Reduce Support Costs With A Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency (Part 2)

Reduce One-Off Requests

Your support agents are knowledgeable about every aspect of your

business. They have extensive knowledge about your product, your

processes, and policies. So it’s an ironic twist of fate that (especially

as your business scales) they spend most of their time answering

simple, one-off questions.

 

Don’t get us wrong—it’s important that your customers are

supported as they purchase, set up, and begin using your products.

You want them to be as successful as possible, so they have a

positive experience and brand association. But does this mean your

support agents have to hold the hand of each and every customer

as they look for the “on” button? Absolutely not…at least not

anymore.

 

As you scale your business, you need to make sure that you’re

doing everything you can to reduce the number of simple,

repetitive questions your support staff is answering. A branded

customer community is ideal for this. It acts as a living, breathing

conversation library, hosting all the questions, answers, praise, and

ideas that have come before, while constantly being updated with

the most current topics of conversation.

 

Because community is designed to facilitate engagement around

the topics your customers care about (as opposed to Facebook or

Twitter, which are optimized for engagement around recent content

only), all conversations, whether they began two years ago or this

morning, are easy for search engines and hence people, to find.

Get Satisfaction customer communities take this archive capability

a step further. They search the entire community to see if an

answer may already be tucked away somewhere in the ghosts

of conversations past, before allowing a new topic to be posted.

This means that customers are automatically exposed to existing

questions and answers before they can open new issues.

 

This is beneficial for all concerned parties—your customers are able

to self-serve their own answers quickly and easily, which is what

most consumers prefer these days. And your support agents don’t

have to answer the same questions over and over again, because

there is a huge repository of content that exists already.

Empower Your Support Champions

Increasing agent efficiency is really a fancy way of saying reduce

agent tickets, calls, emails, and instances, freeing them up to

put their support super powers to work on more complex issues.

A great way to do this is by identifying the customers who are

naturally knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and vocal about your

product, also known as brand advocates or Champions.

It may seem unlikely that there are actually people out there who

are excited to speak up on your behalf, answer questions, and act

as impromptu support agents, but anyone who works in social

media will tell you that there absolutely are! Your job is to identify

them, incentivize them (even with a simple web badge—these folks

love a little recognition!), and connect them with prospects and

other customers. A customer community, with its wealth of people,

content, and analytic capabilities, is a natural place to do just that.

Get Satisfaction offers a Champs program, which allows you to

publically designate champions so the community knows who they

are. You can even give them special abilities so they can moderate

and curate as you see fit.

 

Champions are not the only ones who can help alleviate

the load on your support agents. The people interacting in your

community naturally bring with them varying experiences,

perspectives, and skills. From highly technical developer

communities, to those of companies that sell basic consumer

goods, bringing your customers and employees together to share

experiences and solutions is a solid base to build on for innovation,

development, and collaboration.

Stay tuned for part 3!

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Reduce Support Costs With A Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency (Part 1)

January 11, 2014 By Leave a Comment

increase agent 1

We love our customer support agents. Friendly, helpful, and patient by nature, these folks spend more time talking to your customers than
anyone else in your company. They truly understand the pain points of your business, and they’re the ones putting in long hours to resolve
them for your customers. It’s important, then, to ensure they have the tools and resources necessary to be truly effective.
This isn’t just a good idea from a warm and fuzzy perspective. Agent salaries are the most expensive part of a support center. By ensuring
that they’re using their time efficiently—helping people solve complex, technical or individual problems, not responding to the same basic
questions over and over again—you can do a lot to maximize the value of your support agents, the satisfaction of your customers, and
minimize stress and pain points for both.
This eBook is the second in a series of three explaining how customer communities can help companies realize significant savings and
revenue sources, along with the metrics and calculations to measure the results. The first eBook focused on customer community as a
valuable resource for customer self-service support. This book focuses on the way companies can leverage community to improve agent
efficiency. Stay tuned for the final, which will discuss community as a means to improve customer retention and acquisition.

Customer Community: The Basics
Since this eBook is all about how you can leverage a customer community to improve agent efficiency (and reduce costs as a
result), we figured it makes sense to give a quick refresher course on what exactly a customer community is, just to make sure we’re
all on the same page.
So what is a community platform? It all started with some of the first technology that emerged on the web—the forums and
message boards of the 80’s and 90’s. These technologies were built to create online spaces where users could have threaded
conversations about the topics, products, and services that interested them. To have an identity across conversation, users
typically created a profile with a nickname, so that they could build their reputation. This primordial community technology worked
well for engineers, developers, and early adopters, but it was not designed to be easy-to-use by a mass audience.
A lot has changed in today’s community platforms, but the core conversational functions have remained the same. At Get
Satisfaction, we have a strong point of view that, for a community to be most effective and beneficial for customers as well as companies, it should have the following:

❑User-friendly interface with a simple way for even tech-wary users to browse and search for relevant conversations
❑Technical flexibility that allows business to embed community content and functionality across customer channels … on websites,
social networks, in digital campaigns, and on mobile and tablet devices
❑Business features and tools (topic moderation, content curation, etc.) that allow for successful community management
❑Ability for the community to be branded by the company that owns or sponsors it
❑Content that is highly indexed by search engines (through SEO) and naturally appears in top search results
❑Analytics tools that allow business users to assess community health and performance, determine the most relevant content, and
identify the community members who are mostly likely to become brand advocates
❑Formal Champions program that allows you to identify, recognize, and allocate simple moderation capabilities to the customers who
act as informal leaders in your community

When equipped with these features and moderated and curated effectively, communities are great assets for customers to research
products, find answers to their questions, and act as resources for others. These conversations drive customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, while helping companies deliver great support, gather feedback to build better products, and acquire more customers.
Effectively, community allows you to deliver a better customer experience, while reducing costs and bringing benefits to multiple
departments across companies.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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January 6, 2014 By Leave a Comment

Thought Leadership with Mitchell Levy http://MitchellLevy.com and Michael Procopio http://MProcopio.com covers all things around thought leadership, how to become one, how to use it as a form of communication, how to help others become one. I got to sit down with them for a Google Hangout and discuss customer service, social media, real-time marketing and more!

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