Customer support is an array of customer-related services to help customers in making correct and cost effective utilization of a given product. It includes assistance in designing, installation, testing, training, troubleshooting, upgrading, maintenance, disposal, and disposal of an item. Most often, the term ‘customer support’ is used interchangeably with ‘service support’. The aim of customer support is to answer customer queries and concerns in a customer-oriented manner. These services are also rendered by service departments of organizations.
Automation of customer support systems can facilitate increased productivity, cost saving, greater accountability, reduction of waste, and increased client retention. The most common form of automated customer support is Knowledge Base (KB) automation. KB automates the process of collecting, storing, retrieving, analyzing, and acting upon customer related information. This helps in improving customer satisfaction as well as enhancing brand loyalty. In a way, it extends the reach of an organization and increases the productivity of its staff.
Other forms of automated customer service include call forwarding and voice messaging, inbound and outbound call routing, live chat solutions, video chat options, automated email response and many more. These enable the company to: Reduce costs involved in man hours, increase productivity, and provide better services to customers. The best part is that these services can be provided at low cost, without compromising on service quality. The companies have to invest only in technology which enables these functions. Hence the choice of technologies used by these customer support agents should be such that the technology serves the purpose without taking too much of a hit on the internal systems of the organization.
Many companies have realized the importance of using call centers to automate customer support processes. This approach makes tremendous business sense. A call center allows customers to directly contact a representative of the company. This reduces costs involved with sales and marketing, since the representatives do not have to personally handle calls. They are always ready to take queries from customers, respond to emails, provide live help, and make reservations for seats. This way, call centers provide cost-effective customer services.
Online chat solutions are also commonly used by companies in order to automate their customer support processes. This way, customers need not contact the phone support center or take long drives to the branches. Online chat solutions are very easy to use, simple, fast and inexpensive. Moreover, they are often used to resolve minor problems with customers, such as problems regarding a lost key or account number.
With automated customer support, companies are able to improve their customer experience. However, to make sure that these automated processes are not only helpful but also fruitful, customers need to provide their input. An open, friendly and helpful attitude towards the representatives of the company is an important factor in helping customers get better product feedback, prompt help and improved service.