How to Choose the Best Channels for Your Customer Support Strategy

With the advent of business ratings, online reviews, and social media, your company’s customer support efforts are now integral to your brand’s reputation and your customer experience online. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter how great your marketing efforts are if your support and experience are lacking.

A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.

Jeff Bezos

Are your customers and your brand at loggerheads with each other all the time?

If the answers to all these is “yes,” you’ve got to get back to the drawing board and revisit your customer service strategy. To guide you along, let’s understand the “why” before the “how” and look at what’s causing your customers to saunter over to the “dark” side. Here are two plausible scenarios:

Scenario 1: You’re Doing Way Too Much

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, there is such a thing as doing “too much” when it comes to customer service. Always rooting for all things ‘practical,’ we understand that it is not possible to offer support on every channel or be ;omnipresent’ in a sense. Falling short of human capital and excessive costs are often cited as the primary reasons for this. To that end, logic dictates that it is better if you choose the right channels that make sense for your customers. 

So, if you need to, roll back on a channel that isn’t working for you. But most importantly, do it gracefully. The operative word being gracefully. Here’s a handy list of steps you can undertake to ensure that your customers don’t end up feeling angry and dissatisfied (due to the sudden and inevitable changes that will come their way):

Support work often requires careful, focused thought and investigation. Keeping support solely online allows us to better help you troubleshoot your website in a speedy and more efficient manner, as our engineers are able to focus all of their energy on solving your support concerns with the fewest number of distractions and interruptions possible. This, in turn, means that your support requests are ultimately resolved faster.


Think of customer support as a journey and identify key touch points that inform customers about the changes made to the support system. These include examples such as redirecting old landing pages to a community forum where customers can find new and inspiring material on the brand’s ongoing developments – support-related or otherwise.

Key Takeaway: The adage, “more is better” is not always preferable when it comes to using tools for offering a stellar customer service experience. Sometimes, fewer and more focused options do the job better and quicker. Also, it makes sense to guide your customers throughout the ‘changes’ that are being made by way of clear and effective communication and providing alternate support options.

Scenario 2: You’re Not Focusing “Enough” on the “BAD” Customer Support Experiences.

Customers often love a company for its unique offerings, competitive pricing, ease of convenience, and quality products, among other things. Very rarely does a “good customer experience” come up on the list of reasons as to why they prefer brand A over brand B. 

However, interestingly, bad customer service is often one of the primary reasons why customers stop engaging with a brand. Some examples that come to mind: 

The list goes on…It goes without saying that all these examples make up for a terrible customer experience which need immediate intervention.

In fact, a study conducted by the Customer Contact Council found two intriguing details that should form a part of every company’s customer strategy: It claims that:

Delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does.

Customer Contact Council

What this means is that your brand’s value-add should circle around easing the customer’s concerns instead of offering a fancy, relatively less useful features.

Adding to the first finding, it says:

Acting deliberately on this insight can help improve customer service, reduce customer service costs, and decrease customer churn.

Customer Contact Council

Key Takeaway: Customers are willing to exact revenge on account of bad services than reward companies for better service. If your brand does not think on its feet and reduce the back log of those ever-increasing customer complaints, it will fall down the rabbit hole – never to revive again.

Key Questions to Consider when Embracing a “Customer-First” Approach

When it comes to lending a helping hand and a sympathetic ear to your customers, there are some important questions that need internalizing and probing:

A More Generalized Form of Questioning:

A More Specific Form of Questioning:

A handy tip: When it comes to understanding your customer, take this as a thumb rule:

Listen to what your customers are telling you – but not too closely.

Confused? Let’s take an example. What we mean is that while the customers may be asking for phone support, what they really want is a fast response. To that end, it is highly recommended that your support team undergoes training which can help them to promptly and preemptively address a customer’s queries.

The Pros & Cons of Top Customer Support Tools: A Quick Guide

There’s no doubt that when it comes to customer services, different companies opt for different strategies – on the basis their needs, customer’s expectations, budgetary concerns, and so on. Plus, with a plethora of options available today, it can get confusing and overwhelming to say the least. To make things easier for you, we’ve listed the top pros and cons for the four key customer support channels in action today, namely:

Phone Support:

Is It the “Right Call” for Offering an Illuminating Customer Experience?

Pros of using phone support:

Cons of using phone support:

Chat Support:

Can Being “Chatty” Do More Damage than Good?

Pros of using chat support:

Cons of using chat support:

Did You Know? Data by MarketingDive claims that people over 55 refer telephonic support over other platforms.

Email Support:

Mail is the New Medium of Communication – Or Is It?

Pros of using email support:

Cons of using email support:

Social Media Support:

Is Having an Online Social Presence a Boon or Bane?

Pros of using social media support:

Cons of using social media support:

Closing Thoughts

Telling reps to exceed customers’ expectations is apt to yield confusion, wasted time and effort, and costly giveaways.

When it comes to choosing the right customer communication tools, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that brands can take. Organizations need to factor in multiple key points such as available resources, budget and time constraints, customer demands and user expectations, etc. to come up with a customer support strategy that delivers on all accounts:

Armed with all this information, it’s time to walk the talk and deliver a fool-proof customer experience – one that entertains and educates the customers all at the same time. Are you in? We thought so.

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