Your support platform alone–no matter how great it is–can’t possibly include every single tool your team may need or want. Whether that means a helpful DNS search tool, live chat, or something else, there will always be additional tools that can help your team provide better service.
To show you just how versatile complementary tools are to your support platform, we’ve outlined nine tool types and examples of how they’re used below:
Having an accessible knowledge base is a great first step and strategy to ensure you provide great customer service. But beyond the basics of a knowledge base are additional tools that can help both your team and your customers in different ways. A good example of this is a tool that provides step-by-step instructions.
For example, sometimes you need to walk a customer through something quickly. You have a few different ways to do that. You can write down the instructions for them, film a video, or create a walkthrough.
Walkthroughs are normally something that might be custom coded, but Arcade lets you create simple step-by-step walkthroughs that you can embed in your help docs, link within support tickets, send via social media, and more. Walkthroughs are a great way to show your customers how to do something rather than just telling them.
Another option for walkthroughs is Stonly. Stonly doesn’t quite provide software walkthroughs; rather, they provide problem walkthroughs. Remember troubleshooting wizards (like on a standard PC) where they tell you to do something, then you click to say if it worked or not, and if it did, it gives you the next step to try? Stonly helps you set those up.
When you have common troubleshooting steps for your customers or internal team to follow, setting up a workflow like this can be a great way to let them self-serve their way to a solution.
Support teams–especially when supporting integrations or other third parties–often have accounts they have to share for troubleshooting. You want to keep all of your accounts as secure as possible, especially if you’re one of the few in your company with access to customer accounts.
Being incredibly secure about your own information is one step toward keeping your customers’ information secure, which is where password security apps come into play. While there are many options out there, we recommend going with well-known names. When it comes to security, finding an established brand you trust is key.
If you support custom domains or anything else that requires your customers to set up a DNS record, having a good lookup can be priceless. Any of the tools above are free and easy to use. If you’re looking for a CNAME specifically, MxToolBox offers CNAME lookup. All you do is put in the full domain of what you’re looking up:
The resulting page shows you if the record exists and if so how it’s set up. You’ll compare that to what your own internal instructions say it should look like:
Have you ever wanted to see exactly what your customer is seeing without the difficulty of getting them on a video call? Cobrowsing is the perfect tool for that need.
Cobrowsing is best used in conjunction with live channels like chat or phone calls. To ensure you have full consent to view your customers’ screens, cobrowsing software will launch a window asking for that explicit permission on the customer’s side before proceeding.
With a cobrowsing tool, not only can you see exactly what your customer is seeing, but you can also typically display a cursor and show them where to navigate or what to click on. It can speed up those how-to moments and troubleshooting so you can get the exact information that you need.
The best part is most of these tools integrate with a variety of support platforms.
If you’ve read our article on improving your support with QA but still haven’t added QA into your toolset, now is your opportunity. QA is a great way to keep tabs on your team and how well they’re following your guidelines and processes.
While you can definitely get away without a specific QA tool and just use spreadsheets or other DIY setups, when you’re ready for a tool, there are some solid options out there. Here are the solutions each tool integrates with:
If you’re not already using live chat as one of your support platforms, you absolutely should be. It’s a great way to offer a more immediate channel than email, but something that scales far easier than phone as a typical agent can handle two to five chats at a time depending on the complexity of your support.
Although live chat is generally something built into your support platform, if it’s not and you’re not ready for a new tool, looking at third-party options can be ideal. Each tool listed above is a great standalone chat product that may be able to integrate into your existing platform.
Alternatively, if you’re in the market for a new support platform take a look at our comparison charts for SaaS and B2B companies or B2C and e-commerce companies. Find something that includes live chat as a built-in feature and start offering a live channel to your customers.
Screen recording is another key way to help your customers understand concepts. They’re quick to create and can be far easier to understand than written instructions. They can also give a more personal touch when you add in a voiceover or a webcam view of the agent creating the video. However, neither are essential–often just a silent 20 second video can be a huge help to customers.
There are a variety of tools that are handy to use, but some of the most common and frequent favorites are mentioned above. Loom works best with a higher speed internet connection, and Monosnap isn’t as fancy, but it works great offline as hosting the video on their servers is an option rather than the default. Cloudapp is a great option as well, and many support professionals swear by it.
When using screen recording software, set ground rules for your team for how they’ll create videos (and what to include). Things like length of time, requiring voiceovers, and including written instructions are great places to start.
Do you use macros or saved replies in your help desk? Of course you do–they’re probably the biggest timesaver every support team has and something you rely on day-to-day. Well, a snippet app is rather like an amplified macro. The only differences are that because it’s not tied into your help desk you can’t pull in ticket details, but it does mean you can use it in any app.
With TextExpander, you can have a team account with shared shortcuts. That means you can essentially have your saved reply library that everyone on your team can share and edit, but it’s platform-agnostic, so if you change support platforms later on, you’ll still have all of those replies.
Ways to use snippet tools:
This doesn’t necessarily count as a tool, but it’s something every support professional should have in their toolbox anyway–the browser console! It’s essential for troubleshooting, helps you fake things for screenshots, and more.
First, you’ll need to know how to open it. Both so you can open your own and so you can instruct customers how to open theirs if you need them to send you any errors they’re experiencing.
Once it’s open, you’ll see a view like this:
The area you’ll use the most often is “console”:
From the console, either you or your customer can refresh any pages that are giving them problems and then send you a screenshot with the errors that come up. Sometimes that information will need to go on to your developers, but support team members may be able to figure out what’s going on just by reading the error.
Another handy trick in your browser tools is for anyone who creates knowledge content or sends customers’ content, you can use your browser console to quickly change text showing on the screen.
We hope you’ve gotten some new ideas for tools to try and use to improve your support and your day-to-day work life. If you’re looking for a new support platform, you’ve come to the right place. TestBox allows you to test and compare the top customer support software solution side-by-side–all for free. Start testing software now!
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