In this month’s Supportive, Mat Patterson explains how you can provide great service without diving into a help desk.
climbed to “below average” in ISP customer service rankings.Need proof? In 2015, Comcast announced a $300 million investment in customer service, yet in 2017 has only
Now, you’re not Comcast, but the same applies to small teams who don’t have a cool $300 million to spend. You want to give your customers good service, but that doesn’t mean you should go right to investing in a help desk or any other customer service tool.
Excellent customer service is not a technology challenge; it’s a strategic one.
Which is why your customer service doesn’t immediately improve when you buy new tech. It improves by shoring up your strategy.
If you’re creating a customer service department from scratch, have a small team, or experience low customer conversation volume, then you can get started using free tools. The basic requirements for online customer service are simple. You need:
At least one way for for people to contact you
A means of replying to them
If you have those two elements, you have enough to deliver excellent customer service. Why? Because they enable you to focus your time on supporting your customers.
Using free or low-cost tools enables you to delay more expensive investments until you really need them. By then, you’ll have a ton more information about what features and tools will be valuable for your team, and which will be costly distractions.
Start your customer service department with free tools
✅ A Gmail account
✅ A contact form
✅ A knowledge base
✅ Customer community
✅ Social media accounts
Sign up for all the social networks under your business name. It’s free, and you can use them to listen to your customers and direct them to your contact page even if you can’t offer support on those channels yet.
With these few (mostly) free tools, you can create fantastic customer service experiences, and it will likely be quite a while before you outgrow them.
As you grow, you will start to feel the pain of sharing email inboxes, but by then you will have a ton of insight into what you need to scale up and improve your support and can make a more strategic choice of tools.
When you’re ready to move up to a help desk
Start with How to Choose the Best Help Desk Software for Your Business, or to learn from two support leaders who’ve switched support tools, watch our How to Switch Help Desks Without the Headaches video discussion.
If you find your support needs growing quickly, read How to Set Up Your Customer Support Department from Scratch to give broader guidance on setting up for success.