5 easy steps to reduce customer support costs

September 12, 2022 | Posted by: Naveen M

Customer service is a crucial aspect of a customer’s decision to continue doing business with a company. 90% of Americans consider customer service to be an important element when making a purchase. In fact, a single negative customer experience is enough for 47% of consumers to switch to a competitor.

Companies are increasingly working hard to make customer service a key element of their business, realizing its importance. They are gradually shifting away from traditional customer service channels such as phone, email, and so on, and using new-generation technologies such as chatbots, live chat, video chatbots, co-browsing, and so on, to create a fascinating customer service experience.

However, all of these technologies and human support have increased the cost of customer service. Many businesses now see customer service as a cost center.

Although technology allows businesses to create faster and easier customer service experiences for both customers and customer service staff, companies are now seeking for new techniques to make it more efficient and cost-effective.

This blog will go through five easy ways to save customer support costs while improving outcomes.

The current state of customer support in business

customer support

Companies nowadays employ customer support to resolve customer issues. In truth, customer service is only thought of in this manner. Whether via phone, email, or messaging applications, the majority of complaints received by businesses are about order management, returns and exchanges, refund issues, account-related issues, updating the shipping address or phone numbers, and so on.

However, all of these are common issues that customers have after making a purchase. Companies must address these issues as soon as possible since they determine the value of their brand and how well they care for their customers.

A positive experience will compel customers to tell one or two other people about it. The unfavorable experience, on the other hand, will be shared with at least 10 to 20 customers. Furthermore, they will post negative reviews on social media, and offer low ratings, and your prospective customers will reconsider doing business with you.

As a result, businesses are being extra careful and taking a proactive approach to resolving customer issues. They understand that customer service may not generate direct money, but it should not be a barrier to acquiring new customers.

Support employees are taught to be empathetic and to communicate with customers in a polite manner. Companies are increasingly beginning to include omnichannel strategies to ensure that customers can rapidly connect with support staff.

Although businesses strive to provide faster and better service, it is hard to respond to every question on time.

The five most important things that customer service representatives and business owners want to double-check are:

1. 24/7 support

2. Low wait time

3. Positive resolution

4. Good feedback and ratings

5. Low customer churn

These factors will assist businesses in determining whether they are on the right track. Customer support, on the other hand, may now be used right from the prospect stage, when buyers are assessing your products. If your company sells products that generate a lot of questions from customers, it is a good idea to use your customer support team to help/assist customers with the purchase rather than just resolving post-sale difficulties.

This allows you to pitch your customer service team as a growth team rather than just the team that steals some of your revenue.

Customer support tools like RoundView are built with the objective of turning customer service into a profit center. Simply put, it provides your customer support team with valuable tools that automate resolutions to common customer problems, allowing your team to have conversion-focused conversations with your high-intent clients and deliver direct income to your company.

Let’s take a look at how you can cut your customer support costs without sacrificing service quality.

5 easy steps to reduce customer support costs

Self-service

The first thing you can do to lower your customer service cost is to offer self-service. Self-service enables customers to address their own problems. Millennials and Gen Zs are quite familiar with the internet and online browsing. They frequently attempt to address their problems on their own by reading an article or viewing a video. You can apply a similar strategy to your e-commerce. Create FAQ articles, how-to tutorials, simple demonstration videos, and knowledge base articles to assist your customers in troubleshooting their issues. Self-service eliminates the requirement for human assistance. Customers will appreciate the convenience of self-service. In a few studies, 69% of customers stated that they prefer self-service over chatting with an agent, so it is high time for you to use it in your business.

Action items:

1. Make a list of the most frequently asked customer questions.

2. With the assistance of your product specialists, write responses to those questions.

3. Make them available on your website in the form of a blog post, infographic, or video.

Chatbots

The next step is to implement chatbots. Chatbots have advanced significantly in recent years. Previously, there were reports of bots being stuck, malfunctioning, or not responding correctly. But now, with AI-based systems, bots can grasp the inputs better and give clients accurate replies in 90% of use cases. Furthermore, using machine learning technology, bots can learn from prior conversations, self-correct, and provide accurate replies. Chatbots have gotten to the point where 90% of large businesses want chatbots on their websites by 2023. Chatbots can minimize the need for support agents to a large amount (depending on the product and business), but having one on your website is never a bad idea.

Action items:

1. Request a demo from renowned chatbot developers such as RoundView.

2. Consider your most common use scenarios and see how the bot handles them.

3. Install it on your website, create easy workflows, and begin assisting your customers better.

Helpdesk portals

Another approach to reducing customer assistance costs is to use help desk portals. It is frequently used by businesses such as Amazon to enable self-service and faster resolution. The good news is that small and medium-sized businesses can now use it on their websites. When customers have issues with their orders, shipping, or exchanges, they can simply log in to their account, view the things they previously purchased, and navigate down to their desired resolution. Companies that offer customer support tools, such as RoundView, Zendesk, Richpanel, etc., also offer helpdesk portals. Customers can help themselves if your support teams create simple workflows based on the templates available in these tools.

Action items:

1. Create a list of the most common problems that your customers confront.

2. Calculate the time it takes your agents to resolve those issues.

3. Start with a free trial of the helpdesk portal to see how much time and money you save.

Automation

Another technique to lower customer service costs is automation. By automation, we mean, IVR phone service, automated emails, SMS/text message service, and automated routing. To put it simply, it is everything that does not require human contact. For example, if a customer has a problem with a product, they can call your customer service center and use IVR (interactive voice response) to either resolve the problem or open a ticket. SMS or any other message application can be used to do the same thing. One of the most common methods is automated routing. Here, the chatbot attempts to resolve the customer issue using the rules/workflows you’ve set up. When the issue is complex, it automatically routes the query to the appropriate department and assists customers in connecting with the right support staff in real-time. This saves time, increases productivity, and boosts customer happiness.

Action items:

1. Implement an interactive voice response (IVR), chatbot, or live chat application on your website.

2. Keep a record of the customer’s interactions with the tools.

3. Create as many automated resolutions as you can.

Community

If you want to minimize your customer service costs without investing in technology, developing a social media community or a forum is a fantastic strategy. It will help your customers and future customers in finding answers to questions about your products without having to contact your customer support staff. Furthermore, having a community or a group of followers for your company will always boost your brand’s visibility among competitors and create more loyal customers. It’s crucial to remember that negative comments or reviews about your product on social media are possible, but if you respond to them right away, you may greatly improve the overall experience.

Action items:

1. It is critical to remember that creating a community takes time.

2. Choose the right platform or portal that works best for your business.

3. Make a reason for people to get together and always be a part of the conversation.

Conclusion

According to studies, e-commerce companies spend 5-10% (on average) of every $100 purchase on customer service. This has a direct impact on revenue and turns customer service into a costly affair. Improving the process and efficiency, reducing the number of tickets, enabling self-service, and arming your teams with powerful tools are some of the strategies to cut your customer support costs.

We hope that the steps outlined above will help you drastically minimize your customer support costs. RoundView’s customer support tool is designed to provide faster and more effective customer support to your customers, transforming customer service into a profit center.

If you’d like to see how it works schedule a free demo with us. Our experts will show RoundView in action and also share some more tips to further cut down your customer support costs.

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