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July 14, 2021

Top Factors to Consider When Starting a Support Department

You spend time and money every day developing your digital product into something you are proud of. As much as you try to perfect your products, glitches and bugs will always happen. With a tight schedule, how can you ensure that you find the problems and address them quickly? Welcome to the support department. 

The support department is exactly what it sounds like. A spot for customers to voice complaints or issues they have with your product and a dedicated individual or team to assist. They are common practice for stores that consistently deal with account and shipping issues, but you may not realize that they are just as important for digital products because of the benefit they bring in getting valuable feedback.

Support is so important, that we recommend developing it during the early stages of your digital product build. But if your product is already built, that’s okay! You can meet with your developer to discuss integrating a support department into your product easily. Let’s go through the different support department options to find which works best for you and your product. 

  1. Email

Sending a quick support email to receive help is probably the easiest solution for the customer and creator. With email support, you can automatically send a response email to the customer to let them know that their concern is valid and will be addressed as soon as possible. This also requires minimal development work to place an email address button and text into your digital product. 

  1. Phone

Phone support is an easy and direct way for a customer to receive assistance. You can easily add a phone number or call button to your website, but it is important to train your staff and provide them with scripts to best serve your customers. For small businesses, make sure you set hours that you will answer phone calls and stick to them – you don’t want to be answering calls on your off hours! 

  1. Chat

Chat support allows customers to type a quick question or concern and either a team member or automated bot can reply to them. This frees up employees’ time as they can let the bot handle quick fixes while they can assist complicated questions. The chat option requires more development work as it is more complicated, but there are plenty of pre-built chat tools on the market that you can add to your website with very little effort. 

  1. Social Media

Opening up your social media accounts to allow customers to request support is a user-friendly option. If you decide to do this, check your messages often as it can be easy to overlook them. 

  1. Combination

The best option, and what most companies tend to lean towards, is a combination of some of all of the above-listed options. Letting customers choose which option best fits helps them build trust with your business. While it is more work to integrate every support option into your application, it can pay off in the long run.

Who Offers Support?

With multiple options available for customers to ask for support, you need a clear plan about who will answer the support tickets and exactly what that support is. Clear Function recommends the three-step plan for providing support: founder, founder + one, and finally support team. 

Founder

As the creator of your application, you know the most about its mission and the technical aspects behind it. If anyone is poised to offer the best support, it’s you! Until you feel like you cannot adequately answer the support tickets, they should all be directed toward you. 

Founder + One

When you find that the tickets are piling up and you can’t answer them all on your own, you should consider bringing in another person. When looking for a new employee make sure that they share the same values as your company and that you efficiently communicate your mission and vision. Train them on how to complete tickets and be a resource to them if they have questions.

Support Team

The bigger your customer base, the more support tickets and the more employees you will need to handle them. You could decide to outsource your support team, but they need to be clear on your values and expectations for customer service. Provide scripts, check in regularly, and ask customers to complete surveys.

They should be trained to turn every negative statement into a positive one. For example, if a customer says that they are upset with the user experience of the app, the support team could ask for ways the app could be improved and then offer a discount for any future purchases. That way you are building a relationship with the customer and receiving valuable feedback for new versions. 

Important things to consider:

  • What kind of support will I offer?
  • Internal support team vs. external support team
  • How do you want your business represented on support tickets?
  • Negative feedback can always be turned into positive
  • The more you know about your customers, the better you can help them
  • Don’t start a department until you have a good working system in place for supporting people.

Interested in learning more about how Clear Function can help you start a support department for your digital product? Contact us today to talk with our experts! 

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