The new online world is set up for convenience. Customers the world over have always demanded convenience. Neglecting the worlds of social media and live support software for your customer service needs is probably the most inconvenient thing that you’re doing to your customers.
In this article we are going to look at:
- What live support software is and how it works.
- How social media factors into customer service.
- Why your business needs to use both of these to give a complete range of options to customers who wish to speak with you.
The days of only being able to call someone up on your telephone is one that is well in the past. Using my phone, I can contact my friends through text messaging, email, Twitter, Viber, Whatsapp, Facebook Messaging, Skype and sometimes I even call them! Despite this being the case socially, some businesses still only offer a telephone number and an email address for their customers to speak with them. It is time to catch up or be left well behind!
What are live support software applications?
Live support software is a type of customer service program that allows consumers the chance to contact a company with their questions and concerns without talking on a phone. This allows for people to have the immediacy of a phone conversation, but with the trackable dialogue of email. Have you ever had someone give you directions over the phone only to forget them the moment you hung up? That won’t be problem as the text stays with you on your screen.
The program itself is usually very simple. A text box appears on the screen of the site visitor after they meet some criteria. This criteria can be when they spend a certain amount of time on the site, or when visiting a certain page. This connects to the dashboard on the screen of an operator. The operator can respond and share information through this dashboard.
How does social media factor in?
Quick moving applications, Twitter being the best example, are frequently used by people to ask little questions here and there. It is also being used more and more by those who wish to air complaints about companies and brands publicly – and you should be there to hear what people have to say.
Social media as customer support works in three main ways:
- Customers come right to you and make comments and complaints through direct messages, or on your own public message board.
- Customers complain about you in a post, but do not come to you directly by using hashtags.
- Potential customers make comments that can be found through various sorting software programs so that you may offer assistance.
Think of a place like Twitter as a live chat app that the whole world shares. This is pretty much true as it has the
ability to connect people from all over the world in dialogue. It may not function in the traditional back and forth of a web chat, but the dialogue is there if you know how to follow it. Try learning about hashtags, mentions and other Twitter specific programs such as:
These are worth a paragraph each, more than we have space for in this article. For further details, check out this post on Twitter management tools that I wrote elsewhere on this blog as it covers a few more of these in greater depth.
For a real life example, there are dozens of businesses on Twitter who use a Twitter account that is exclusively for customer support. Being an online business, Amazon has a very active online customer support account on Twitter. They’ll handle customer complaints:
@hannnahwhitneyy I'm sorry your delivery is late, Hannah. Were you given a reason for the delay? ^AI
— Amazon Help (@AmazonHelp) December 19, 2014
And will also send out proactive messages periodically:
Need to make a change to your order? Instructions on how to do so can be found here: http://t.co/sCmi2XnLLq
— Amazon Help (@AmazonHelp) December 21, 2014
Why is it important to use these tools?
The reasons why you will want to use social media and live support software to do customer support are:
- People are becoming more and more use to having links and relevant websites sent to them to explain problems, and which they can refer back to for reference later on. You can’t do this easily over the telephone.
- Your employees who use these tools will also have a better experience as supporting articles and reference can be sent, instead of having to explain complex problems repeatedly. No more second and third phone calls!
- Time is saved if a special department has to be called in – they can just read all of the text that has been written so far and get up to speed with the conversation. This does not happen on the telephone and is a major headache for someone. Who wants to explain the problem multiple times to one company?
All three of these points add up to less time being spent by your employees on doing customer support jobs, while your customers get even better service – gaining you new followers on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and any other social media platform you use. This is one of those rare win-win situations in business that you must take advantage of. If your competitors are doing this, and you’re not, they will serve your shared consumers better and your share will shrink.
Photo credit to Sean MacEntee.