20 Essential Features of a B2B Customer Support System
By Laura Tubbs, VP of Marketing at TeamSupport, LLC
There are A LOT of features available for companies to choose from when deciding what's important in their Business to Business (B2B) customer support software solution. We made this list of 20 essential features in a B2B customer support system to help companies think about the key features and value these solutions offer:
- Customer AND contact tracking - B2C software only tracks at the contact level, so make sure you also track at the company level to catch recurring or critical issues before they become major problems.
- Advanced account administration - All systems need to have strong control over what users can and can't do. Don't select one that just has "user" and "admin", instead choose a system that lets you pick and choose (or ideally customize) permissions as needed.
- Fully customizable dashboard - You shouldn't need to run a complex report for everything! A great, configurable dashboard will give you an overview into what tickets have come in and how your day is stacking up compared to the rest of the week.
- Ticket tags - Spending a couple seconds to tag tickets is extremely helpful long-term when you're looking for that "needle in the haystack" answer from last year. A good tagging system saves time and money.
- SLA management - SLAs, or Service Level Agreements, are excellent for ensuring you and your customers both have the same expectation for issue response times. These agreements should be both trackable and enforcable in a customer support system.
- Live chat - Not always an essential customer support feature in the past, live chat is now a must-have. More customers expect to see a chat option when they seek out methods to contact customer support.
- Sentiment analysis - What if I told you there was a way to get a "feel" for a ticket without reading it? Sentiment analysis can do this and it's become a great feature for optimizing the work loads of support teams.
- Product tracking - Have multiple version of software that are becoming a nightmare to manage? With product tracking, you can easily see which customers have a certain version of software and proactively let them know about updates.
- Task management - B2B tickets can be complex, making task management important for support teams. It easily loops in employees from multiple departments and assigns them a small area of a larger ticket. You'll be notified right away when their task is done too!
- Ticket automation - A staple feature of any good support system, ticket automation lets you route tickets as they come in to the correct agent based on sender, subject line, date submitted, and much more. It goes without saying this should be highly customizable to your business.
- Integrated screen sharing - This feature is a must have for many technology companies. It lets a support agent view a customer's screen to see an issue in action, and share their own screen to show them the detailed solution.
- Extremely detailed reporting - Within a support system is a treasure trove of valuable customer data and insights. You can run a report on users, ticket tags, products, chat sessions, and so much more. The options are endless!
- Inventory management - Are you a company with physical products? Then this feature is absolutely one you need. Keep track of which customers have a specific product (server, lighting rig, etc.) so they aren't searching for the ID code when they contact you.
- Extensive Integrations - Keep everyone in your company on the same page with integrations for leading CRM, Project Management, and Software Development systems. Do your research here and make sure that the integrations are robust!
- Knowledge base and self-service - Nobody likes to wait on hold for an answer to a simple question. Online self-service and knowledge base content can eliminate these issues altogether and keep your ticket volume down.
- Customer distress measurement - Always keep an eye on how happy your customers are by measuring their distress. Looking at factors like ticket volume, sentiment, and more it's easy to spot at-risk customers and act quickly.
- Integrated video chat - Especially important for companies with physical products, video chat can turn hours of emails into a short conversation. By showing a product instead of describing it in text, customers can explain issues much easier.
- Custom fields and properties - One of the main reasons for utilizing a customer support system is to tailor it to meet your specific needs. With custom fields and properties, you can capture the exact information you desire to work more efficiently.
- Customer hub technology - Do you have a Wiki? Forum? Knowledge Base? Let these solutions and more live in an online customer hub. It's a great way to keep all of your resources organized and together so your customers can easily access them.
- Email to ticket - Don't make customers log in to a website just to tell you about an issue or problem. It's too many steps and modern support solutions allow for easy ticket creation directly from an email client of the customer's choice.
VP of Marketing
TeamSupport was designed from the ground up by B2B support professionals especially for organizations that provide external customer support. The TeamSupport solution offers an array of tools that make it simple for teams to work together, share information, and access their collective knowledge to solve customer challenges. TeamSupport makes it easier for support agents to resolve individual tickets while managing the overall customer relationship. Find out more at www.teamsupport.com.