- Posted February 6, 2014 by
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Reduce Support Costs With A Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency (Final Part)
Community-based, social support doesn’t have to exist in a
bubble—it’s a great way to complement and complete agent-based
support strategies. Let’s say, for example, that your software
product is acting a little buggy when it’s used with a certain
A customer can’t figure out what to do, so he
calls in and gets an answer. A couple weeks later, someone else has
the same issue, but they post in the community instead. This might
be a younger or more tech-savvy customer who prefers to reach
support online, or maybe they just did a quick Google search and
were brought to the community that way. The customer who called
support originally sees the post and reports what the phone agent
told them as a response to the community topic.
Now the answer exists in the community as a resource for
everyone in the future who has this problem. They can discover it
through search or by going there directly. Each person who sees
the answer is equal to one fewer call to an agent.
Community as the Canary in the Coal Mine
Until recently, support was strictly reactionary. With the adoption
of community as a key support tool, we’re seeing entire support
organizations evolve from reactionary “fixers,” to agents working
collaboratively with community members to identify bugs and
issues before they come become widespread problems.
When your agents are on the front lines, getting real-time feedback
about the things that aren’t working, they can be prepared to
address them fully and effectively with others who are likely to be
experiencing the same issue. This saves the agents time and stress,
as they have deeper, more immediate insight into where things
are breaking down before they get on the phone with an angry
And the fact that the agent is already aware of issues and
possible solutions before they take that call means the customer is
more likely to get off the phone feeling like they’re in good, capable
Close the Loop
As any good support agent knows, it’s not just important to provide
customers with immediate assistance, but also to close the loop
and keep them updated about new developments as well. This may
be when a bug has been fixed, a new feature has been released or
rolled back, or a work-around has been uncovered.
A customer community makes it fast and easy to provide your
customers with the most up-to-date information. What previously
would have required individual emails, Tweets, or status updates,
now can be accomplished with one simple community update.
You can post a company update for big notifications, or just post an
“official reply” to a topic, so everyone who has expressed interest
in that topic will get an email notification of the update. That also
means that when the next person who experiences that issue comes to your community, they will find the answer waiting for them there. How’s that for efficiency?