getting harder to manage. As a support professional at a small and medium- sized business (SMB), you’re likely in the market for a customer support solution. But how do you know which features and functionalities are most important? We’ve compiled a list of the most important qualities a modern-day solution has and how they’ll help empower agents, support your customers, and achieve your business goals.


Download now: The Buyer’s Guide to Customer Support Platforms in 2021



One inbox ticketing system where agents can manage tickets from all channels


Customers can submit a ticket from several sources both online and offline: emails, chats, social posts, WhatsApp messages, calls, contact channels, etc. Consolidating every support request into a single, clean view (or one inbox) helps increase ticket efficiency. The ability to quickly and accurately manage tickets is crucial for SMBs that rely on customer loyalty to drive business growth.


One tool that makes it easier to manage customer support from all channels is the one inbox. From one inbox, agents can achieve the following without ever needing to switch tabs:

  • Quickly see all interactions between agents and customers (source of the request, internal notes, timestamp, labels, etc) in real-time so they know where the ticket stands

  • Use one reply box to answer customers from any channel with the help of AI article recommendations, internal notes, or saved replies (all inside the reply box)

  • Access the full customer details and history using information like contact details, previous tickets, type of user, or any technical data to provide the best, most informed support

Managers can use this view to locate tickets across multiple agents, stay up to date on ticket flow and agent productivity, and gain a bird's eye view of the entire support operation. Without a single view, agents must switch between tabs or areas inside the platform to access all of these requests. This increases the time it takes to resolve tickets and complicates their ability to follow service level agreements (SLAs) so VIPs receive white glove service. Through one inbox, agents can use the ticketing system to improve SLA response time, getting all the necessary information in one clean view.



A system where all product functionalities are integrated


Two of the most important questions SMBs must ask themselves when evaluating customer support solutions are: are the products built to work together? Do I need to stack products on top of the other and integrate them to speak to each other?


In this one system, products such as the ticketing system, external or internal knowledge base, call center, live chat, actionable insights, and widgets should connect with each other. When products are separate apps or add-ons, the day-to-day usage can feel disjointed and businesses will have to manage multiple processes at once. All of this results in the support team’s inefficiency to resolve and manage customer concerns.


Look for solutions that have built-in core functionalities so that day-day, managing support is as easy and streamlined as possible. A solution with fully integrated features provides SMBs with several benefits. First, it reduces the need for developer involvement (as they no longer need to connect different products).


Second agents will have an easier time navigating and supporting customers right away; this increases their efficiency and allows the company to scale without increasing agent headcount.


For example, modern solutions will have an AI powered reply box that suggests relevant internal knowledge base articles so agents don’t need to spend time searching for the right article for customers. AI-powered suggestions not only allows agents to reply to customers faster—decreasing SLA response time— but also provides them with the most accurate information.



Actionable insights that help you better understand your business and customers’ needs


Modern customer support platforms don’t just gather data. They present data out of the box (such as customers’ most frequently asked questions and areas where they need the most help) and organize it in structured, clear dashboards. In this view, businesses can analyze the information and draw insights.


Modern solutions provide insights for all tickets, channels, and agent/support team performance. These insights enable businesses to constantly assess whether they’re meeting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), track team performance, and meet business goals.


When SMBs need to pivot strategies, actionable insights allow them to quickly assess whether they’re on the right track. Say support leaders wanted to track chat performance. They could immediately go into the insights feature and access dashboards that present first-response-time, time-to-end chat, CSAT scores, and more, filtering by country, source, or language.


All of these deep insights can help decision makers measure team efficiency and make informed, real-time decisions around product gaps, improving help articles and guides, and indicating where management should allocate resources.



Dev-free automatic actions to save agents time and eliminate unnecessary manual work


In 2020, companies must provide customers with the quality support they expect. Though without a quick way to organize and manage requests, agents can spend hours performing repetitive tasks instead of solving tickets.


For SMBs, it’s crucial agents nurture customer relationships and make the experience as smooth as possible. With a frictionless experience, customers will feel more loyal to the brand or even grow the business through word or mouth.


A solution with easy-to-implement automatic actions allows support leaders and agents to set up rules and flows resulting in faster ticket resolutions. Agents can set automatic actions on a ticket with a single click. Ticket actions include: labeling, moving it to a different queue, resolving it, writing a comment for another agent, and other actions.


Automatic actions for routing tickets to specific queues can relieve agents of the responsibility of choosing their tickets manually. All support requests from email, chat, call center, and social channels will be directed to the appropriate agent.


Support leaders can base automatic actions on criteria they predetermine to keep the workload balanced and ensure that specific issues are handed off to the right agents. A platform with automatic actions can help companies eliminate manual work with recurring processes based on specific conditions you define.



Wrap up


Support technology has evolved and small business customer service requires powerful features that will help push the business forward. When evaluating customer support platforms, look for solutions that increase agent productivity and management efficiency. These modern solutions will likely include one view of all tickets from all channels, fully integrated products, dev free automatic actions, and automatic insights that track team performance.


SMBs require a solution that makes it easier for the support team to meet the needs of their customers. Modern solutions enable agents to resolve tickets fast and accurately and provide managers with a birds eye view of the support operation. With the right platform, support leaders can constantly optimize team performance and meet business goals.


Use the above list when identifying what to look for in a solution and how the right platform will help you grow your business.



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