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					“How Any Business Can Instantly Reduce Technical Support and Customer Service Costs… While Still Providing Unsurpassed Customer Service.”
What are customers saying about your technical support?

Universalfaqmanager.com

How many times has this happened to you?
You’ve just purchased a new product or service and right in the middle of using it for the first time, you encounter a problem. You page through the company Easy Set-Up Guide looking for a solution to your problem, only to find that you and the company have different definitions of “easy.” You wonder why companies make it so difficult to set-up and use their products or services once you purchase them. You reluctantly dial the company’s customer service number, only to be greeted by their personalized version of voicemail hell. You’re put on hold, so you wait… and wait… and wait… all the while listening to how important a customer you are. You think to yourself, if I’m so important to them, why don’t they hire enough people to answer the calls. We’ve all been through this countless times, and I think we can all agree that it’s no fun. Being forced to endure customer service nightmares definitely affects how you feel about a company, its products, and its services. In a 2005 users study by Forrester’s Business Technographics® only 53% of respondents reported being satisfied with overall help desk support. The areas where help desks failed to measure up to customer expectations included: The time it takes to reach help desk support staff The technical expertise of help desk support staff The help desk’s ability to resolve problems quickly The help desk’s ability to resolve problems on the first call The lack of communication regarding problem status and updates When customers have questions or problems, they need answers quickly. And the way that companies manage their customer’s need for information can have a profound impact on customer satisfaction, customer perception, and your bottom-line. Answer customer questions quickly, and they’ll reward you by buying your products and services and remaining loyal customers. But make it difficult for customers to find answers to their questions, and chances are they’ll take their business elsewhere. So how do you ensure that customer questions are answered promptly, efficiently, and to the customer’s satisfaction? The answer exists in an advanced software application called a Frequently Asked Question Manager, or FAQ Manager, as it’s commonly called. FAQ Managers are a highly efficient and cost-effective way for any size company to automate the way customer questions are answered, and FAQ software can support a variety of different business applications in any organization. FAQ Managers not only answer customer questions quickly, but they also help reduce technical support costs, improve employee productivity, improve customer response time, and increase company revenues. This white paper will examine the trends, issues, benefits, costs and implications associated with using an FAQ Manager to manage customer questions in your business.

© 2008 Listopica – Universal FAQ Manager

Market Drivers That Impact How Customer Questions Are Managed
A Need to Lower Costs
Rising technical support costs, a need to protect current and future company revenue, and a need to improve company operational efficiencies are just a few of the market drivers encouraging IT managers, company directors and business owners to examine alternatives to the way customer questions are handled. It’s costly for companies to staff departments dedicated to handling customer questions. In an effort to control rising costs, many companies have decided to outsource their technical support and customer service functions to foreign companies and, while this solution has lowered their support costs, it has created a whole different set of problems for businesses to contend with. Other businesses have chosen a different route for answering customer questions. They’ve discovered that by giving customers an information resource they can use to answer their own questions, many of the costs and problems related to technical support and customer service are either significantly reduced, or they disappear completely. With this information resource, customers are able to resolve many of their own problems, without the need to contact company support staff, and this reduces support-related phone calls and e-mails which helps companies to better control their costs.

A Need to Protect Revenue
In addition to cost reductions, businesses are also concerned about protecting their current and future revenue streams. If customers can’t get the information they need to make a purchasing decision, they’re left with only two options: The first is to call your company to get their questions answered, and when this happens, you’ve incurred an additional cost to making the sale. The second option is that customers decide not to buy from you, and you lose their business. Neither of these choices is an attractive alternative for any business owner to consider. Many businesses mistakenly assume that their sales representatives or marketing materials do an adequate job answering customer questions. Oftentimes this isn’t the case, and many customer questions are left unanswered -- creating doubt in the customer’s mind. This doubt can often be a roadblock to a successful sale. When new customers have unanswered questions, the most cost effective way to deal with them is to give customers a resource where they can get answers quickly, without having to call your technical support or customer service departments. Now, if a customer has already purchased from you, you have a different set of problems. In this situation, customers must get answers to their questions in order to start using and benefiting from your products or services. They can’t just walk away from the sale and go to one of your competitors because you already have their money. Customers must wait for you to provide them with an answer. And if you make customers wait too long, and make it difficult for them to get the answers they’re looking for, you risk the chance of the sale being cancelled and customers asking for a refund. You’re left with an unhappy customer who isn’t likely to buy from you again, and they certainly won’t refer any business to you.

© 2008 Listopica – Universal FAQ Manager

A Need to Improve Operational Efficiencies
A third market driver is the need to improve operational efficiency of your technical support and customer service functions. Your goal is to provide the highest level of customer support at the lowest possible cost. This can be accomplished by automating your question answering process, and giving customers easy access to the information they need. By creating an archive of your most frequently asked questions, you only have to answer a question once, rather than numerous times for different customers. This helps to streamline the customer support function, and helps you provide a high level of service at a lower overall cost. So how do companies manage their customer support costs and still provide a level of service that ensures customer satisfaction and continued revenue growth? That’s the challenge facing IT managers, company executives and business owners.

The Challenges of Managing Customer Questions
There are four primary challenges associated with managing customer questions: How do you reduce customer support costs while still providing excellent customer service? How do you ensure that you don’t lose revenue? How do you avoid duplication of work? How do you eliminate mistakes due to human error?

Reduce Customer Support Costs
Companies that don’t effectively manage customer questions often incur increased support costs. The ideal situation is that your customers will have all the information they need to make an informed buying decision, or have all necessary information to install and use your products once they’ve purchased them. But that is rarely the case. For whatever their reason, your customers don’t have all the information they need, and they look to you to provide them with the answers they’re looking for. When your customers have a problem, they may check the manuals that came with purchase, or they may check your website. But if they can’t find an answer quickly, they pick up the phone and call your company. And when this happens, you’ve created a support-related cost that increases your cost of sales. You can minimize these costs, or eliminate them altogether, with more effective customer question management. In order to reduce costs associated with technical support and customer service, the most effective strategy is to provide your customers with a first-level support tool that they can use to quickly and easily search for answers themselves before they place a call to your company. This strategy reduces the number of incoming support-related calls and e-mails, and it helps you reduce your overall operating costs.

Protect Current and Future Revenue
Companies that don’t manage customer questions effectively also lose revenue. And this applies to both current and future revenue streams. If new customers don’t understand how your products or services work, or how they’ll benefit from using them, chances are they won’t buy from you. So you lose the revenue from this sale, and you also lose all potential future revenues from this customer including repeat business, referral business, customer testimonials, and their customer success story. The same holds true with current customers. If you inconvenience customers, get them angry and upset, and make it difficult for them to do business with you, they’ll take their business to a company that’s more customer-responsive and
© 2008 Listopica – Universal FAQ Manager

easier to deal with. You lose all the future business that this customer represents, as well as any referral business, customer testimonials, and their customer success story.

Eliminate the Costs of Inefficiency and Duplicate Work
Companies that don’t manage customer questions effectively also experience work duplication. It doesn’t make sense to repeatedly answer the same questions and solve the same problems for different customers. The efficient way to handle this problem is to answer the question once, and then post the answer where customers can easily find it. Effective customer question management creates an information asset that stores customer’s most frequently questions, so that when similar questions arise, the company isn’t covering the same ground and answering questions that have already been answered for previous customers.

Eliminate Mistakes Related to Human Error
If it takes time to answer your phones, your customers tend to become impatient. When they finally do get to speak to a support representative, customers are often upset at being made to wait any length of time. And their level of upset is directly related to the amount of time they’ve been waiting on hold. The customer support rep now has to deal with an agitated customer, and that can create a barrier to effective communication. Whenever you introduce new factors into the sales or customer service process, you increase the chances of having a customer service problem. Customers having to wait on hold for an unreasonable length of time; the demeanor of the support rep who answers the customer’s call; any language barriers or foreign accents that customer’s have to deal with; the use of technical jargon that customers don’t understand -- all of these factors can have a negative impact on the customer’s perception of your business. What’s the best way to minimize the negative impact of the human factor on your business? Limit the number of situations where customers have direct interaction with company personnel. And automating your frequently asked question process is one way to achieve that goal. Now, as you can clearly see from the above examples, there are significant costs and risks in not managing customer questions effectively, and it’s in your best interest to do everything possible to ensure that customer questions get answered quickly, conveniently and to the customer’s satisfaction.

A Brief History of Managing Customer Questions
Prior to FAQ Managers, if customers had a question, they’d pick up the phone and call the company for answers. This meant that businesses had to provide adequate customer support staff and phone lines to handle call volumes that could never be accurately predicted. Companies were placed in the position of making tradeoffs between good customer service and the costs to provide that service. If there wasn’t adequate support staff or phone lines, customers would be forced to wait on hold, and the length of time they had to wait had a direct impact on the customer’s perception of company performance. There are still plenty of examples of this today with customers trying to reach businesses and being forced to wait an unreasonable amount of time to speak to a company representative.

© 2008 Listopica – Universal FAQ Manager

Today’s Customer Question Management Challenges
Today’s customer question management challenges are different because today’s customers are different. Today’s customers expect more in terms of service. They’re time-stressed, so they have no tolerance for inconvenience. And when they do purchase a product or service from a company, they expect it to work perfectly right out of the box. Customers do business with you because they feel you can somehow make their lives easier or better. But when your products and services create problems for customers, it’s your responsibility to solve those problems quickly, so customers can get back to their busy lives. Fortunately, there are new solutions that can help you achieve that goal.

The Solution: Integrating a FAQ Manager into Your Business
The solution for managing your customer’s most frequently asked questions is FAQ Management software. FAQ Managers automate the question answering process by giving customers a first-level support tool that they can easily access through your company’s website. When a customer has a question about your products or services, they simply log on to your website, type in their question, and the FAQ Manager does the rest. The FAQ Manager provides customers with a list of subject areas that they can select from that guides them to the answer they’re looking for. By giving customers access to this information, customers can quickly answer their questions themselves, reducing the number of support-related calls and e-mails that come in to your company. Does a FAQ Manager eliminate every call? No. There will always be customers whose first response when they encounter a problem is to pick up the phone and call your company. But a FAQ Manager will help you reduce your call volume significantly. Plus, as you update and add content to your FAQ Manager, it becomes increasingly more effective and customer-responsive, helping to further reduce call volumes and customer support costs as you continue to use it.

The Benefits of Using a FAQ Manager
A number of significant benefits emerge when FAQ management software is used to handle customer questions.

A FAQ Manager Helps Reduce Customer Support Costs
When you integrate a FAQ Manager into your business, there are fewer calls and e-mails coming into your customer service departments, which means less time spent solving customer problems. This lets you operate with a smaller support staff, fewer phone lines, and lower overhead.

A FAQ Manager Helps Increase Revenues
A FAQ Manager helps you increase revenues by safeguarding your customer relationships. You demonstrate to your customers that you appreciate their business, and you’re utilizing the latest technology to make doing business with you as easy and convenient as possible. A FAQ Manager shows your customers that you want them to have all the necessary product and service information they need, when they need it, in order to enjoy the benefits of doing business with you.

A FAQ Manager Helps You Operate More Efficiently
You can provide a higher level of customer support with fewer company resources at a lower overall cost. Customer questions are answered more quickly, and there’s reduced duplication of work in customer support functions. A FAQ Manager also helps support staff and other company employees to access information quickly, and that reduces the amount of time spent handling support calls and other problems.

© 2008 Listopica – Universal FAQ Manager

A FAQ Manager Helps Eliminate Problems Related to Human Error
Once you have an archive of answers and solutions for your most commonly asked questions, there’s no need for customers to call customer support looking for help. You have standardized and automated the question answering process and eliminated the chances of wrong answers or poor service resulting from human error. By automating your processes with a FAQ Manager, you have more control over technical support and customer service functions within your company.

A FAQ Manager Delivers Significant Return on Investment
A FAQ Manager will pay for itself many times over within months of integrating it into your business. Companies who install FAQ Managers see a decline in staff hours spent dealing with Level 1 external customer support issues. And this decline represents a significant reduction in support costs that directly impact bottom-line profit. For example, if you use a FAQ Manager to reduce your company call volume by just one hour a day, you can expect to see the following return on investment in just the first year of operation: Labor hours saved per week – 5 Labor hours saved per year – 260 260 hours x $20/ hour labor cost – your company saves $5,200 per year using FAQ Manager A FAQ Manager priced at $500 that saves just one hour a day in customer support cost pays for itself in 25 days, and the firstyear return on investment is 940%. A FAQ Manager will also pay for itself with cost reductions and operational efficiencies when dealing with internal customers within your organization. A FAQ Manager helps employees streamline the information and documentation control process, so they can access information and manage projects quickly and effectively. And improved information flow gives employees the visibility to make better decisions and identify problems before they can impact company profit.

Does a FAQ Manager make sense for you?
Use this handy chart to help you quickly figure your return on investment. Calculate your savings now: Example
A B C D E

You

F G H

Customer service: Hours per week Weeks per year Hours per year Cost per hour Total cost per year (C x D) FAQ Manager: Investment: Cost per hour (24 / 7 / 365) First-year Return on Investment (E / F)

$

5 20 260 20 $

$ 5,200 $ $ 500

pennies

940%

%

A FAQ Manager pays for itself in weeks – then pays you in saved time and money for years.

© 2008 Listopica – Universal FAQ Manager

What to Look For In a Solution Provider
If you’re convinced that a FAQ Manager is the right solution for your business, here are some questions that you’ll need to consider: How will you use a FAQ Manager in your business? What features and benefits are most important to you? Is the FAQ Manager you’re considering easy to install? Is the program easy to learn and use? Can you make changes and is it easy to update? Is it easily integrated with your brand, your logo, and your existing content? Does it install easily on your server or web hosting? Is it fully customizable to your website using simple HTML and CSS? Does it support unlimited FAQ topics and questions? Does it include a password protected Admin area? Does it allow you to easily browse categories and questions? Do all searches include an RSS feed? Can you display Frequently Asked Questions anywhere using Javascript? Does it meet your needs without any excess features you don’t need? Is it built on .Net platform for maximum flexibility?

The Universal FAQ Manager Advantage
If you want help answering any of these questions, or want more information about how a FAQ Manager can help reduce costs and add value to your business, we are happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation FAQ Manager Audit. Universalfaqmanager.com is a proud creation of Listopica, Inc., and we can show you how easy it is to add automated FAQ Manager technology to your business. You can take the first step toward higher profits and lower support costs by contacting us today at: Universal FAQ Manager contact@universalfaqmanager.com http://www.universalfaqmanager.com Listopica, Inc. 14584 Baseline Ave. Suite 300142 Fontana, CA 92336 Phone +1 (800) 362-7203 +1 (909) 266-0840

© 2008 Listopica – Universal FAQ Manager


				
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Laura Trunk Laura Trunk
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