How to Make your Customer Support Accessible and Friendly

When customer support services are not accessible and friendly, it’s only natural for clients to stop using them. In some cases, they can grow so frustrated with the experience that they’ll permanently stop using your solution, product and also service.

Recently I interviewed Hipmob’s CEO and founder, Ayo Omojola who shared with me his vast experience of making customer support accessible. HipMob offers online marketing solutions that help improve the online visibility of websites or blogs.
The company runs a helpdesk and live chat service for mobile websites and applications.

During his career, Mr. Omojola has discovered that the most efficient way of satisfying clients is to provide them with contextual and personalized support. There are a few ways in which he offers support to companies in this regard and they are as following:

1. The customer support representative can see exactly where the user is on the app or website and what issue needs to be solved. Because of this, the initiated conversation is personalized with the relevant context. So for instance, if the client is on the FAQ page, he might want to ask some technical questions, while if he’s on the pricing page, he must have some questions related to pricing.

2. Addressing customers by their name.

3. Smart Proactive chats: This prompts the users with specific questions based on the pages they’ve visited and the amount of time they’ve been on the website for.

CanvasPaintings is a leading hand painted canvas art service which turns every image or picture you want into art by painting it on canvas. CanvasPaintings.com‘s digital marketing manager, Mr. William Lau, shared with me his experience and knowledge on the matter of customer support. He said that the impression clients have about customer support (whether good or bad, but mostly negative), is the one that eventually shapes their decision of getting in touch with this department. Offering clients a live chat option has proven to be very convincing for CanvasPaintings.com, and they actually use it because this way it’s simpler to answer their questions regarding the company’s products or services.

Live chat offers customers a sense of privacy, while not sharing private phone numbers. Overall, any company wants to make it apparent for its customers that their customer support staff is friendly and they can get in touch with it anytime. To  a company like CanvasPaintings.com, Says Mr. Lau, communication is extremely important and that is why they inform their customers they’ll get back to them within 12 hours.

For the past 3 years, CanvasPaintings has been using the traditional phone and E-mail support and using these means of communication. Recently, they began offering customers the chance of reaching them through live chat so they can keep up with the trend and the need for immediate and private communication.

The numbers show an interesting trend. On May 2012 they received 25 inquiries by phone, 100 by contact form. The following months they received 40 phone inquiries, and 175 from E-mails and contact forms.

In July they implemented live chat and the numbers don’t lie: 50 phone inquiries, 100 inquiries by E-mail and contact form and 200 live chats sessions recorded.

Mr. Lau states that the best conversion rate came from the live chat sessions. It reached up to 25 percent and once the customers got in touch with the customer support department, they were sold.

Shopstarter is a one stop service where you can let professionals design your online store efficiently and fast. Shopstarter’s co-founder, Alex Kennberg has a lot of experience in dealing with customers. He explains that his company uses a few specific strategies in order to make his customer support accessible and friendly to everyone. He detailed a number of rules to follow, that I feel are worth mentioning:

1. Being extremely responsible when being viewed on social networks by customers or when someone follows us on Twitter.

2. Social networking is very important and that is we must always be available on the popular social media channels. This way Shopstarter can easily responded to Tweeted questions from its prospects and loyal clients.

3. Shopstarter directly and indirectly encourages its people to spread the word regarding its services and products.

4. When customers land on Shopstarter website, they only need to click once or twice in order to eventually find information on how to properly contact Shopstarter.

“By ensuring the design of our website is efficient and it meets visitors with the exact information they’re looking for,” says Alex Kennberg, “we can serve them better and in the end convert them into loyal clients.”

Friendly and accessible customer support has always been one of the most effective ways to satisfying customer’s needs. On top of that, it makes their various interactions with the company more pleasant and this converts them into loyal clients.

 

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Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe