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Tips to Remember when Choosing Software for Customer Support

By Bob Andrews Subscribe to RSS | January 4th 2012 | Views:
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Your customer support team is your business's connection to its customers, so it pays to give your team the tools that it needs to provide excellent service. It's especially important to find appropriate software for customer support, as the software that you use will determine how accurately you can track customer interactions, how easily you can monitor individual service team members and how your website's online chat functionality appears from the customer's end.

There are several great customer support programs available at affordable prices, but before you decide to use any particular program, you should spend some time evaluating your options.

Why Web Chat Is Important

One of the most important features that a customer service program can have is web chat support. Regardless of your industry, web chat can be a powerful tool to help you get your customers' attention and it can often help to set your business apart from its competitors. Remember that your website needs to provide fast answers and keep customers' attention. Web chat gives you a quick, personal way to keep your customers satisfied and is often easier to manage than phone or email support.

Software designed for customer support should allow your employees to start chats with customers and vice-versa. Your customer service representatives should each be able to take multiple chats at a time, as this serves to improve productivity and can allow your customer service team to answer questions from dozens of customers at the same time. Support software should also allow you to look at past chat logs, as this can be important later on down the line if a customer has an issue or if you need to confirm orders, double-check shipping info or pull up anything else from an old chat.

Watching Metrics

Every customer service manager should follow a few metrics, as this makes it easier to see when a team is improving or experiencing problems. Customer support software can help here, too. Most programs will offer tracking functionality, which can be used to check where customers are coming from and how long they're spending on web chat or on your company's phone lines.

Of course, monitoring the time that customers spend interacting with your customer support team is important, but it's hardly the only metric that you'll want to follow. Try to find customer support software that will allow you to survey customers. Surveys will give you a no-nonsense look at customer satisfaction rates and let you know how effective your website is at helping customers.

Many customer service programs will automatically forward these surveys to a manager or can track data and display it in easy-to-use graphs and charts. Different metrics will be important for different businesses, but always make sure that your support software is capable of giving you the information that you need to run your business's customer service department.

Budgeting for Your Customer Support Software

software for customer support can be expensive and price will almost certainly be a big factor when you're deciding which product to use. The good news is that many support programs offer trials and several have different functionality tiers. You can pick a pricing tier that's affordable for your business, and if you ever need to upgrade, the process should be relatively easy.

Remember to look at features first and to decide which features are the most important to your business. There are plenty of high-quality support programs available, and even if you've got a set budget, you should still be able to find an appropriate program that can improve the effectiveness of your customer service department.

Bob Andrews - About Author:
Separating fact from fiction when it comes to online communication and technology, Bob Andrews is a self-professed geek and author who writes on a variety of topics including software for customer support. Always looking for the highest quality information he usually looks to the experts at http://www.liveperson.com.

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