customer support

Building or scaling a customer support team

Photo of Mikayla Fuller
by   Mikayla Fuller
May 11, 2023

Building or scaling customer support is a critical endeavor for businesses aiming to provide exceptional customer service. As a business grows, customer support needs to grow in tandem to ensure that customers continue to receive the same level of service and attention. Whether you’re starting from scratch or expanding an existing support system, we have the answers! 

What is customer support? 

Customer support is the team of people who provide guidance and solutions when customers need assistance regarding a product or service. Customer support professionals — also known as representatives or agents — commonly aid customers via email, phone, chat, or social media conversations. 

Main types of customer support

1. Voice support 

Voice support — also known as phone support or call center support — is a customer support method that involves communication with customers through voice or telephone conversations. As a form of real-time communication, customers can reach out to support representatives via phone calls. 

2. In-person

In-person support refers to providing direct assistance to customers through face-to-face interactions at physical locations. This type of support often involves showcasing products, demonstrating functionality, or providing product samples. 

3. Email support 

Email support involves customers contacting support teams via email, allowing asynchronous communication and responses within a designated timeframe. While email support may not offer immediate or real-time interactions, it has its advantages. Customers have the convenience of submitting inquiries at any time. 

4. Live chat support 

Live chat support is text-based communication that customers can utilize for real-time solutions. Chat support has become increasingly popular due to its efficiency, convenience, and because some customers prefer it to phone calls or emails. Because chat support is accessible through various channels — including company websites, mobile apps, or dedicated chat support platforms — it allows flexibility for customers to seek assistance from different devices or platforms. 

Our live chat support guide offers a comprehensive sweep of all things live chat. 

5. Self-service 

Self-service support empowers customers to find solutions or answers to their inquiries independently. It includes resources such as knowledge bases, FAQs, tutorials, user manuals, and online forums where customers can access information and troubleshoot problems on their own. 

6. Social media support

Social media support is an opportunity to connect with their customers on various social media platforms. Customers can reach out through DMs or comments, and receive assistance through public or private support. 

Although there are many different types of customer support, businesses often combine different support channels to cater to diverse customer needs and preferences. Understanding the target audience, considering the complexity of products or services, and continuously gathering customer feedback can help businesses determine the most effective support strategy to provide customers with an exceptional experience. 

Benefits of customer support 

Customer support plays a crucial role in the success and growth of a business. Here are some key benefits of providing effective customer support: 

  • Retention and loyalty: 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience. (Salesforce Research)
  • Customer acquisition and brand reputation: A good customer support experience can influence recommendations. Consumers who rate a company’s service as ‘good’ are 38% more likely to recommend that company. (Qualtrics XM Institute)
  • Increased revenue: Businesses can grow revenue between 4-8% above their market when prioritizing better customer service experiences. (Bain & Company) 
  • Customer satisfaction: 90% of customers rate an ‘immediate’ response as important or very important when they have a customer service question, and about 60% of customers define ‘immediate’ as 10 minutes or less. (Hubspot) 

Recognizing the importance of customer support and investing in the necessary resources and training, businesses can reap these benefits and create a customer-centric culture that drives long-term success. 

Looking to elevate your customer support experience? Influx solutions are flexible to fit your needs. Get in touch

AI’s impact on customer support

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has significantly impacted customer support, revolutionizing how businesses interact with their customers. From automation to predictive analysis, companies can reduce labor costs, increase efficiency, automatically collect customer information, and forecast future trends. While AI has transformed customer support, it’s still important to balance automation and human interaction. Integrating AI with human support agents can provide a seamless experience that combines the benefits of automation with the expertise and empathy of human agents. 

Building a team of customer support specialists 

A good customer support team possesses several key qualities and characteristics that contribute to their effectiveness in delivering exceptional customer service, such as excellent communication skills, product and service knowledge, empathy, and professionalism. Customer support agents should also be trained on de-escalation techniques to diffuse an angry customer. 

Building a team of customer support specialists is a patient and ongoing process that involves recruiting, training, evaluating performance, and adapting strategies based on customers’ feedback and evolving business needs. The cost of building a team of support professionals can vary, but some expenses include salaries, technology, facilities and equipment, and management. Check out how to build a great CX/support team on a budget for more! 

Because of the expenses associated with in-house hiring, outsourcing customer support to specialized service providers or utilizing remote teams can sometimes offer cost-effective alternatives. Influx provides fully managed, omnichannel support teams with pay-as-you-go pricing. Get a quote

Hiring vs. outsourcing customer support 

Before building or scaling your customer support team, there are two roads to consider: hiring in-house or outsourcing. Both options have pros and cons, but the right choice depends on what a business’s needs and goals are. We’ve created a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages to consider in our hiring vs. outsourcing resource. 

How to provide excellent experiences 

Providing excellent customer service is like celebrating a birthday. Aligning these, you’d find similarities in attention to detail, going above and beyond to make their day special, evoking positive emotions, and fostering a memorable event that leaves an impression. 

Just like you’d throw a Jurassic Park-themed party for your cousin who loves dinosaurs, but you’d host a different party for your cousin who loves disco. In exceptional customer support, interactions should be personalized, whether or not it’s a customer’s birthday. 

Customer support: where every interaction is a celebration 

Read our case studies to see how brands work with Influx to deliver high-quality support that meets business and customer needs. Get a customer support quote now!

About the author

Photo of Mikayla Fuller

Mikayla Fuller

Mikayla is an avid copywriter. If she’s not out on an adventure, you can find her somewhere with a book in hand.