In this segment of our series on success with multi-channel support, we will look at best practices for success with email support as part of a multi-channel strategy.
Minimize free form email inquiries
While it may not be desirable– or possible– to entirely hide your support email address, consider offering an online form submission as the first option for customers who would otherwise send an email. This addresses a key difficulty with email support- the number of interactions required for a resolution. Often, a customer’s first email to support is missing some information that your representative needs to solve their problem. The support representative needs to write back and request this information from the customer, and wait for the customer to respond, before a resolution can be offered. When your customers submit through a form, you can collect this information in the initial support request.
Keep a tight focus on scope and purpose when designing these forms. In a support environment, customers are already frustrated at the time they reach out. It is important to get the information that is truly necessary, without making the customer feel that they are jumping through hoops to get support.
Integration is key
If you handle email support from a shared mailbox, consider forwarding these emails into a ticketing system that can be used to track inquiries from other support channels as well. This saves time when customers utilize multiple support channels to follow up on a single support issue, or when they send multiple emails. It gives support supervisors visibility into daily operations that a shared mailbox can’t provide, and offers additional functionality over a shared mailbox; easy setup of views and reports, for example.
Keep canned emails up to date and flexible
“Canned” or pre-written responses to frequently asked questions are a must for efficient email support, and ensure consistent quality. However, one operating system update can render a carefully crafted response obsolete in less time than it took to create! Give your support representatives the ability to create and share drafts for future canned responses, or to suggest edits. This will ensure a usable list that maximizes efficiency and can endure changes in the support environment.
Some of these suggestions may seem overwhelming or difficult to implement. If so, consider contacting us for help! Hudson Software has the flexibility and experience to help you meet your goals, whether that means simple consultation on creating a better support form, or a partner that can handle all aspects of email support.