Hiring more support agents doesn't mean happier customers
Updated: May 31, 2020
Increasing your staff to help improve your company's customer support efforts certainly sounds like an effective way to ensure happier customers. While it would be logical to consider adding more agents during a time of growth, this reactive mentality doesn't fully consider the entire customer experience. As a matter of fact, building a strong self-service model instead of adding more agents can help you change the dynamic of your communication flow and improve your user satisfaction.
As proactive support trends in the customer support industry become more universally accepted, hiring additional employees will be only one of many strategies you can initiate when trying to increase support efficiency.
Architecting an intuitive product with a self-service tool such as a knowledge base, enables your support staff to hone in on helping your customers with more time sensitive or high touch issues. This active approach allows users to solve their own problems by searching for FAQs, tutorials, and best practices made available online or within your app. As your KB becomes a source of truth for your customers, support teams should notice a decrease in tickets as customers begin to solve their issues internally. A solid KB is the foundation to a great self service model and can lead to short and long term gains as the costs to manage and setup are often lower than the alternative of bringing in more agents.
Build a KB to kickstart your proactive support self-service model
Your KB will be the go-to location for customers to learn how to use your product. To kickstart your content creation, brainstorm ideas with your support and product teams to come up with issues that are often experienced by first time users. If your support team has been actively solving tickets, use any data points you can gather to find trends around the most frequent tickets you're receiving. These two approaches are a great way to get your wider company involved in being customer-centric and keeping your users' needs in the forefront of your mind.
It’s important to ensure the content you're creating for your users is relevant to the issues they most commonly deal with, whether that be offering multilingual options that account for localized business practices or the article content itself. The best way to figure this out is by gathering feedback from your current customers directly. Once you have this information, you’ll have a clear direction as to how to build out the content and you can fly from there. Lastly, make sure your support articles are constantly being refreshed and kept up-to-date so that everyone will have the most current information which will be helpful today.
The benefits of building out your KB range from your agents being aligned on how to solve a particular issue, to guaranteeing that a discerning user has the ability to fully take advantage of your product with ease- via some light research. With well-written SEO based articles, your website will be easier to find on search engines like Google. The goal here is that by building a robust KB with intuitive help center articles, FAQs and product guides you will be offering your clients the chance to find support documentation that will answer most of their common queries.
Use KB insights to take action
What separates a standard help desk software from a truly great one are it’s unique features and how they connect to each other to provide a complete picture of how your support strategy is performing. A truly unified system can help you take advantage of rich insights about customers and agents which can affect your overall CS for the better. Discovering things such as how your customers are using your KB with actionable insights based on analytic dashboards will help you enhance your proactive support initiatives.
There are a variety of different angles you can take advantage of when it comes to the vast analytical environment surrounding your KB. Looking at metrics such as unique visitors, article views, self-service success and article searches can help you understand your customer flow and which articles are working well, versus which articles could use a fresh approach.
User feedback and data in the form of customer assessments, feature requests, trending searches and what your customers most common issues are can be effectively collected with a tool like Wix Answers insights. The platform offers your managers the ability to ensure your support information is performing optimally for all of your customers and agents. Using this data to figure out which articles are most popular, you’ll achieve greater understanding about what your customers want to know and how to make your articles even better. As you set goals or KPI’s for your team, you can always circle back to these insights to help decipher where you currently stand in terms of your KB’s performance and use the data to optimize for the future.
Integrate a KB into your support agents' and customers' workflow
One method of integrating your KB company wide to facilitate a shared flow of information is through enabling your agents to send support articles directly to a customer within a chat or ticketing correspondence from the platform itself. This helps minimize the time lag between your customers' questions and your agents ability to send a clear and concise answer their way.
Proactive CS teams should take note that the industry is trending towards utilizing new technology like search AI to help users find the most useful article available about their issue and livechat to help answer simple questions customers have about your product. Using a platform that employs search AI to help recommend relevant articles to your users as they browse through your help center is a very effective way to help customers support themselves via your KB during their regular workflow.
By integrating your KB into the processes your agents are working through day in and day out- you’ll be able to increase efficiency and productivity with your support team, while creating transparency regarding knowledge throughout your company. Keep your agents organized with an end-to-end management system that lets you assign specific support tickets to team members, and check them off when they’re done. Don’t overlook the fact that you can always use your KB as an internal tool for training new agents or employees, broadening your ability to share knowledge as a company in many helpful directions.
Technology + self-service are the keys to delighting your customers
Businesses everywhere are trying to succeed in delighting their customers, while also ensuring that their support agents remain productive and feel accomplished. Taking advantage of technology and developing a functional self-service model can be an effective way of helping your customers find the solutions they need, while keeping your support costs down. Agents will always remain essential for those special issues that truly deserve their attention, but it would be wise to structure your CS strategy around a strong KB and innovative technology as opposed to purely increasing man power.