When the smartphone came out, it completely changed the game for digital technology and communications. Suddenly, users no longer needed separate devices for music, the internet, phone calls, photos, GPS, etc. Instead, they had access to all of it in one hand with the push of a button - and the world never looked back.
When it comes right down to it, why would we? Smartphones completely revolutionized the way that we do things and interact with the digital world today, giving us the most effective, efficient, user-friendly solution in history. And now, decades later, most people can barely remember their lives before smartphones - and the thought of using technology the old way seems like a step backwards and a waste of time.
This same kind of digital revolution is happening in the world of customer support, and trying to do things the old way is simply not an option. The only choice that we have is to get on board and catch up.
The History of Customer Support
Traditionally, customer support has always grown linearly. Think about it: when a company doubles their business, they have always had to double their support staff and costs as well. Why? Because they’ve used customer support representatives to answer all of their customers’ questions and queries, which means that when their business has grown they’ve needed more reps - which means more customer support time, resources and money.
Today, this system of linear customer support growth has become costly, ineffective and downright archaic. With the rise of digital alternatives like AI, chatbots, machine-learning software and self-service, the majority of customer queries can now be answered by other, less expensive means. In this new increasingly digital context, there is simply no reason to continue with the old-school, purely assisted service model and companies that continue to rely on representatives are ultimately going to fall behind, spending more money and working less effectively.
In short, if you are still doubling your support staff every time you double your business, you are making a costly mistake and your business will suffer.
Still not convinced? Think about the bigger technological context that we live in today. With today's tech, you should never have to ask a logged in customer who they are or what page they are at on the site, and you shouldn’t make them work to find the product or information that they are searching for. The technology to overcome these middle steps is here now, and you are flushing money down the drain if you are doing it the old way. On top of that, customers are much happier if they don’t have to go through these steps on your site. It’s a total win-win.
Customer Support Costs Should No Longer Grow Linearly With The Business
The good news is that support costs will drop dramatically as this model begins to shift on a broader scale and more businesses begin adopting digital customer service alternatives. As this happens, all companies with an online or electronic presence will have to invest in customer service and customer experience technologies in order to stay profitable and relevant. The key to doing this successfully, as McKinsey notes, will be to balance costs against scalability and implementation speed, choosing the technology that will give the greatest ROI and the simplest format.
Some of the most popular, effective options available today include customer support automation systems like FreshDesk or a user-facing self-service component on company websites. Most of these new technologies are able to improve the quality of customer user experience (UX) at a radically lower cost. This means that they will be able to cut support tickets and support costs by up to 50% while increasing customer satisfaction - because, let’s face it, today’s customers want to solve their online problems without interacting with a representative.
For growing businesses, it’s a no-brainer.
With this shift, customer support will no longer grow linear to business growth and the entire customer support system will change.
The Best Way to Use Your Customer Support Team
In the big picture, this means huge changesfor customer service and customer experience teams: roles will shift, teams will change, and CEOs and investors will make the high-return, low effort switch to self-service, chatbots and automation their #1 investment priority.
That said, the customer support representative will still have an important role in this new context. Businesses will need highly trained, highly skilled representatives to answer the complex customer questions and concerns that self-service software will simply not be able to address. As a rule of thumb, 80% of customer support tickets are repetitive, low-level questions that self-service softwares can easily address. That means that the other 20% are complex, idiosyncratic, high-value questions that require a representative.
As self-service and machine-learning software take center stage for the low-hanging fruit, this 20% will become the focus for customer service representatives, which means that customer care executives will have to develop smaller teams of highly skilled agents and that representatives will really have to know their stuff.
On a larger scale, this implies a huge shift in the amount of training and the efficiency that each customer support rep has. Since they won’t be spending the majority of their time answering repetitive questions, representatives are expected to have more specialized skills and higher levels of job satisfaction, which makes each representative a more valuable, efficient team member all-around.
Companies That Are Getting It Right
Overall, this shift is good news for both companies and representatives and many businesses have already made the switch and noted great improvements.
PipelineDeals, a growing SaaS CRM provider, used AnswerDash’s contextual self-service software to better expose their customer service and support content to their customers and to self-serve the common, repetitive questions that flooded their existing ticketing and live chat channels. This had a huge positive impact on their business and saw nearly instant results:
Just three weeks after launching AnswerDash, PipelineDeals saw a 51% reduction in repetitive customer support tickets and an 87% decrease in live chats.
The switch to self-service also freed up their live chat agents for more personalized, high-value conversations and increased their live chat conversions.
Finally, PipelineDeals was able to use AnswerDash’s analytic tools to gain valuable insights into the big questions that their customers were having on the site, identifying the main sources of ambiguity or confusion.
If you want your business to have continued success, you have to make the switch to digital customer support solutions. It’s more effective, more user-friendly and, sooner rather than later, the old way will simply no longer be an option. Make sure that your business is ahead of the curve today.
Contextual Self-Service Support With AnswerDash
Not sure where to get started? Step away from traditional linear growth models and revolutionize your customer support with AnswerDash. Our self-service software will reduce low-level and repetitive support tickets and your customer service representative will be challenged, rewarded, and more satisfied as a result. Contact one of our experts to learn how you can incorporate self-service solutions into your business today.