Robin Singh
Robin Singh 6 January 2017

Customer Service on a Budget: 4 Tips for Small Mid-Size Businesses

Customer service is an important business process that directly affects the business’s potential to reach ultimate success. Its importance lies in the acquisition of returning customers, who increase the company’s profit margins over a longer period of time.

Bigger businesses can invest a lot in customer satisfaction, however, smaller and mid-sized business are now in a position to offer great customer service on a budget. These are some ways in which businesses can utilize a knowledge base to establish great customer service.

1) Create clean FAQ pages

Customer support is regularly contacted by a number of customers who keep asking the same basic questions. Collecting these questions is the first step towards creating a set of FAQ pages that are going to help the users easily solve some of the most basic problems.

A clean design includes that the text should be clearly visible with a white background, and this is specifically important for color blind customers, who would have trouble with other color combinations.

Keep in mind though, FAQ pages are only the top layer of your customer support system. The next step is the creation of a self-service knowledge base which contains an abundance of information for your customers.

2) Establish a self-service knowledge base

Creating of a great self-service knowledge base is a long-term process that requires a lot of time. Once you have covered the most usual problems that your customers are experiencing in the FAQ, it is time to take a step further and start working on other questions that your customer support has received. This is going to let you answer all of the possible questions that your customers might have in the future, significantly lowering the costs of managing your customer support team.

This self-service should include articles that explain all of your products in great detail. This includes manuals, any malfunction related issues, and what are the necessary steps to have them resolved. This section should include images and videos as well, as these mediums are becoming more popular.

Remember that your products are going to receive updates over time. This will result in certain functionality changes and this is important because you should add deadlines on each of your self-service knowledge base pages, to set a reminder that a particular piece of content should be updated to comply with the latest version of the software or hardware that you are offering. On the other hand, it should at least link to a new piece of content created for the new update.

Additionally, to make the self-service knowledge base more effective, it is important to add search functions that would let customers find their solutions more easily. Due to the fact that customers are always looking for fast solutions to their problems, the search function is crucial for great customer experience.

Creating and managing a self-service knowledge base requires a lot of time, true, but it is very important. It lowers the pressure put on the support team, as a majority of customers are going to find solution for their problems in the FAQ and self-service knowledge base pages.

3) Add live chat support to your website

No matter how much information you put in your self-service knowledge base, there are always going to be reasons why customers would prefer to get in contact with you. For example, someone does not want to spend time searching for an answer, or someone might have an issue that is not covered in your customer support pages, whereas, some simply like getting in direct contact with you customer support.

Luckily, there is a cheap solution for this type of situation as well, and all you have to do is add live chat support on your official website, FAQ pages, and self-service knowledge base pages. This is going to allow customers to directly contact a member of your customer support team.

Live chat software comes with an abundance of benefits.

  1. Personal contact – Since customers are contacting your customer support in the form of chat, they will feel more free, as they are establishing personal contact with someone, as if they were in a real room with your customer support agent. This gives them the chance to freely communicate their problems and they’ll also recognize the fact that they are being listened to. This is something that email and phone support can never deliver, especially now, when people share their private thoughts via chat on social media networks.
  2. Responsiveness – Email and phone marketing support is not as instant as live chat customer support. All the customer needs to do is click on the live chat button and send a message. One of your live chat agents will immediately get in contact with them. This reduces the time needed for resolving any issue, thus improving the customer experience significantly.
  3. Efficiency – Live chat software lowers the costs of customer support, as the communication is practically free for both you and the customer. Additionally, a single customer support agent can offer help to several customers simultaneously, making the whole customer team much more efficient.
  4. Upselling – Live chat software does not only serve to improve customer satisfaction. Customer support agents who are also skilled in the latest marketing techniques can also offer some products to customers, to improve their experience. Upselling can drive sales and profits up.
  5. The overall customer experience – Relying on live chat software is important because it greatly improves the overall customer experience. A person who has resolved his or her issue in a matter of minutes is going to be satisfied with your services and will be more willing to come back.

These benefits are priceless, as customer satisfaction is the most important priority for businesses who are looking to continuously grow.

4) Optimize for all platforms

An increasing number of customers now use their mobile devices to go online. This means that it is important to pick a knowledge base solution that is compatible with all the different platforms and screen sizes.

These are some of the best ways to establish outstanding customer support without a great big financial investment. Always give your best to rely on the latest technologies, as they are very cost-efficient and they are most likely used by the competition. By doing this, you are going the extra mile for your customers, who will remain loyal to your brand, driving your growth process forward.

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