In this article, we will determine basic evolution steps of customer support creating, and also we will briefly imagine trends for the nearest future.

We used to think about support as a technical tool or a boring process. Nobody wants to be a member of the support team. But now, there is an individual touch to the client and sensitive care. As for the support stuff you can see a gamification models and total immersion approach.

Check more details at the Customer Care Evolution by PwC

Let’s take a look at the WordPress community, where million of people creating sites and communicating with the audience. I suppose it is a good field for checking out helpdesk evolution stages.

Stage 1. Contact form

Customer support center, Technical support, Ticketing system. Before all of this formal terms coming into our life we used to have this one – Help.
I’m serious. How to help people? How to figure it out? For that purpose, you better leave your contacts: phone, mail, address.

We inquired a broad range of WordPress users, just to understand what they need for helping people. We ask them about support issues and useful methods. Basically, they want to have a simple contact form.

The most part of modern WordPress themes already have contact forms. So you are able to get a client requests and feedback at any time.

Bingo! Now when you started to receive dozens of customer requests it’s time to think about your ability and desire to solve client’s problems; add be ready for complaints from unhappy users.

Stage 2. Customer support as a process

When you face a multitasking problem, you’re trying to find an appropriate solution. But on this stage is very important to do it for free ☺

Since that moment we all know that people who ask for help – our potential clients.
If you can’t answer support tickets by yourself you probably will hire a couple of agents and make a brainstorm how to determine a business process.

There is no more chance to use a contact form and it’s better to find some plugin. For example, look at our free stand-alone plugin Catchers Helpdesk that helps site admin support potential clients and resolve issues quickly. Users and support staff can interact in real time to report, diagnose and resolve issues.

Let’s mark a typical tasks for this stage:

  • Making a common work place (sort of task manager)
  • Tickets traction (filtering, sorting, escalation)
  • Client cards (light CRM)
  • Canned response
  • Notification
  • E-mail fetching

On this stage, you still manage it by yourself and make a favorable impressions. Don’t forget patience, sense of humour and time. Nobody wants to receive a boring message from support team.

Stage 3. Powerful communication platform

Support via social platform

You a lucky guy and people loves what you do, now you have to apply to the industry leaders, because they think about customer support for a very long time.

Customer care system suppose to be a communication platform, providing support even through the social networks. Customers now expect to get service at any time of the day and night and to have answers for every question. Remember that the number of communications channels is putting all kinds of pressure on customer service department.

There are a lot of SaaS platforms which specialized on customer support:

But you have to pay. Just make sure that it will be reasonable.
They have a vide range of tools on any client’s cases such as:

  • contextual hints
  • smart callback button
  • online chat
  • email templates
  • satisfaction ratings
  • e-mail forwarding
  • user permissions
  • save reports

Customer care system suppose to be a communication platform, providing support even through the social networks.

What’s next ?

Now we see that customer support turning to a individual industry. Innovation startups making a really hard work for improving communications and simplifying interactions.
Personal data is a point of contention in our digital world as our lives are increasingly tracked and analyzed. So the big data is one of the trend for next generation help systems.

In conclusion I’d like to pay your attention to interesting research of american author, inventor and futurist Raymond Kurzweil.
He predict an absolutely robotized technology which allows us to get help right now and right here. Just image a virtual friend, which is ready to help you at any time.

According to the PwC research 84% users prefer a phone call live agent.
Well, the movie «Her» is all about an Operating System (Samantha) that interacts with users in the form of voice. It is the best example for predicted model of voice-recognization. I am sure we will be reaching similar stage of AI and natural language processing just after some years. We still have auto chat scripts and chat bots. But, some revolutions in AI and language processing is sure to evolve a similar technology soon.

Thank’s for illustration to Liza Artamonova
Thank’s for Quora answer to Sushant Gautam