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How Should Small Businesses Handle Support Requests?

9th March 2020

Customer support is an essential part of running any business, but it’s not always the case that firms have the chance to structure their own support agent department themselves. Not only is it a difficult pursuit to properly staff such a large department, of which many talented professionals will be needed, but it can also be that small businesses simply may not have the kind of support call volume that requires this kind of extensive solution.

So how are small businesses supposed to get this balance right? Is it possible for them to achieve this without having to pay over the odds for unnecessary infrastructure, or to divert these very necessary contact sources entirely? It’s worth asking these questions, because the answers may not be as obvious as you had anticipated. Additionally, in 2020, there are more opportunities for you to skillfully divert this dilemma provided you’re pointed in the right direction.

It’s in that direction that we hope to point you correctly. With the following advice, we believe you’ll be able to muster a better support solution:

An Excellent FAQ Section

An excellent FAQ section can be a real ally when it comes to dispelling 80% of your support requests. Sometimes good support is not about giving a great phone call response, or solving the ticket in a matter of minutes, but rather preventing said customer from the need to follow up using those methods at all. An FAQ can seem like a fixed resource, but really it can be adaptable and useful for a range of reasons.


For instance, if you’re struggling to integrate a payment provider due to issues with your hosting platform, a large temporary banner explaining the issue and when a solution should be expected by can help you avoid annoying your users and having thousands of them report this issue to you. Additionally, questions such as delivery times, how products will be packaged, what service can be expected or how to initiate your refund policy can all be explained in simple terms, and then at length if required. Additionally, support systems may direct users to this FAQ before allowing for a support-followup, which can again help you reduce the amount of people who ignore this resource and go straight to trying to contact a human at your firm. Not everyone will take care of this, but for those that to, your FAQ can prove a golden resource.

Email Tickets

While some businesses pride themselves on the fact that support requests are answered and handled immediately, this is not always necessary, especially for smaller businesses. An email support ticket system can help someone raise a query with you and then have it seen to within 24 to 48 hours, giving your team a little more time to breathe, and for a solution to be composed carefully and responded to as well as possible.


The more you’re able to develop this kind of system, the more a shoestring support team can help crest the wave of tickets that may come during intense buying periods. Even if implementing different solutions, this can always help you as a backup, to schedule those non-prioritized tickets well.

Virtual Offices

Virtual offices can answer the calls for you when you haven’t the perfect departmental setup to structure this yourself. Not only are they well trained and affable, but can easily disseminate the instructions you have given them in order to work to the best result. For the fraction of the cost it would take to purchase call support software, hire and train staff, develop your support policies and keep up that consistent standard, you can get all of this and more for a nominal fee. For most business owners, this is an opportunity worth cherishing, because the value this could grant your firm is almost out of this world.

Social Media Chat Integration

As social media goes from strength to strength and as more people have their own curated profile than ever, it’s important to note that support through solely social media means is becoming more of feasible solution. For instance, ASOS, a giant British fashion and cosmetic retailer, provides most of its customer support through Twitter and Facebook messages. This integrates with a support platform in which support agents can reply and view these messages as ‘tickets,’ and also chat windows, which allows for this communication to almost be treated as equally as a web chat or email system by proxy.

With this advice, we hope you and your business can handle support requests in the best possible manner.

 

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