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According to research from GfK MRI, 68% of consumers - and more than 83% of millennials - said that they text more than they talk on their smartphones. Consumers use Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, KakaoTalk, Line, WeChat, and more to chat with family and friends.

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When was the last time you were happy with customer service? You visit the company website and search the “Contact Us” page which offers little to no actual helpful information. You find a phone number and call, only to sit through countless automated options attempting to identify your problem.

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Interactive voice response (IVR) is a phone system that uses the phone keypad or voice recognition to direct customers through a company’s customer support system. Depending on the industry, customers might be calling about product support like a smart home device, subscription information or financial issues. IVR systems guide customers towards a specialized support agent or accessing a self-service solution.

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The smartphone is the center for most consumers. It connects across multiple channels like email, phone calls and texting. The smartphone is supplemented by more internet-connected devices to automate and streamline consumers’ lives.

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Pre-internet customer support consisted of in-person help at a retail store to return an item, get product help or speak to a salesperson about a potential purchase. Call centers, originally known as private automated business exchanges, were created in the 1960s. Interactive voice response (IVR) was invented In the early 1980s and continues to be used today. Customer support in the mid-to-late 20th century had two main channels: a phone call or talking to someone in a store.

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Customer support agents help customers resolve issues with the extra goal of building brand loyalty. Supervisors track metrics like number of calls taken, number of issues resolved or average wait time, but they might not have the time to listen to every call recording to see where improvements are needed.

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Every industry needs customer support. Customers have questions before they decide to make a purchase, need help when going through a sign-up flow and need real-time support when they’re having a problem that needs quick resolution.

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UJET previously discussed issue complexity and urgency for customer support. There isn’t an ideal single channel for customer support because issues all have different levels of complexity and urgency.

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There are specific terms that are tossed around along with different acronyms in every industry. The faster these terms are understood, the faster new agents, managers and supervisors can respond to requests for information, making reports or planning strategy.

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When you know more about your customers, you can provide the best possible experience at all times. It sounds simple enough, but gathering the right kind of customer data requires tact and understanding from your agents of what kind of information is valuable to the company as a whole.

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