If you have ever called your cable company, then you know exactly what bad customer support is. For cable providers, theirs isn’t customer support as much as it is deliberate customer frustration. Their entire strategy seems to be keeping you on the line until you give up and stop bothering them.

Sadly for you, as a merchant without the monopolistic advantages Comcast enjoys, you have to provide excellent customer support. Anything less and you won’t have any customers left. You already know the basics of customer support: be polite, be respectful, be helpful, be patient, be honest, be empathetic, and all that jazz.

There’s nothing you don’t know there. But you’re not struggling with customer support because your agents aren’t empathetic enough. It’s usually more because you don’t have enough people to handle the flood of customer complaints.

You can solve this by hiring more people but then all those new wages start cutting into your profits. It therefore becomes a delicate balancing act. How do you create a top-notch customer support experience without breaking the bank?

Integrate your chatbot into your CRM system

Asking a customer his name, what he bought, when he bought it, and what’s wrong with it can be a time-consuming and frustrating dance, especially in live chat. If a customer is messaging you, your goal should be to get to the root of the issue as fast as possible. The longer your customers have to deal with customer support, the more frustrated they’ll become.

Chatbot-CRM integration allows customers to skip the entire validation stage and jump straight to the problem. If Bob messages you, your chatbot can check his recent actions on the site and have a good guess of what particular order is causing problems. Validation should only be put in place for sensitive matters like payments and refunds.

Create FAQs on the most common queries

This is where your customer support team comes into play. Find the questions your customers inquire about the most. If it’s delayed shipments, provide a link to your order tracker. If you haven’t implemented order tracking, do it. If it’s returns, have an abridged return policy, in plain English, among your FAQs.

Creating FAQs with simple solutions to common support questions cuts down on the mountain of issues your support has to deal with since a customer who can find a quick solution to his problem won’t have to call and stay on the line for 30 minutes.

Automate the most common queries

If a user skips the FAQ and contacts customer support anyway, you should create automated systems that can deal with the most common customer queries with little human intervention.

Schedule calls

Don’t let your customers stay on the line for half an hour. If all agents are busy, have the customer on the line consent to receiving a call from you at a later time. That way, he doesn’t have to listen to your theme song on loop. And do call back. I have been on support calls with agents who promised they would call me back but never did. Don’t do that to your customers.