Saturday, May 25, 2024

What is Customer Support in 2024? Definition, Importance, and Best Strategies

Customer support has become a key player in business success in 2024 with the growing competitive business world and the digitalized era. Today, customers prefer businesses that offer responsive and fast customer support. Whether your customers are using email, social media, calls, or other support methods, you have to be able to assist them in time. Therefore, this guide covers all about what is customer support, including its importance and a few of the best strategies.

Here’s what you will learn in this guide:

  1. What is Customer Support?
  2. Customer Support vs. Customer Service: What’s the Difference?
  3. Importance of Customer Support for Businesses in 2024
  4. Impact of Customer Support Choices
  5. What Key Features Your Customer Support Should Have in 2024?
  6. Best Strategies for Customer Support in 2024
  7. Wrapping Up

What is Customer Support?

Customer support is the support a business provides to customers (or potential customers) across their customer journey. It involves a team of customer support professionals that fulfill customer needs related to addressing queries, troubleshooting issues, or facilitating them in getting the most from the product/service.

Simply put, customer support is all about helping customers solve their issues and have the best interaction experience.

Customer Support vs. Customer Service: What’s the Difference?

Before we head deeper into the importance and other details of customer support, it is important to clarify the difference between customer support and customer service. There is a misconception that customer support is the same as customer service. However, the reality is a bit different.

Customer service is a diverse term that includes all the interactions that uplift the customer experience. So, customer support is just one element of customer service. Almost every business provides customer service but not customer support. To better understand, consider an example of a restaurant.

A restaurant provides customer service when you come to the restaurant and have a meal. However, the waiter won’t be explaining to you how to cut and eat the food. In simple words, customer support is about fixing issues, while customer service focuses on building relationships with customers. That’s why when you search about what is customer support, don’t confuse it with customer service.

Importance of Customer Support for Businesses in 2024

Customer support is crucial for most businesses in 2024. Customers can face different issues with your products/services or have queries they want to address. Since the mediums of communication have modernized today, customers expect abrupt responses to their queries.

When there is a dedicated support team available to facilitate customers, it helps customers quickly resolve their issues/queries. This leads to fruitful outcomes for brand reputation, customer satisfaction, and customer retention.

Another perspective that reflects the importance of customer support is the growth of the product/service. To have a growing product/service, you require:

  1. Customers who provide feedback
  2. Customers who remain loyal
  3. Customers who are satisfied
  4. Customers who are engaging

For all the above factors, the key is effective customer support. It can help to get feedback, retain them, get engagement, and achieve happiness. Otherwise, customers now have many alternative options and can easily switch to a different vendor if they experience unconvincing customer service.

In short, what is customer support is not just about fixing issues but it also involves improving customer engagement and satisfaction.

Impact of Customer Support Choices

Customer support looks simple and straightforward. You need a dedicated support team that fulfills customer queries. However, the choices you make with customer support have a significant impact. Below are a few points to validate this point:

  1. A customer waits for hours to get a response – Your customer support has no priority for a speedy response.
  2. A customer gets incorrect information – Your support team is not well-trained or providing outdated information.
  3. Customers have trouble getting responses due to time zone differences – Your customer support doesn’t provide support beyond your country’s time zone.
  4. No convincing interaction with VIP Customers – Your customer support has no policy to facilitate VIP customers more effectively.

In short, customer support choices can influence your interactions with customers and can make the business lose sales if left untreated.

What Key Features Your Customer Support Should Have in 2024?

Customer support tactics have improved a lot with digital transformation. Today, customer support is driven by generative AI that is helping automate and expedite common customer queries. For instance, the VOC AI Agent helps to automate over 70% of customer queries. Therefore, it is important to keep customer support top-notch and advanced.

Furthermore, 87% of customer service teams now have the opinion that customers’ expectations are increasing. So, we have below shortlisted the key features your customer support should have in 2024:

1. Personalized Conversations

Gone are the days when the customer support team could create a generative message for most queries and send that to customers. The 2024 customers are looking for a personalized conversation experience.

There are two ways to offer personalized conversation experiences to customers. The support team can be trained to respond to customers with personalized messages. Alternatively, you can deploy an AI chatbot that can intelligently interact with customers and offer personalized experiences.

2. Voice

Another important feature customer support should deliver is to match the voice and tune as per the business voice. You have to decide whether you want to go with a formal, informal, or conversational voice approach. For that, you have to see what voice matches your business model and then set it up accordingly.

3. Fast Response Speed

2024 customers need fast responses. They don’t like waiting too long. So, you have to make your support team respond to queries in minimal time. However, it isn’t possible unless you have a large support team.

The alternative and recommended approach is to use an AI chatbot. The chatbot is trained on your computer data and can provide 24/7 customer support. For instance, the VOC AI Agent can provide the first response to customers within 5 seconds. Secondly, it can have human-like conversations to help customers resolve common issues instantly. This way, you can have fast response speed and with minimal support team.

4. High Quality Support

Even if you are offering responsive and personalized support, still customers can remain unsatisfied if the quality of support is poor. This could occur if the team is not understanding the query rightly, the team is less trained/experienced, or the responses are outdated.

Therefore, make sure your customer support quality is top-notch. For that, the recommended approach is to deploy an AI chatbot that is well-trained on your company data. So, an AI chatbot will reply quickly, ensure personalized chat, and respond with the exact right answer. However, do give customers the option to talk to a customer support representative.

This way, the AI chatbot can handle basic queries, while the customer support team can tackle complex queries. In addition, you can also use an AI chatbot to ask customers for feedback after the conversation has ended. This way, you can learn the customer’s opinion and can prioritize the support further.

5. 24/7 Coverage

24/7 coverage has become a must in 2024. Customers hate waiting for hours to get a reply. To provide 24/7 coverage, you either have to increase your support team or use an AI chatbot. The cost-effective way is to use an AI chatbot, as it can offer 24/7 support to customers.

Best Strategies for Customer Support in 2024

Now that we have cleared the basics of customer support, let’s quickly shed light on some best strategies for customer support in 2024:

1. Use AI Chatbot

As highlighted above frequently, an AI chatbot is a resourceful virtual member of customer support. With AI chatbot, you can:

  1. Automate resolution of general queries.
  2. Offer ultra-fast response to customers.
  3. Facilitate visitors in processing or tracking orders.
  4. Reduce the workload of human agents.
  5. Offer personalized responses to customers.
  6. Follow the brand voice and tune consistently.

In short, AI chatbots like VOC AI Agent are essential to modernizing customer support and improving the quality of responses and customer satisfaction.

2. Empower Customers with Self-Service

Increase your customer support’s self-service capabilities. To that end, you can create resourceful knowledge bases, interactive guides, and FAQs.

3. Focus on Operational Excellence

Keep your focus on operational excellence for customer support. Look for ways to optimize workflows, minimize response times, and similar others.

4. Gather Analytics and Insights

Customer support needs regular updates with changing customer dynamics. So, it is important to gather analytics and insights that reflect the current efficiency of customer service. Based on that, you can optimize your customer support accordingly.

5. Proactive Support

It is not necessary to fix issues once reported by customers. To remain competitive, you have to offer proactive support. You should anticipate customer needs and try to identify problems beforehand.

6. Diversify Customer Support Across Different Channels

Today, customers have multiple ways to interact with customers. They can use the website, app, social media platform, and similar others. So, make sure your customer support is providing support across different channels.

Wrapping Up

Customer support is what helps customers resolve their concerns with the product/service. However, the question of “what is customer support?” is now more about “how to modernize customer support ” considering the rapid advancements.

In this guide, we have shed light on different features and strategies for customer support that are effective in 2024. Out of all of them, deploying an AI chatbot like VOC AI Agent is the best way to optimize customer support. Therefore, we will wrap up by recommending you deploy an AI chatbot and other practices to offer customers the best support experience.