Soon after you make your first sale, you’re guaranteed to have a customer with a question or a problem they need help solving. The tricky part is deciding where you’ll meet your customers and how you’ll support them when you get there.
It’s unrealistic for most small shops to accommodate every possible point of contact that exists today, but it is essential that you choose support channels that fit your business and your customers’ needs, and commit to a presence there.
When starting out, some support channels are manageable without the need for additional tools or process. Set up an email address. Reserve a business phone number. Create social media accounts. Voilà, you can now accept incoming messages via email, phone, and social without adding any tools to your repertoire.
However, your incoming customer service workload will eventually expand, and your team may expand with it. At that point you’ll need a deliberate strategy, and a more potent set of tools, to ensure you keep your support standards high and your response times reasonably low.
Certain tools can handle a few support channels, while others specialize in getting one method just right—both have their place, but it depends on what you need. Let’s run through the most common support channels, tips for getting started on them, and the tools to consider using to make it easier to manage along the way.