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    Posted February 6, 2014 by

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    Reduce Support Costs With A Customer Community: Increase Agent Efficiency (Final Part)

    Community-Based Support Compliments the Contact Center
    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
    operating system.

    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?
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