How To Automate Customer Support And Still Nurture The Relationship

Emilie Johnston

Customer care line a little quiet lately?

That's a GREAT sign you're doing things right! One of the biggest differences separating the classic "customer support" model from the more profitable automated customer success approach, is a company's ability to proactively nurture the customer’s relationship.

And as an awesome silver lining, if you're doing it right, your customers will need you (and call you) less. Here's how to start the shift to a customer success mindset  - and a blissfully quiet call center.

Know What They Want (Before They Do)

As customer success reps, we know better than anyone what our customers' FAQs are. But when was the last time you really examined your answers to these questions? Take a close look at your most common Q's. Can some of these be answered during customer onboarding? Marketing? What are the customer questions that always go hand in hand?

Beef up your standard replies to include any additional details and info that your customer may want to know and answer their questions before they even have to ask. And be sure to replace all jargon or confusing terminology with friendly, human language to make them feel like you truly have their back.

Make it as Painless as Possible

With 70% of customers now expecting a company’s website to include a self-service app, it's safe to say proactive customer success is steadily becoming mandatory. And that is a beautiful thing for customer service pros. Instead of spending all your time answering the same questions over and over again, one excellent explanation posted in the right place can easily do the job for you.

Update your FAQs using screenshots, GIFs, and video to explain step-by-step how to solve the most common customer questions. And whatever you do: Keep it simple. If you really want to wean your customers off your phone line, you need to make sure they feel capable of solving the problem themselves. This means keeping each answer as clear and actionable as possible.

Get Out in the Community

In this day and age, great customer service goes way beyond FAQ pages. For many customers, social media and community forums are the first places they go to for help — and they're the perfect places to help customers solve their problems quickly.

Set aside 30 minutes to an hour each day to check your social media, and community forums and see what questions need answers. If you've just updated a section of your website with a helpful How To, why not go ahead and share it, letting your customers know that "this one's been coming up a lot, so we thought we'd break it down for you here." It might feel a little counterintuitive to start a thread when things are quiet, but this will actually help prevent future inquiries.

Stay One Step Ahead

Today's customers are more informed — and more skeptical — than ever before.

They can tell in blink which companies truly care, and which view customer service as a mere afterthought. Going the extra mile to take care of your customers will always help keep them around (even if you don't hear from them as often!).

How do you get your customers to need you less? Are you successfully quieting your phones and support tickets?

Share your tips in the comments below!

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