According to Hubspot, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service. That’s why it’s so important to provide exceptional customer service. And to truly excel in delivering excellent customer service, you need to have a well-defined customer service model in place.
In this article, we’ll explain:
- What customer service/support models are
- Benefits of using a customer support model
- The different types of models to consider implementing
- Tips on how to choose the best customer support model for your business
What are customer service models?
A customer service model (often referred to as a customer support model) is a plan that a company follows that outlines how they should interact with its customers to meet their needs, address issues, and create positive experiences. Essentially, it’s a blueprint for delivering consistent and high-quality customer support.
These models are designed to ensure consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness in addressing customer questions, resolving issues, and ultimately improving the overall customer experience.
Customer support models typically include the following:
- Customer interaction channels
- Response time standards
- Customer support training
- Issue resolution procedures
- Feedback and improvement process
Now that we’ve defined what customer support/service models are, let’s explore their benefits.
Benefits of Customer Support Models
Implementing a customer service model brings several benefits to both your business and customers:
A well-defined customer support model makes sure that every customer interaction is consistent in terms of quality and service delivery, regardless of the support rep handling the case. Customers appreciate consistency and it builds their confidence in your business and its ability to meet their needs.
Improved customer satisfaction
One of the most significant benefits of well-defined customer service models is the direct impact it has on customer satisfaction. The fastest way to increase churn is bad customer support. But on the flip side, good customer support leads to high satisfaction which increases customer loyalty. Satisfied customers are more likely to return for repeat business and are more likely to share their positive experiences with others.
Efficient resource allocation
By optimizing your support operations, you’re able to allocate resources more efficiently, reducing unnecessary costs and maximizing productivity. This means fewer wasted hours for your customer support team, reduced expenses, and a more effective use of your support team’s skills and expertise. Efficient resource allocation contributes to better overall business performance and profitability.
Satisfied customers are more likely to continue doing business with your company. Customers who know they can rely on consistent, high-quality support are less likely to look for alternatives. Building strong relationships with your existing customers through exceptional customer service leads to prolonged customer lifecycles and increased revenue from repeat business.
A good customer service model increases your retention rate because satisfied customers are more likely to continue doing business with you.
Providing exceptional customer service is a significant differentiator in competitive markets. A well-defined customer service model sets your company apart from competitors because people know they can count on you to solve problems and answer questions quickly. Great customer service attracts new customers and keeps existing ones.
Now, let’s explore seven popular types of customer service models to consider for your business, along with their pros and cons:
- Social media
Types of Customer Support Models
Email-based customer service models rely on email communication as the main way that customers interact with support teams. This model is helpful when pictures or links need to be attached to help answer questions.
- Customer service reps have time to write a well-thought-out response
- Provides a written record for customers and support reps
- Responses are not always immediate
- Can be challenging to handle a high volume of emails
Phone-based customer service is what it sounds like; it’s when customers call for support. It’s a traditional and effective way to talk directly with a real person. It’s great when you need to explain something quickly or have a complex issue that’s easier to discuss over the phone.
- Customers get help in real-time
- Customer service reps can convey more through voice
- Great for handling complex problems
- It can be expensive due to the need for dedicated call centers
- Customers often experience wait times
- Availability may be limited due to specific business hours
75% of people would rather text customer support than communicate with them via phone or social media. This is because text-based customer service works well for real-time conversations and is a fairly easy way to provide quick answers. Texting is convenient for simple questions or when someone on your website needs immediate help.
- Quick and convenient way for customers to get help
- Customers can do other tasks while waiting for responses
- Appeals to those who prefer text over phone calls
- Works for both real-time and non-real-time support
- Response time may vary based on customer support availability
- Messages could be misinterpreted due to the absence of tone and facial expressions.
Automated customer service uses AI or chatbots to answer common questions. It’s quick but might not always work for complex issues. You’ve likely encountered automated systems when calling companies. They often say something like, “Press 1 for billing inquiries, press 2 for technical support.” If you want to save money, use a chatbot. Chatbots save up to 30% of customer support costs while still providing quality service.
- Provides immediate answers to common questions
- Reduces the workload for support reps
- Responses are consistent
- Available 24/7
- May struggle with more complex questions that require a human to answer
- Automated menus often frustrate people who want human help
- It lacks a personal touch
- Set-up can be time-consuming
Social media customer service is when companies respond to comments and messages on social media platforms such as X (Twitter), Instagram, and Facebook. It’s a way for companies to be visible and responsive to customers on popular social platforms.
- Address issues publicly, showing responsiveness
- Multiple people can see the answer and get help at the same time
- Allows for public recognition of exceptional customer service
- Complex questions may not be well-addressed in brief social media interactions
- Negative comments or issues are highly visible
- Requires constant monitoring and quick responses
Self-service customer service models allow customers to find answers and resolve issues independently. Knowledge bases, FAQs, guides, and videos are common tools in this model.
- Resources are available 24/7
- Reduces the need for a large support team
- Allows customers to solve problems independently
- Cost-effective and scalable
- It saves customer’s and your service rep’s time
- It may not provide solutions for unique problems
- If not easily accessible, customers may become frustrated trying to find the information they need.
- Requires continuous updates and maintenance
Hybrid customer service is when companies use a mix of different ways to help customers. This way, customers can choose how they want to get help. For example, a company might offer phone, email, and live chat support. Customers get to decide which method suits them best. This flexibility makes it easier for customers to reach out when it’s convenient for them.
- Customers have many different contact options to choose from
- Offers flexibility to handle various types of questions
- Maximizes customer reach
- Handling multiple channels requires effective coordinations
- May demand more staff and higher operational costs
- Keeping messaging and answers consistent across all channels can be difficult
Choosing the Right Customer Support Model for Your Business
Selecting the appropriate customer service model for your business is an important decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. The right model should help align your business goals, customer expectations, and available resources.
Here are some steps to help you make the right choice:
1. Assess your customers
Understand your customer’s preferred communications channels, pain points, and needs. Are they tech-savvy and prefer self-service options, or do they need/prefer personal assistance?
2. Evaluate Your Resources
Consider your budget, current tech stack, and available customer support reps. Can you invest in the tech needed for a specific support model? Do you have enough support reps to maintain the model you want?
3. Analyze your goals
Define your customer service objectives. For example, if you want to improve response times, reduce costs, or increase customer satisfaction, choose a model that aligns with those objectives.
4. Keep flexibility in mind
Once you implement a model, gather feedback from your customers and support reps. The first model may not work how you expected it to. Be prepared to make adjustments, improvements, or even change what model you use based on the feedback you’ve gathered.
Use Skipio to Implement the Hybrid Customer Support Model
Skipio combines multiple high-performing models (text-based and automation/chatbots) to help you connect with your customers quickly and efficiently in the most personal way.
Easily set up text messages to automatically respond to frequently asked questions. This way, you don’t stress about responding to the same messages over and over.
Add Web2Txt to any page on your site to provide a convenient way to help your customers. Web2Txt live chat adds a “text us” widget to your site to encourage customers to text you. It’s a simple way for customers to start a chat online and your response goes directly to their phones.
Skipio’s conversational text messages help businesses like yours deliver exceptional customer service that keeps customers satisfied. Schedule a demo today to see all of Skipio’s features.