Do you want to offer your customers digital help and support they can access online? It’s not as simple as just removing the phoneline. Here’s what to consider.

Too much time on the phones

We get it. You’ve got too many people on the phones answering and assisting with customers’ queries and the phones are busy all day. The business case for supporting as many customers as possible with digital assets and fewer real people’s time is a strong one and makes you more sustainable and adaptable.

But digital help and support, or a support centre, requires proper consideration and expertise in building for it to achieve the right level of support. A simple FAQ library or basic bot-assisted q and a is not going to, like magic, replace the human-to-human contact your customer base have come to expect.

Investing in digital help and support

Digital help and support for your customers can be a rock for your business and the safety net that stops the bottom dropping out of your customer base. But it needs to be done properly, in full consideration of your users’ journey and with empathy to their problems.

Digital help and support should inspire confidence, be easy to operate and have the backup of human contact somewhere down the line, preferably not hidden under layers of contact forms and yes/no questions that lead nowhere.

Treat your digital help as another product

The time and effort you put into providing your customers with amazing products and services should, quite rightly, occupy most of your time. After all, this is what maintains consistently healthy bottom line.

However, the after service and customer support you offer also contributes and certainly goes a long way in terms of customer retention.

Imagine, your customer looking for assistance with a product or service, may already be irritated at having the problem they’re having. If it takes them half and hour to an hour to sift through a question filtering process to then not find any help, this does not reflect well on you and means you’re putting, what was, previously a good relationship in jeopardy.

Digital service centres are an opportunity

The opposite is also true of an irritated customer, if they receive the help they need, swiftly and in direct response to their enquiry, they’re delighted. Which is why you need to see digital help and support as an opportunity.

Managing the behaviour change

You can build the most intuitive self-service centre, but you’ll still need to consider the behaviour change you want in your customers to get them to use it.

If your customers have been used to calling you and you’re now removing that as the most visible option, you need to manage the process for them to change their behaviour.

User-centred comms and instructions

Customers are not mind readers. They may also have a million other things on their mind and not even read emails from you informing them you now have help and support online, rather than over the phone.

Be prepared for the setbacks and the fact some customers are still going to call you.

Keep your comms campaign active

As well as regular email reminders alerting your customers to the new support process, ensure that all touchpoints communicate the same message. Consider a header on your website on all pages, notifying and redirecting to your online digital help as well as social media posts.

‘You can still call us if you need to’

Don’t openly alert customers to your phoneline if you’re genuinely trying to channel-shift them online.

By all means keep your phone number in your contact details, or perhaps only in your footer, but be aware, if you in any way prompt frustrated customers to call you, they will. Particularly if they’ve been so used to doing this whenever they’ve had an issue in the past.

Do and use the research

Use customer research to help you design your help and support platform. Remember, it will be unfamiliar to them, so the groundwork you put in now, to make it easier than picking up the phone, will in the long run shift your customers more successfully.

Get help building your digital help and support

We’re experts in building intuitive, easy-to-use platforms for all purposes, using the customer journey, as well as your business goals, to underpin our design.

If you’d like to talk about a new digital help and support, get in touch, we’d be excited to discuss it with you.

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