Support teams are the glue of customer service — managing expectations and handling multiple queries to keep customers happy. But the job is not as simple as just “talking” to customers. Support teams are responsible for responding to customers quickly. Still, they also have to be trained to manage multiple channels, think email, phone, and social, and they need to know how to deescalate problems while saving their company money to drive revenue and not costs.
Common challenges support teams face
Support teams handle a wide range of topics, from taking returns, answering FAQs, and working triage to transfer conversations to the right people and departments. This need to wear multiple hats poses its own set of problems. Some of the more common ones that arise when servicing customers are slow response times, an agent’s inability to calm down angry customers, and not being efficient with their time, becoming a cost center instead of a revenue center. Another huge problem for customer support teams is high turnover.
The average call center has a turnover rate of 30 to 45 percent, and most call center employees between the ages of 20 and 34 stay in their roles for an average of a year. Because turnover is so widespread in the department, teams are often understaffed and not given enough time to train correctly.
Other problems include:
Cost of customer support
Inability to answer customer questions
Recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining staff
Assigning and escalating tickets to the correct person
Managing customer expectations
Many businesses turn to texting to help them handle large amounts of support tickets relative to low-staffed teams or teams with frequent new hires. That’s because texting makes it easier to resolve conversations faster, handle multiple inquiries simultaneously, and keep support team members happier, so they stay longer.
Here are the seven different ways your support team can use business texting to enhance their workflows and overall experience.
Meet customers where they are
While every customer has their preferred channel, offering support on a range of media makes it easier for you to service customers the way they want to be helped. According to studies, more than half of consumers prefer contacting customer support through text. Texting a business in a customer’s preferred medium will make them slightly happier to contact you, and it will also reduce the friction it takes for a customer to reach out. Texting, by nature, is a personal experience, so for customers to text a business allows them to not only get the help they need but also helps them develop a deeper relationship with the company.
Manage customer expectations
Businesses can use text support to set customer expectations that align with their SLAs or working business hours without being a hundred percent available all the time. One example of setting a customer expectation is simply letting customers know when you’re available to help them. Whether that means sending an automated out-of-office message if a customer texts outside of business hours or shooting out a text when you’re experiencing longer than usual wait times. Letting a customer know that you received their message but will get back to them later ensures your customers aren’t left in the dark waiting for an immediate reply.
But the best part of using business texting is that support teams can offer this real-time help without being put on the spot to respond. Support teams can use text to give a customer a quick response, or they can buy time if they need it by telling customers they’ll get back to them shortly with an answer. That way, your support team has time to catch up on messages without worrying about upsetting a customer due to unclear communication.
Resolve conversations faster
As we mentioned, texting allows support teams to provide real-time support, but not all teams can handle the stress of supplying real-time help because they’re at their working capacity. One way to help support teams ease their strain is to make their workflow more efficient. For support teams, this can look like reducing their time to resolve a conversation, which will allow them to reply to more tickets.
Texting has a faster response time than email and phone, at just 90 seconds, making it the perfect tool for increasing speed while maintaining efficiency and quality. The faster a support team member can respond to a customer, the higher their chances are of resolving the conversation quickly.