Great customer support looks very different than it did a decade ago. Technology has given support teams incredible ways to reach the modern customer. But it’s also opened the flood gates to countless new channels. Once upon a time, customer support agents would split their time between one or two channels (usually phone and email). Today, they might work several channels at once.

So how is this innovation and growth affecting customer support as a whole? Zendesk explores the ins & outs of modern service in their latest report. Here’s a quick look at a few findings.

91% of consumers will use a self-service knowledge base if provided.

What it means:
Traditional support channels like phone and email often cost your customers more time and energy than they’re willing to spend. On the other hand, a great knowledge base full of helpful content can empower your customers to find answers themselves.. That means happier customers and fewer support cases for your team.

What to do:
Optimize your knowledge base for mobile, measure article helpfulness with knowledge base surveys, and create alerts when it’s time to refresh knowledge base content.

When live chat agents handle 310 chats a month, 85% satisfaction rating. But reduce their workload to 50 chats a month and customer satisfaction jumps up significantly to 96%.

What it means:
As their workload increases, support agents are forced to compromise quality for quantity. Overworking your support team can also damage morale, impact service quality, and mar your brand reputation.

What to do:
A good rule of thumb: if an agent can’t get back to a customer in 30 seconds, they’re likely handling too many chats or tickets. Review agents’ workloads, automate customer interactions when necessary, and develop self-service content that improves case deflection and alleviates pressure on agents. Hire more staff to accommodate the influx of tickets, and measure Customer Effort Score (CES) to identify the sources of friction.

Customer satisfaction varies significantly by support channel, with phone support seeing the highest satisfaction (91%) and Facebook the lowest (74%).

Customer Support Channel

What it means:
Not only do scores vary by channel, but customer expectations vary based on when and where they’re contacting you. Many customers don’t expect to get in-depth support over social media, but they do expect to get their questions answered on a phone call.

What to do:
Learn more about your customer preferences by examining customer satisfaction trends by channel. Which support channels do you offer, and which ones are customers most satisfied with? Based on this information, you can double-down in the areas that work best for your customers.

 

Want to boost support efficiency? Learn how omnichannel surveys can help accelerate your team’s performance. Read the guide

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