- Case management
The foundation of all effective customer service is case management: a system that can distinguish and optimize customer support on a case-by-case basis.
For B2B, a case management system must be capable of:
– Accommodating a large and diverse array of tickets: Marketing and selling products to everyday consumers means that customers will have different backgrounds, educations, and familiarity with your products. This will be reflective in their tickets, meaning similar questions will be asked in different ways.
– Including a client information database: Having easy access to client information builds rapport with customers. It also keeps agents informed if returning customers come back with new or unresolved issues.
– Providing consumer-oriented problem resolution: Multiple points of contact and streamlined workflows generate the fast resolutions needed for B2B support. Business-oriented case management can be too complex and time consuming to effectively help consumers.
– Supporting workflows for various touch points and communication channels: Consumers will reach out on whatever channel is most convenient for them: email, SMS, social media, etc. Bringing those into an omni-channel solution ensures that every customer can be heard.
– Assigning, routing, and escalating cases based on the client and complexity: You’ll need ticket management and internal routing that can adapt to your team as it grows, unless you want to find a new system down the line. Plan for a system that’s dynamic enough to scale with the growth you hope to achieve.
- Digital engagement channels and Mobile support
The customer experience is interwoven through various engagement channels. For customer service, that includes your support provided over the phone, through email, and interactions via social media.
B2B support is designed to be more generalized for a wider audience while still being capable of personalization for uncommon inquiries. The engagement channels that B2B companies should focus on are:
– Live chat: an agent-operated interaction or discussion is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to resolve a consumer issue. Chat sessions are able to get to the heart of the matter by offering complimentary interactions like collaborative browsing, screen sharing, or help with completing forms.
– Email management w/ automated answers: Email support is still the most common form of customer service, but when it comes to consumer needs, the fastest email support will use automated answers. This allows B2B businesses to provide instantaneous responses and maintain a competitive advantage while they invest in other communication channels.
– Virtual customer assistants: Virtual customer assistants (VCA) simulate human conversations to deliver information or perform transactions on behalf of the customer. Many are powered by AI-algorithms like machine learning and deep learning, making them increasingly capable of assisting a wide range of customers. Dollar Shave Club, for example, utilizes Answer Bot, our own AI-powered VCA designed for ticket deflection.
Your case management system might not be a perfect fit in your organization right away. Luckily, integrations can fill in the gaps.
The right system will offer integrations that will streamline B2B workflows and enhance customer engagement. For a B2B organization, that generally pertains to better self-service and mobile support. Rovio and Swiftkey accomplished both by using Zendesk’s Mobile SDK.
Integrations are often tailored to meet the needs of specific industries, like a Shopify app that displays customer and order details in tickets for eCommerce companies. But there are many industry-agnostic integrations that can help with time-tracking, analytical insights, and even employee training.
The most capable solutions include an API for a variety of third-party integrations or, should a company feel bold enough, an internally-created integration designed to handle a company’s specific B2B needs. Gaming studio Riot Games is a great example: they created their own AI-powered virtual customer assistant to swiftly answer their customers’ inquiries.