From Flickr Artist Marc Falardeau
For every online tool out there, you’ve got to have two things when it comes to customer support:
1) An email address for someone to contact you.
2) A help section with answers to the top questions.
That flow typically works out like this:
Customer has question and clicks on help button. -> This takes them to the help section, where hopefully they’ll find an answer to it. -> If they don’t find the answer, they click on the email link to send you their question via email.
This is the bare minimum. If you don’t at least have this, well… let’s just say you want to rethink how you’re “supporting” your customer. But who wants to just reach the minimum? Those are the people that strive for customer satisfaction rather than happiness.
When it comes to helping someone, you’ll want to always be trying something new. Email and help sections are a no brainer.
Beyond that, try…
- In-app live chat. I tried this with a specific group of customers and they loved it. Sure, it’s like having a support number to call (meaning you’ll always have to have that chat app manned by someone), but that’s the point of support. Make things incredibly easy on the customer even if that means you have to bear some of the pain.
- Videos on demand. Screencasts are easy to make. I mean, so easy your grandmother probably sends you a virtual Christmas card with your grandparents waving at you via the webcam. Use videos to highlight some best practices or simplify something complicated inside your app.
- Online classes. First and foremost, don’t use the word “webinar”. It’s dumb, stupid, and just sounds wrong. Really, who though putting “web” and “seminar” together was a good idea? Anyway, set up some online classes. Maybe just an intro to your app or such. Customers love this because it gives them a short way to cover all the basics. Potential customers love it because they can see instantly if your tool will be a good fit for them. It’s a win/win for everyone.
- IRL. Don’t forget, you can do support in real life too. Invite a customer over to your office so you can help them with any questions. You’ll get to pick their brain on how they’re using your tool, which can give your designers and programmer all sorts of new projects.
The big thing here is to not get too comfortable with only providing support via email and a help section. The only time that works is if you’re AT&T and no one else carries the iPhone. 🙂