In this mobile-focused economy, alternative channels are surfacing. Customer support is no longer limited to telephony or email. In fact, social media channels are being leveraged to offer immersive experiences. However, a study by Eptica shows that email is still one of the most successful channels for customer support.
By instinct, we all choose to first call the customer service number when we face any issue. Ideally, we will either get through or get added to the queue. Now, we have all been there. Waiting in the call queue and listening to that repetitive hold-music is a frustrating affair. Sometimes the wait-time would even exceed 10 minutes. Eventually, we disconnect and drop a mail.
According to HubSpot, around 62% of customers prefer to communicate via email, whereas only 42% prefer digital channels like live chat or social media. This is because there are some benefits that are exclusive to email, unlike other channels.
Email as a customer support channel offers timesaving capacities by eradicating the entire wait-on-hold affair. It also allows the customer to keep a history of the interactions, unlike on IVR or live chat. A lot of detail with attachments etc can be sent over an email. Many such perks make the email support channel superior to others. Hence, email-based customer service is still relevant as long as it can sustain the growing customer demands.
1. Traditional Email Setups Are A No-Go!
2. How Modern Ticketing System Will Meet Customer Expectations?
The reason for which we question the relevancy of email support is that the service is often inconsistent. While some companies answer emails on the first day, many others do not really respond. It is a significant risk in this economy, where everyone expects a fast response.
It seems somewhere in the operational dysfunction; emails get overlooked in a hectic contact center environment. The millennial and Gen-Z consumer expects a concrete response within 1-2 hours. When you cannot provide immediate support on one of your primary channels, you are automatically increasing your incoming volume on other channels. All of this will eventually lead to lower customer satisfaction and a poor brand image.
To ensure complete customer satisfaction, you will need two things:
Email ticketing system, when modernized and simplified, can enable you to offer premium customer support. In fact, easy-to-use helpdesk systems allow your teams to perform cohesively with less friction in communications. It should allow you to automate redundant tasks and must offer features for supervisors to make better decisions.
An immense amount of time is wasted every day when managers are busy assigning emails to their agents. Your email system should allow your supervisors to auto-assign emails based on rules and keywords. If you know how Automatic Call Distributors work, this is somewhat similar. With a rule-based assignment, the email ticketing software will automatically identify relevant keywords like “payment”, “delivery”, “tracking”, etc. and assign the relevant agent to the task. For example, if the email mentions “tracking”, it will automatically get assigned to an agent from the logistics department.
This ensures that it assigned the email to the relevant department, to enable quicker response and improved productivity.
On some days, any contact center will face a huge spike in their inbox. This is a common occurrence during festive seasons or during sales. To ensure that no email goes unseen, it is wiser to distribute the workload. Through round-robin email assignment, all incoming mails will get equally distributed based on the agent’s availability. This way, all your agents are actively responding to as many emails as possible.
In the race to respond faster, often two or more agents might tap into the same ticket. They might end up replying without realizing that another agent is already on the task. This creates confusion and might lead to conflicting or duplicate responses. It is important to avoid such mistakes, as it makes the company appear lousy and unorganized.
However, helpdesks with collision alerts show if someone is actively working on the ticket. It will offer a visual alert of someone typing to avoid anyone barging in. Supervisors can also view the name of the person working on it.
It is quite usual for customers to mention multiple issues over an email. The email ticketing software is capable to split mail into multiple tickets and assign to multiple agents. Once the issues are resolved, the split tickets can be merged into a single ticket and a comprehensive response can be sent back to the customer. This enhances productivity and a better customer experience.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us all to adopt a new work culture. Working remotely, as we know, has its own setbacks. It is important to make sure that your helpdesk is remote-friendly. In other words, the helpdesk software should be accessible from any device, be it a phone or laptop.
A remote-friendly ticketing system is one that allows teams to work cohesively with no room for miscommunication. It should be an intuitive solution that will enable internal discussions, notes attachment, collaborative panels and more.
New agents might often struggle to respond to customers. However, you cannot let them become a bottleneck. In such cases, the team has to come together and assist them. This calls for a flexible collaborative dashboard which is less chaotic and more helpful.
With email templates and shared drafts, agents can work together on emails in real-time and ensure that the customer gets the resolution. Templates are often coupled with canned responses to ease up the process.
It goes without saying that you need to track your process to improve your performance. Your helpdesk should provide simple reports to track your agent performance, customer satisfaction, and SLA violation (if any). Tracking allows your team to envision linear growth. It will allow your employees to meet their KPIs and in return offer better customer service. You can also leverage this information to remove any friction in your operation and increase overall productivity.
I think email is still a relevant channel for customer service. Although, it depends on how good is your support strategy. A smart tool can help your company to offer premium customer support at scale. CZ-Helpdesk is an all-channel ticketing CRM, which also supports your email ticketing needs. Despite that, it also enables support for voice, SMS, social media, or live chat. The CZ-Helpdesk is a complete all-rounder and ensures that you assist your customers on time via email.
Author Bio: Sweta is a passionate technical writer with experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted Esports advocate.