The Keys to Providing Extraordinary Support Experiences


A personalized, modern customer service experience can help you retain customers and save you money

How do you provide a single, extraordinary support experience that will raise your customers’ expectations of your competition?

At the center of every great support experience is knowledge — not just knowledge in the form of articles but knowledge that’s relevant to each customer. A support agent has traditionally delivered knowledge through live chat or a phone call, but this delivery method is expensive and not scalable. So how do you create a support experience that moves from merely transactional to engaging, personal, flexible, and scalable to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations?

Optimize Your Self-Serve Digital Channels

In Salesforce’s 2019 “State of the Connected Customer” report, 68% of respondents said they would rather use self-service channels — like knowledge bases or customer portals — for simple questions or issues. Using a self-service customer experience platform that provides relevant, customer-centric information not only gives customers what they want but it’s also key in driving your support costs down.

These digital channels present themselves in various forms: knowledge articles, chatbots, live agent chat and Salesforce Service Cloud’s Digital Engagement.

Knowledge Is the Foundation

Knowledge can drive an excellent digital experience, but it requires intelligent data management and searchability. Knowledge articles are living documents that require ownership and ongoing curation and analysis. Constructing an article is almost a science. It needs to convey a solution succinctly and concisely to a problem. The article also needs to be tagged and categorized correctly with version control. Good knowledge management becomes the cornerstone of a superior customer experience for all digital and physical support channels.

A knowledge base search is the primary method of finding articles, and a powerful search tool is crucial for successful self-service. Mastery of knowledge article management is essential to enable the effectiveness of the tools accessing this knowledge. The premier search tool that incorporates relevancy, AI and knowledge of similar customer interactions is Coveo.

Serve Customers With Chatbots

Customer service chatbots help customers serve themselves. They use a guided discovery methodology for users without assistance from a human agent. Known as “conversational agents,” the best chatbots are so authentic that the customer thinks a real agent is responding.

Today’s chatbots are AI-based and provide a guided, frictionless support experience. Adding AI to chatbots enables customer sentiment measurement, detection of at-risk customers, and passage to a service agent to add the personal touch.

Industry-specific solutions such as insurance chatbots, fintech chatbots, and healthcare chatbots fall into the broader category of customer service chatbots. Chatbots are even being used in the media industry to guide users to buy the right subscription. Your investment in chatbots today will pay dividends in the future as you shrink your reliance on human intervention.

Personalized Support With Live Agent Chat

The live agent chat box is only as good as the information the agent has. Agents need a single platform with a complete view of the customer. This helps your support team stay agile and deliver more personalized experiences. On average, agents spend 16% of their time searching for the right information. Having a single support panel the agent can use to pull all relevant information into one view enables an outstanding, personalized experience for the customer AND the agent. Plus, it reduces the time to close the case.

For example, if a high-value customer reaches out, agents already know about their interactions with the support portal, the products they own, prior cases, account information etc. This is known as Customer 360 and allows for a personalized, relevant support experience.

Another benefit of using a live agent is that the agent can handle multiple chats simultaneously.

Give Customers a Choice

Salesforce Service Cloud’s Digital Engagement allows customers to communicate with your support team using the channels they prefer. From messaging apps — including SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp — and social channels — including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube — companies can provide consistent service across channels and do so more efficiently with automation and routing.

Elevate Your Support Experience

Moving your customer support experience from average to extraordinary is an essential part of retaining, attracting, and satisfying customers. Customers’ standards for modern engagement are a far cry from the transactional, one-size-fits-all experiences that were once standard. Tailored, contextualized engagement across multiple touchpoints is today’s benchmark, and disruptive business models are further raising the bar. In fact, 73% of customers say one extraordinary experience raises their expectations of other companies, according to Salesforce’s 2019 “State of the Connected Customer” report.

We can help you provide these extraordinary, frictionless experiences for your customers, using Salesforce to deliver a holistic experience. We also integrate best-of-breed solutions such as Coveo to further enhance the customer experience.

Becky Wright

Author: Becky Wright, VP Salesforce Alliance & Marketing

Becky’s background in corporate marketing, sales and leadership spans several industries including Media and Communications, Retail and Consumer Goods, Professional Services, Finance and Technology. With more than 15 years of worldwide experience in rapidly growing organizations, Becky plays a major role in integrating technologies and business processes to create demand engines that influence and convert growth. Becky’s passion for technology and B2B enterprise services inspire her to share unique perspectives on digital transformation strategies that deliver strong results and deep business intelligence.