Published: December 23, 2014 | Comments
The holiday season is upon us, and if you are like many other consumers in the U.S., your holiday gift giving includes a new piece of connected technology.
Wearable technology and streaming media devices are at the top of many holiday shopping lists this year. According to some consumer surveys, 25% of shoppers have already purchased a streaming media device like Roku® or Apple TV® to give this holiday season. (1) And the Consumer Electronics Association® (CEA) predicts that the 2014 holiday season will see the highest levels of consumer spending on electronics since the CEA began tracking this metric in 1994. That’s a record $33.76 billion. (2)
New Technology = More Support
All of this new technology interfaces with products and software that customers already have—but making sure everything syncs up properly is not always easy.
When their favorite new gift requires setup, installation, training, maintenance or upgrades, who do these customers turn to? They call on your support team.
Smart Support, Every Step of the Way
There’s no doubt that customer expectations of support have changed dramatically. Customer support now starts from the moment the product is purchased and lasts throughout the entire product lifecycle. How does your support team serve customers through each of the following steps?
- Installation or setup
- Ongoing Maintenance
Each step along the product lifecycle presents an opportunity for connection with customers. Your team is challenged with the responsibility to connect with customers, or lose their business. A whopping 86% of all consumers stopped doing business with at least one company because of a bad customer experience. (3)
There are three simple things your team needs to remember to continue to win customers’ loyalty and support.
1. Know the customer
Customers expect that your support agents know their information, their product information and configuration, and understand their problems. If your agents waste valuable call time searching through various system tools just to get access to basic customer and product information, they’re going to quickly alienate those customers who are eagerly awaiting guidance and resolution.
Your agents need ready access to systematized customer and product information, as well as guidance for all types of support interactions, including setup and integration issues.
2. Resolve issues quickly
What if every agent had the skill and troubleshooting expertise of your best agent? Automation that guides support interactions makes this expert delivery of contact center support and service a reality. Making use of automation is especially important as connected device complexity leads to dramatic increases in average handle times.
Systematized, streamlined support interactions can inspire dramatic changes that improve customer experiences. For example, an automated support solution can inform your team that a specific step in the setup process accounts for 50% of talk time and has a very low probability of success. This information can lead to revised and improved setup processes.
3. Be consistent
Returning support customers have an even higher level of expectation. They want support interactions to be consistent, regardless of which agent they are speaking to. Automation can help ensure consistent execution, while providing management with clear evidence that agents are following best practices, policies, and procedures.
The holidays may always be a frenetic time of year, but your contact center doesn’t have to follow suit. Make sure your team is ready to face the challenges the holiday season presents. Support Interaction Optimization (SIO) can help you put these principles to work throughout your operation, boosting efficiency and effectiveness.
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Customer Experience Impact Report by Harris Interactive/RightNow, 2010