March 22, 2017
When you say “customer service”, people usually envision support personnel answering queries and helping customers out by way of a phone call. This is actually just one of many customer support portals that companies can employ for their business. There are quite a few that businesses can choose from, and the choice is usually dependent on a number of factors.
The factors that come into play when choosing a customer support option for your business to use include cost, the type of business you are running, availability of skilled personnel to man these posts, and importance of customer service to your business.
Not all businesses need a 24/7 hotline after all, and not all companies can afford to have people manning phone lines all days of the week. This is why there are a few choices available to those who want to be able to help their customers with their concerns but cannot have people on call for this, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Here are some of the options that companies can use:
Email support – customers can email the company regarding their concerns and problems with service and/or products. This kind of a customer support portal will allow customers to vent and to complain without expecting an instantaneous reply since most companies that employ an email system for their customer service needs inform people that replies can be expected 24 hours after receipt of the message.
Self-help guide – this can be made available online and can be accessed by customers via a search function. These guides can offer clients with detailed guides for troubleshooting, for determining what is wrong with a product, and other similar issues. These can also come in the form of FAQs (frequently asked questions), which can be browsed through by customers when needed.
Social media pages – another avenue that you can explore, if you want to help your customers with their concerns, is social media. Everyone is on Facebook, so why not your company’s customer support team? You can have people message you with concerns or post these concerns on your wall, if you think that this won’t damage your company’s reputation. You can then answer these when you are able, or you can employ a social media manager to handle these queries for you.
Text or SMS support – if your company is serving only a local community, you can utilize text or SMS for your support needs. When a customer has a concern, you can have them send you a text message at any time of the day, and someone from your customer support team can answer the text the following day when they are back at work. You can also employ a single individual to answer these concerns at night, which takes care of high overhead costs for an always-on customer support portal.
Chat support – this is another customer support method you can use, and this can actually be done by workers in their own homes. You can employ a few people to answer chat inquiries and concerns that are being made outside of office hours, and since chat support personnel do not need to worry about background noises, they can do this job at home and in their pajamas.