Customer service is crucial to running any business. In fact, you can’t run a business without building a good connection with your customers, and maintaining that loyalty and ensuring you provide the best customer service to your customers, not just your offered product, is vital to succeeding in the ruthless business environment.
The importance of customer support was realized long ago. But the dedicated platforms and software now becoming integral to businesses across most industries, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), have changed the game.
The Importance of CRM Systems
Customer relationship management systems (CRM) have long been popular with businesses, especially in the B2B market. Their popularity was justified because they provided a holistic approach to strategizing and practicing customer service using technological tools.
CRM platforms offer cohesion among different business departments that use customer information at every point of the customer lifecycle.
From improving customer retention to bettering sales growth, all customer information gathered from different company fronts can be utilized to address customer concerns and use the compiled customer data for feedback and enhancements.
The Rise of Customer Support Platform
Even though CRMs provide a broad and integrated approach to customer service for the company, we are finding that customer support platforms are gaining popularity in the market and beating CRMs when it comes to overall revenue and business growth.
A customer support platform includes various functions that help customer service agents integrate valuable information, ultimately for the customer’s benefit, which is why we are seeing a rise in demand and acceptance of these narrower platforms compared to CRM approaches.
Why Have Customer Support Platforms Become so Popular?
Customer service or customer support platforms are dedicated to assisting customers directly. If CRM aims to integrate all relevant departments in using the customer data, customer support platforms deal with customer satisfaction, handling customer queries and doubts, and providing an excellent service experience to the customers.
The difference in the customer service included in most CRM platforms and dedicated customer support platforms is the intention to serve the customers wherever required, using all tools and methods available. The intention focuses on the cause instead of having too many boxes to tick, which can often be the case with a large CRM platform. Too many bells and whistles and a divided focus can be detrimental to the initial cause of customer support.
Introducing the Helpdesk System
Having a customer service department as a part of your business strategy is no longer sufficient for total customer satisfaction. Companies have to provide support to customers whenever required and be proactive in predicting potential issues to build a connection based on trust and confidence. One such feature of a dedicated customer support platform is a helpdesk system.
A helpdesk system is a cloud-based or on-premise software designed to assist the customer service agents of a company serve the customers effectively and efficiently. It can seem like something already part of the large CRM platform, but there is a significant difference between them.
While the CRM system helps the company use customer information for company progress, the helpdesk tool actively uses the information to aid the agents in delivering improved customer service. According to Microsoft’s Global Report, more than 70% of customers express they expect and want customer service agents to “know who they are, what they have purchased, and have insights into their previous engagements.” Helpdesks in a dedicated customer support
platform and other tools help agents achieve just that and make sure the customer builds a connection with the customer support staff instead of just using the service as a last resort after encountering a problem.
Customer Support Platforms – A Brighter, More Successful Future
Customer relationship management systems provide excellent tools and strategies that help a business use technology and customer data to help strengthen their market presence and make better products.
However, a relationship first needs to be established in the first place for this data to be useful and for the company’s growth to begin — and that is why more businesses, especially SMEs, are opting for more specialized and dedicated customer support platforms than relying on an all-encompassing CRM platform to also cater to customer support avenues. There is a reason that seven out of ten U.S. consumers report spending more business money with companies that deliver an excellent service. This great service started from their first interaction with the company. Whether it is through a query or a direct purchase, the customer takes a significant step by putting their trust in the company. This trust needs to be nurtured through personalization and human touch.
While you can achieve many great things with CRM platforms and reduce potential customer churn, the fact is that you need your front-line warriors — your customer support agents — to be well equipped to deal with the customers productively and efficiently.
This shift in the industry from only valuing the product to now expecting excellent customer service is a fact of our time and is likely to prevail in the coming years as well. And customer support platforms are taking the lead in improving customer satisfaction on a global scale.