Welcome back! In case you missed it, we’re doing a five-part series with Diana on how to know when you need a new support platform.
In our first post, we talked about how to know when it’s time to let go of email and adopt a customer support platform. But what if your team already uses a customer support platform? How will you know when it’s time to upgrade to a more robust solution?
As much as you try to plan for the future when you set up your first customer support platform, it’s likely you’ll eventually want additional features that aren’t supported. Or it’s possible that your company’s product or service pivoted and now requires different support offerings.
If your team is already using a support platform, moving to a different one isn’t something to be undertaken lightly. You don’t want to move to a new platform before you need it, but you also don’t want to stay with a platform that’s no longer meeting your requirements.
We’ve identified four signs that indicate it’s time to really consider if your current platform still meets your business needs.
When your team was small and your customer support processes straightforward, you probably didn’t need to spend time or money on automation. You might have offered just one or two levels of support and treated most of your support inquiries the same way.
But as your processes become more complex and you’re looking for ways to work more efficiently, it may make sense to adopt automation. For example, if your company has moved upmarket, your new customer base might expect you to prioritize certain support cases or work within service level agreements (SLAs). Automation can help your agents know which tickets to work on next and ensure that the agent with the right skills is the one assigned to provide support.
On the flip side, if your company started out targeting just a few large enterprises but is now focusing on numerous smaller companies or even individual consumers, volume is going to be an issue. At this point, automation is going to be key in maximizing your agents’ time and making sure you can provide timely responses to all your customers.
If your current platform doesn’t support automation or it does, but only in a limited way, now is the time to investigate alternative solutions.
In the beginning, email was likely the only customer support channel you required. It was quick and easy to set up, and inexpensive. But, as your customer base expands, you might want to add messaging, live chat, social media, or even phone support.
If your current platform doesn’t support all these channels, should you add platforms for each or move to a new platform that supports them all? This is definitely when it makes the most sense to re-evaluate your current platform. You might find that it does still meet your needs, or you could get by with an integration. Or, maybe it’s time to upgrade to something new altogether.
In our last post, we said that the growth of your team could be a signal to move away from email to adopt a customer support platform. After that initial growth, you might find your team growing again — and with it, the complexity of providing first-rate customer support. You might need better collision avoidance, or routing, or cherry-picking prevention. You probably anticipated some of these when you selected your current platform. But others, perhaps not.
What’s certain is, as your business grows, your customer support needs will change as well. No one can imagine every possible future scenario, so a degree of agility to respond to changes is always going to be required.
This one is unmistakable, but it is still important to mention. Sometimes the companies that build customer support platforms make big changes or go out of business, leaving you with a platform that just doesn’t work for you, or worse, is no longer supported. While this isn’t something you can plan for in advance, it is a definite sign that it’s time to consider other platform options.
If you’re checking all of these boxes, or even just one, it’s time to evaluate your customer support platform options. It’s possible that you might discover your current platform does provide the features you need. Or it could be that you’re ready to move to a more robust platform. Regardless, it’s worthwhile to take the time to make sure your platform is still a good fit.
If you decide that you’re ready to upgrade your current customer support platform, you’ll need to make a business case that shows why you want to invest both time and money in figuring out which platform is the right one — and then implementing it.
Check back next week for the third post in this series, which discusses how to make this business case. In the weeks following, we’ll also be tackling the questions of how to figure out your needs as you start a search for a new solution and how to test your options so you can make the right decision.
Diana is a support, success, and experience leader. She’s currently the Head of Customer Experience for Qwilr and previously led customer departments for a number of leading companies. When she’s not writing or helping customers you’ll find her off in the woods taking photos or curled up with a book.
TestBox empowers you to have a self-serve, customer-led experience so you can buy new software and feel confident that you made the right choice. Currently focused on Customer Support, TestBox allows you to test out Zendesk, Freshdesk, HubSpot, Dixa, and other products side-by-side. It takes a matter of minutes to sign up and take these products for a test drive. Find out more at TestBox.com or follow on LinkedIn.