Pros and Cons of Customer Service Channels

13.10.2017 |

Episode #2 of the course How to win business with memorable customer service by Valentina Grishkevich

 

Hi everyone! Today’s lesson points out strong and weak points of each customer service channel. It’s important to know about all of them in order to choose the most appropriate for your business.

 

Channel 1: Knowledge Base

Current trend shows that more and more customers prefer a FAQ section or knowledge base over assistance.

Pros:

• Fast response: Users don’t need to wait for anything; they just go to your site and find the answer.

• Visualization: The website can provide screenshots, videos, and descriptive instructions.

• Low cost: This option does not require constant money investment.

Cons:

• Lack of individual approach: Sometimes, customers experience unique issues and simply cannot find an appropriate answer.

• Requires constant management: An FAQ section needs to be updated from time to time (so remember to do this).

 

Channel 2: Live Chat Support

Live chat is a phone support option for those who dislike talking on the phone. Being useful to most businesses, live chat support also grants an extremely positive effect to online sales. According to different surveys, online consumers convert better and faster if they can chat with support service right in the middle of their purchase process.

Pros:

• Quick reply time: It ideally amounts to one to two minutes.

• High satisfaction: Customers usually have a positive impression after a chat with your support team, even if their issue is unpleasant.

• It’s simple to use.

• It provides possibility to share files or links to graphic and video instructions.

Cons:

• Not convenient during busy hours: In case of sudden inquiry influx, your support heroes need to serve several chat windows, which may affect quality of service.

• Requires perfect written communication skills from support heroes: In live conversations, your support heroes do not have much time to re-read and polish their answers to perfection.

 

Channel 3: Email Support

Email requests are extremely popular, and for many businesses (especially global), they supersede or completely replace classic phone support.

Pros:

• Cost effective: It utilizes every minute of your support heroes.

• Familiar to customers : Most customers are used to email support.

• It provides possibility to share files or links to graphic and video instructions.

Cons:

• Delays with responses: Usually, answers to customer emails are delayed for twelve to 24 hours.

 

Channel 4: Social Network Support

Social networks are a perfect channel to address a broad audience. By answering publicly available comments, you show to your customers and all potential leads that you care.

Pros:

• Warm and friendly tone: It allows building customer relations.

• Replies are publicly available: You can turn situation from “lose” to “win” by publicly replying to disappointed customers; others will see that you stand by your product.

Cons:

• Requires fast responses: It is normal for a business to take up to twelve hours to answer, but the world of social media demands faster reaction. One unanswered angry comment can be seen by several potential leads. Or it can turn into several angry comments if someone else decides to join the fray.

 

Channel 5: Phone Support

Phone support is one of the most known and utilized channels now, but its reputation has been altered by premium rate numbers, automated answering systems, and long waiting times.

Pros:

• It has a quick reply time.

• Live conversation: It grants better understanding of the problem.

• It’s simple to use.

Cons:

• Requires perfect oral communications skills from support heroes: In real-time conversations, your support heroes have almost no time to polish their answers. For this reason, your call center must gather native speakers.

• Requires lots of qualified staff: Your support reps also do not have time to pull up the customer’s order and conversation history.

• High price: Qualified specialists cost more.

In further lessons, we will address each channel, starting with tips on the creation of a useful knowledge base tomorrow.

See you later!

Valentina

 

Recommended book

Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet by Ron Kaufman

 

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