Reducing Customer Tickets with Online Forums

If your company wants to reduce customer tickets, one surefire way to do this is to promote comments and discussions from satisfied customers in an online forum. This forum can be linked to your company directly or can be on a third party site but should be promoted during the follow up part of the customer service call. When you set up this forum you enable customers to talk about the service they received and talk about how their questions were answered with other customers or potential customers.

One of the most effective ways to set this up is to send it as part of a follow up campaign. This can be a follow up email after an inquiry wherein the customers are given a link to a forum where they can talk about their experience. Why do it in the follow up? Because the follow up is one of the most important and yet overlooked steps in customer service. If you do not follow up with the customer then you have no way of knowing what their experience was like and whether you just created a loyal customer or an enemy who will leave one bad review on the internet and ruin your internet reputation, thereby sullying any chance for growth. It is important that your business always takes the time to follow up with customers. Just because your agents think they did a good job does not mean the customer felt that as well. Your customer might have thought you fell short somewhere and if you don’t catch it early, it will come back to bite you.

If you provide your customers with great service then they can turn to a knowledge base like your company’s online community or a third party article base or review forum and leave positive comments about their experience. By providing details to the online community about their experience—which starts with their issue and ends with how your company sought to resolve it—then other customers who may have similar issues can get online and read about this before they submit a ticket to your customer service department. In many cases their question may have been asked ahead of time.

If they still have concerns about company policy you can have agents send them links to company policy or articles about your company on another knowledge base where they can read about the information themselves.

You can make sure that their online forum discussion and comments will be positive ones if you take the time at the end of a customer service call, to ask if there was anything they are still unsure of or any area where their concerns were not addressed. Ask them to get involved in your online community or if they know of anyone else who would benefit from your service or products. Doing this in the follow up conversation will help your business continue to grow.

But how can you ensure that the follow up is met with positive responses? That is actually quite simple: by ensuring your agents are experts on your product or services, and your company policy. There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than calling in about an issue and receiving a response that seems uninterested and unfamiliar with company policy. Customers just want to know they were heard. They want to know that someone out there is listening to their issue and appreciates the difficulty they had. They want to know exactly what can be done to help them. And post that they want to talk about their experience.

Author Bio: David Miller is an educational researcher who has several years of experience in the field of teaching, online testing and training. He is associated with prestigious universities and many leading educational research organizations. Currently, he is pursuing research in online knowledgebase software and is also a contributing author with ProProfs.