‘You want customers to have a connected experience.’

Kristen Durham, VP of Zendesk's Startup Initiative, gives the lowdown on the vital function of customer support.

‘You want customers to have a connected experience.’

‘You want customers to have a connected experience.’

What’s the best way for businesses to build a robust customer support system?

‘Starting a shared inbox is super common, and you can survive for a while. I think we use the rule of thumb that at the point in time when you have more users than you can remember or easily count, it's time to get out of your inbox and into a tool that will make it easier.  

‘Definitely a support platform is the next step beyond the shared inbox, and that support platform can work with a variety of communication channels. Zendesk is built originally on email, but it integrates social media channels, you can add live chat support, you can add phone support all directly within that platform. 

‘But the key is that everything is connected because, as you're building this customer record and as you think about providing convenient ways for users to get in touch with you, you really need everything to work together. You really need that customer – whether they send you an email one day or have a very urgent issue and decide to call you another – showing up in your customer service organisation as the same person every time. You want them to have a connected experience, you want the person responding to them to have a really robust view of who they're talking with. And so the support platform is key to that.’ 

Apart from helping companies organise all their customer interactions in one place, what are the other benefits of using a tech platform for customer support? 

‘These interactions in a customer service environment are places where not only do you drive customer retention, but you can build trust in your brand. You can enhance your product roadmap by getting direct feedback from users. 

‘And so using a platform can help you in a few ways as tools are reading your tickets, looking for things that unify them and connect them. You can start surfacing some of those key terms, the things that are appearing over and over again, and naturally you can build a data model around that.’

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