Unlocking the Power of Direct Customer Support
April 24, 2023
Don't you just love it when you have a problem with your favorite software and in many cases the support team is about as transparent as a brick wall? They rather look like the masters of obfuscation, the kings of detachment, and the overlords of automated responses. Without them, we'd all feel bored... well, maybe not, but you get the idea.
Oh boy, let me tell you about my recent ordeal with a popular cloud-based application. This software is supposed to be the cat's meow and came highly recommended by one of the bigwigs in the industry. So, I decided to pay for the subscription since the app made me excited with its functionality. I mean, finally, I found something that could help me streamline my life and eliminate all those tedious tasks. But alas, my attempt to pay failed. I tried multiple cards, but nothing worked. It was like the universe was conspiring against me.
So, I reached out to their customer support through the chat widget, but of course, the bot told me to leave a message because I was contacting them outside of working hours. Ugh, rude. But I didn't give up. I waited until working hours and tried again. And what do you know? The chatbot told me that my contact was important to them, but no one was available to answer my query. So, I had to leave a message explaining my issue. But guess what? The next day, I tried again, and it was the same story. No one was there to help me out.
Frustrated and fed up, I scoured the internet to find their contact information. It wasn't easy, let me tell you. But after some intense searching, I finally found their email address and sent them a pleading message: "Please, I just want to pay you!" But alas, there was no response. My last resort was to call them, but finding their phone number was like searching for a needle in a haystack. And when I finally found it, guess what? No one picked up. It was like they were ghosting me.
As a result of all my attempts to contact support through Messenger, email, and the website's contact form, I did not receive a response. Can you believe it? A well-known brand with such terrible customer service. It left me scratching my head and wondering how come? What is the reason for such bad service from such a well-known brand?
My mind just refused to understand the companies and banks, and it mostly related to the big ones that hide contact information on their cumbersome websites. If somehow some question arises, they walk you through numerous articles or the customer forums to find an answer. To me, their neglect of their customers and their desire to save money on support staff is silly. I will explain it below, along with other pitfalls of customer care.
It's quite frustrating when businesses only rely on chatbots for customer support. This approach seems to be not very helpful and can feel quite impersonal. Who knows maybe I am not so lucky having not met sophisticated chatbots or I'm not so smart to deal with them but never cope with my issues via chatbot. So, you communicate with a bot, which at first asks you about an issue, and after you type in all the aspects of the matter, it shifts you to several options and finally asks you to describe your issue again, in a never-ending loop. Or offers you to read long articles whereas you feel like Winnie-the-Pooh by Alan Milne saying "Long words only make me upset’". Indeed, I hate reading long articles clumsily-written in boring language.
While chatbots may have seemed like a revolutionary idea at some point, it's clear that they're more trouble than they're worth. Dealing with a robot that doesn't understand your issue and spits out useless solutions is the last thing anyone wants when they're already frustrated. And let's be honest, reading lengthy articles that make you feel like you're in a staring contest with a dictionary is not the solution either. As businesses, we should strive to offer our customers the best possible support, and that means investing in real human beings who can empathize, understand and solve their problems. So, let's ditch the chatbots and bring back the human touch to customer support. Because at the end of the day, that's what really matters - making our customers happy, and making sure they come back for more.
Human Chat Support Builds Trust and Boosts Sales
As a long-term user, I believe that direct contact with humans in chat is the best way to deal with customers. There are many advantages to having direct contact with clients, the main of which is the contact itself, which not only makes customers happy but builds trust that will unavoidably generate the best and least expensive marketing via word-of-mouth channels. To save time on chat, support can provide step-by-step instructions and very brief videos. But on top of that, a person in support can act as a salesperson, conveying and advising on additional products, which is called "upselling." That approach is new to the market and certainly appears to be the best, with a great deal of potential. Indeed, when a customer asks a business for help, he or she is open to hearing support, and it seems to be the best moment to suggest additional products or services.
Businesses often put a lot of effort into reaching out to potential customers, but they often do so at times when these customers are not necessarily ready to listen or even want to be protected from sales pitches. In contrast, support contacts happen at times when people are more likely to be receptive. This makes a big difference. It's well-known that acquiring new customers is much more expensive than selling to existing ones, so there's a significant advantage to upselling.
The Power of Satisfied Customers
Moreover, the next advantage of direct-contact is that a satisfied client is more likely to leave a positive review and recommend the service or application to partners. That's right, happy customers are like bees to honey, they'll spread the good word about your service or app faster than you can say 'cha-ching!' In my opinion, every business should have a strategy for collecting buyer reviews. I have no idea why companies have not yet adopted this approach. Believe me, this is commonplace or a must for businesses. Am I not right?
I feel that the shift away from chatbots and towards more personalized and human-centric support in the future is a key factor. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that chatbots will become completely obsolete. Rather, it is likely that they will continue to be developed to handle routine inquiries that can be quickly resolved by automated responses.
In any case, the future of customer support is likely to be shaped by a desire to prioritize customer satisfaction and provide the best possible experience for customers. This may involve a mix of automated and human support, with businesses finding the right balance between the two to meet the needs of their customers.
Ultimately, I had to find another program with similar functionality and better support.