In the battle to win the hearts and minds (and wallets) of your customers, every company is just one poor support interaction away from losing business.
If you’re still relying on entirely human-led (read: tedious and unscalable) support motions, you’re wasting time and money.
If you’re satisfied with the status quo of manual, 1:1 responses and multi-day support ticket resolution times, you’re putting your organization’s reputation at risk.
And if you’re not allowing end users to self-serve the resources they need, when they need them, in the formats they prefer—you’re giving your customers three very valid (but completely avoidable) reasons to walk away.
Building a more efficient support engine has a huge impact on your business. And now more than ever, “doing nothing” simply isn’t an option—especially if your organization hopes to emerge on the other side of this economic downturn. The good news is that even small changes can have a big influence on your digital experience—and your company’s bottom line. Let’s take a look at a few strategies you can implement today to squash the status quo, save money, and start building best-in-class support experiences.
1. Get to know your customers’ struggles
Product analytics is the best way to get to know your customers, including where they spend their time in your product, where they struggle or get stuck, and where they see success. This provides an objective view into how your customers are really using your product, not just how they say they’re using it.
With product analytics, you can analyze user behavior patterns, feature adoption rates, and other engagement metrics to identify pain points and areas for improvement. By understanding where users encounter difficulties or get stuck, you can take targeted action to streamline their journey and remove obstacles—for example, improving your product’s UI, making important features more prominent, or creating dedicated onboarding to show customers how to access and use key areas of your product. This proactive approach allows you to mitigate potential issues before they escalate, reducing the need for users to submit support tickets or seek assistance.
Feedback is another pillar of any good proactive support motion, and allows you to get closer to your customers. Customer feedback—ideally collected inside your product—is an invaluable resource for understanding your customers’ frustrations and gathering rich insights into their specific pain points. By actively seeking input through in-app surveys and other feedback channels within your product, you gain a direct line of communication with your end users. This can help uncover hidden issues or potential areas for improvement that may have otherwise gone unnoticed—and inform future initiatives on your roadmap.
Understanding exactly how your customers are moving through your products and where they’re running into issues ultimately improves how you deliver support, and impacts your business’ bottom line. For example:
- It reduces dev thrash, because you have the data you need to build the right features and functionality, the first time.
- It cuts down on R&D spend, because you have a direct line of contact with your customers and their experiences, and don’t need to rely on external data sources.
- It improves customer satisfaction and loyalty, because it shows your customers that you hear them and value their input.
2. Proactively surface resources around frequently requested topics
Comparing product analytics and customer feedback data against common themes in your existing support ticket log is a great place to start as you shape a proactive support and customer enablement plan. And in-app messaging is the perfect mechanism to take action on those findings.
In-app messages, including tooltips, onboarding walkthroughs, and other forms of in-app guides allow you to communicate with your users at the right time and in the right context. This allows you to proactively surface resources that answer their most common questions—before they ever need to ask for help. Ultimately, this saves your business time and money, and frees up your support staff and customer success managers (CSMs) to focus on more strategic, business-critical conversations with customers—rather than routine support and troubleshooting issues.
In-app messages serve as proactive nudges, guiding users towards ideal behaviors right from the start. By providing relevant and timely information, you can help users navigate your product seamlessly, reducing the likelihood of them ever encountering issues or getting stuck. For example:
- During the onboarding process, in-app messages act as virtual mentors, providing step-by-step instructions and guiding users through key features and functionality. By offering contextual support in real-time, you ensure that users understand how to maximize the value of your product, from day one.
- In-app messages are an effective way to keep your customers informed about crucial product updates, new features, or announcements. By proactively communicating these changes, you eliminate potential confusion or uncertainty that could lead them to seek external support. Plus, keeping customers in the loop cultivates a strong sense of trust.
- Over time, your customers are likely to forget or overlook certain areas or workflows within your product. In-app messages can serve as gentle reminders, highlighting the purpose and functionality of important workflows. By keeping these critical parts of your product top of mind, you enhance your customers’ overall experience and prevent unnecessary (and costly) support inquiries.
3. Let your customers self-serve
Empowering users to self-serve, learn, and find answers to their questions not only improves customer satisfaction, but also increases support efficiency—saving your business precious time and money. Creating an always-on “hub” (like a Resource Center in Pendo) where customers can access frequently requested resources, product documentation, or training modules and announcements is a great way to empower your customers and free up your support queue.
This centralized repository of materials allows customers to access information and support within the product itself, eliminating the need for them to leave the application or contact support for guidance. This also has other benefits for the business:
- You receive significantly less support tickets: By proactively addressing common questions and concerns through well-structured resources, you can significantly reduce the number of support queries your team receives. This frees them up to focus on more complex customer issues, improves response times, and increases operational efficiency.
- Your customers can refresh themselves on key product functionality, any time: A Resource Center is an ideal place to house foundational educational materials and onboarding resources like tutorials, video guides, and interactive walkthroughs. By making these resources readily available, you reduce the burden on your enablement and L&D teams and free them from needing to lead repetitive, unscalable 1:1 training sessions.
- Your customers are happier: By compiling the most commonly requested resources in a centralized hub, customers can easily self-serve what they need, when they need it. This allows them to get answers to simple questions and solve problems independently, on their own time. And it increases their autonomy and satisfaction since they no longer need to wait for standard 9–5 business hours to get help.