Nearly 40 percent of business owners view customer support as an expense, not a growth area. For small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), that’s a problem. A powerful support strategy can help you grow your business and save money – as long as you have the right tech.
With app-free visual support software, SMB owners can boost customer satisfaction, cut unnecessary costs, and serve more customers. Here, let’s explore how support tech makes these benefits a reality.
#1: App-Free Visual Support Boosts Customer Satisfaction and Retention
Customer satisfaction is important at every company. But for SMBs, it’s indispensable. With a relatively small customer base, every customer matters. To keep them around, business owners have to build a satisfying experience – and that includes high-quality customer support.
Quality customer service doesn’t mean the same as it did pre-pandemic, though. Today’s customers have higher support standards than ever. When someone calls in to report a product issue – say, an espresso machine malfunction – they expect efficient service and problem-solving. But with typical customer support calls, that’s not always possible.
Many support calls suffer from simple miscommunication. Sometimes, the customer struggles to verbally describe their concern – maybe they don’t have the right vocabulary or just can’t pinpoint the issue. Other times, agents can’t effectively troubleshoot using the information they’ve been given. The call drags on, both sides grow frustrated, and the experience often doesn’t lead to a resolution.
But app-free visual support tech solves this problem. Here’s how it works:
- Using an SMS link, a customer video-calls your support team via their smartphone or tablet.
- An agent gets eyes on the problem via the customer’s device camera.
- The agent troubleshoots alongside the customer, using augmented reality markup tools to help.
Visual support tech improves the traditional support experience via something called “visual empathy.” When customers and agents can see each other, they build a human connection. This shared understanding powers an empathy-driven support experience that reduces friction and miscommunication.
What’s more, visual support tech allows agents to literally see the problem at hand. If a customer’s espresso machine has a malfunctioning valve, the agent can ask the customer to show them any debris buildup and pressure readouts – no lengthy back-and-forth needed. The impact: more efficient issue resolution and more satisfied customers. With an tech-driven customer support experience, SMB owners can better preserve their customer base.
#2: App-Free Visual Support Reduces In-Person Service Calls
If your SMB sells hardware or equipment, there’s a good chance you’re used to dispatching technicians for in-person service calls. It’s a safe play: if agents can’t quickly solve customer problems, in-person support may keep that customer happy. But not every dispatch is necessary – and each truck roll costs money.
Every time you send out a technician, they spend on fuel or transit costs. There’s also the wear and tear on their vehicle, plus the time they’re spending away from other customers. In our research, this totals about $130 per truck roll. And if you contract out your technician work – often an affordable option over in-house labor – you could be blowing your budget on unnecessary dispatches.
The good news: app-free visual support tech can help you cut down on these costs without sacrificing the quality of your service. With eyes on the problem, agents can quickly identify which support requests need an in-person follow-up. This way, you won’t overservice customers – and you’ll only pay for the truck rolls you need.
#3: App-Free Visual Support Boosts Support Capacity
SMBs often have small support teams. But right now, they’re handling more calls than ever. 61 percent of team leads report higher call volumes than prior years, and 58 percent expect a further increase through 2023.
To keep up with rising call loads, some SMBs may be considering a hiring spree. But there’s a problem: the talent pool for support agents is shrinking. Nearly 50 percent of team managers report a spike in employee attrition, in part due to high burnout rates and poor work-life balance. As call volumes continue to increase, more agents will likely look for new opportunities – and SMBs may not be able to find replacements.
In this new customer care space, it’s important for SMBs to handle every call using the support teams they have. Slow response times and unanswered calls can turn customers away. In fact, 96 percent of customers will choose a different business after a negative support experience.
With app-free visual support tech, companies can boost their support capacity to account for higher call volumes. Thanks to low-friction calls and easy-to-spot problems, agents can shave minutes off every call – and save hours every week. Then, they can dedicate those time savings toward additional customers. The benefit: you can efficiently tackle support needs and grow your customer base.
Invest Early in Customer Support Tech
Between skyrocketing call volumes, shrinking talent pools, and rising support costs, SMBs need innovative strategies to navigate a changing industry. Customer support tech is more important than ever – and visual support software can be a part of your toolkit.
Rama Sreenivasan is cofounder and CEO at Blitzz, a live, remote video support and inspection platform.