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Advancements in technology have made it possible for companies to create a full-featured customer support framework for customer support teams. New tools create greater transparency for customers, revealing that company practices that were in the background. Social media and other online platforms give customers greater opportunities to express their opinions publicly. This type of forum allows customers to share what kind of products and services they truly want.
Meanwhile, call centers grew as companies turned their focus toward bolstering customer support efforts due to the current culture where instant gratification is so prevalent.
New advancements in technology also grew in response to companies’ needs for modern phone systems and call center software to aid their efforts to improve the overall customer experience.
What Is a Customer Support Framework?
A customer support framework consists of scalable communication tools, such as a modern phone system and customer relationship management software, in addition to employees that are highly-trained in the area of creating a quality customer experience.
Customer support refers to a department of one or more people that provide support by answering inquiries and addressing problems for customers. Their role is to put the customers’ needs first in all interactions with the company, so they have an ongoing positive customer experience that begins at the start of the relationship.
In the early days, businesses invested heavily in manufacturing and operations. As products and services began to infiltrate the market and competition increased, companies realized they needed to set up some level of support to continue delighting customers after the sale. Customer services evolved out of necessity. Previously, it was more of a cost center than a potential revenue builder. There were also limitations for customers. There was no easy way to review products and services. Additionally, it was on the customer to find their own reviews of a product.
The internet changed the public’s perception of customer support. Online forums, public reviews, and social media sites made it possible for customers to share their experiences with companies. These forums gave the customer a voice for the first time—good or bad. This evolution forced companies to turn their focus toward the customer’s total experience. This includes products, services, support, and the people to help them be competitive and build brand awareness.
Customer support is now an integral part of business planning. It plays a strong role in utilizing customers’ experiences as revenue generators. This is a departure from previously viewing them as a drain on the budget.
Building a Framework for Customer Support Success
The internet, along with advanced software technology, has provided the tools to help companies develop customer support departments. The advancement in technology makes it possible for them to meet customers where they shop and research.
Today, successful customer support frameworks begin with the right tools for generating quality leads and priming them for conversion. Addressing customers’ needs in a timely manner helps create a healthier framework for customer support success. It will also create more customer loyalty.
For modern businesses, having a successful customer support function means being accessible to customers on multiple communication channels. Customers are interacting with businesses via phone, email, text, and chat. They’re using a variety of computers and mobile devices in their interactions.
Elements Needed to Elevate Customer Support
The following elements should be top considerations for your framework for customer support success:
Digital marketing strategy with an omni-channel focus
Modern phone system
The right software applications
Virtual or on-site call center
Focus on the customer experience
Quality training for call agents
For companies aware of the importance of the total customer experience, call centers are quickly becoming the solution of choice. The role of call centers is to respond to customer requests and inquiries in the most timely, efficient manner possible. Call agents must be capable of fluently using a cloud-based or VoIP phone system — and accompanying software applications — to exceed customer expectations.
Various software applications make it possible for call agents to use a CRM to access customer information simultaneously while using other communication apps to provide seamless interactions.
Sales software applications streamline sales processes to shorten sales cycles. Helpdesk software works with modern phone systems to log calls automatically and document caller histories. Behind the scenes, software applications are useful for monitoring call agent performance and getting immediate feedback on customer satisfaction.
Design your framework for customer support success by adequately addressing every interaction across all touch points between companies and customers.
The Importance of the Customer Experience
Research suggests that the demand for quality products and services has never been higher. Therefore, customers now expect quality interactions as well as a certain level of performance. Today, wowing the customer is more important than ever before.
About Consumer Review Survey 2014 revealed that 88% of customers read reviews to evaluate the quality of a company.
All isn’t lost if you get a bad review. Around 95% of customers would give a company a second chance after having a bad experience as long as the company resolved the issue to their satisfaction.
CSM magazine points to a study by InfoQuest that indicated that satisfied customers contributed 14 times as much revenue as customers that were somewhat dissatisfied.
About 88% of companies are now prioritizing the issue of customer experience in their contact centers, according to Deloitte.
Increasing your retention by just 5% can increase revenue by up to 95%.
These widely sourced statistics demonstrate the value of creating positive customer experiences. Exceeding customer expectations within every step of the buyer’s journey will increase brand loyalty.
Call Centers & Customer Support
Call centers that provide inbound calling, outbound calling, or both create value for modern companies that are committed to providing a superior customer experience. A cloud-based or VoIP phone system combined with software integrations that enhance customer support also make it possible for companies to utilize distributed teams or remote teams that are efficient, as well as cost-effective.
Aircall’s cloud-based phone system provides valuable features for call centers like these and more:
Interactive voice response
Toll-free and international numbers
Customer Support Integrations
Aircall also works with the following software integrations and others to extend your call center’s capabilities:
BigCommerce – for online retailers
Bullhorn – for HR and recruiting
ExecVision – for AI and transcription
Onpipeline – for CRM
Plecto – for data and reporting
Freshdesk – for helpdesks
Typeform – for productivity and surveys
EvaluAgent – for quality assurance
Or, if you have an in-house developer team, consider using Aircall’s public API to develop a solution of your own.
Customer experience is a much better representation to sum up the realm of customer service and support. The right framework for customer support sets the stage for a seamless, positive customer experience that customers will rave about.