Let’s say someone asked you to set up a customer support department for a new business, how would you go about it? You might set-up a support email, get a 1-800 number and buy some ticketing software where agents can enter, track and escalate customer issues. Now, let’s say that someone asked customers to set-up the support department, is this what they would do? Probably not.
In the minds of many executives, customer support is a necessary evil, and treat it as such. It’s a cost center. It’s to be done discretely behind closed doors to minimize damage to the brand. In the last couple of years, something has changed some of these attitudes. The explosion of social media has changed they way customers interact with customer support. Why call an 800 number when I can post a question on twitter or on a Facebook page? Why send in an email when I can just google my question and find a solution online. Customers want a quick, high quality responses. Companies want happy customers and want to keep costs down.
Moving support interaction out of ticketing systems and into open platforms such as customer forums and social media supported by good documentation seems to be the way of the future for support. Conducting support in the open improves transparency, respect and quality on both sides. Costs are reduced as customers jump in to help each other out and from the resulting knowledge base which is created organically. Putting less emphasis on ticketing systems does not mean giving up on CRM. Customer interactions can be tracked in CRM systems.
Ticketing systems will always have a place to deal with escalations and issues that are better dealt with in private but they should take a back seat to open platforms that provide a better experience to customers and are less expensive for companies.
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