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Customer support
5 different ways to set up your first phone support
Traditional, minimal, involved, asynchronous or none at all - you've got options
5 different ways to set up your first phone support
Setting up phone support for the first time can be intimidating. Which telephony platform to choose? How many agents do you need? What should you say in the greeting message?

Before starting with Cordless, we spoke to over 250 companies and have seen it all. Based on our research, here are 5 different approaches to setting up your first customer support over the phone.

Choose wisely!
If you're just getting started with phone support, we can help! Book a call with our team to discuss your requirements, and we'll set you up on a free 7-day trial of Cordless - no strings attached!
9-5 Phone Support
TL;DR: Simple phone line, generalist agents, no IVR.

The most straightforward approach is to set up a live phone line operating during work hours 5 days a week. All you need is a simple tool to route calls to the next available agent and a couple of people to keep an eye on the line.

  • It’s hard to know in advance what your call volume will be, especially if you’re introducing voice as a support channel for the first time. So it’s difficult to predict how many agents you need to keep an eye on the phone line.
  • Calls are not distributed evenly throughout the day. If you have dedicated agents for taking calls, they might have nothing to do half the day and get swamped with incoming calls during peak times.
Companies like Marine Traffic, Second Nature and BikeClub run their support like this.
Minimal Phone Support
TL;DR: A phone number that leads to your mobile.

Of course, the easiest, most straightforward way to start taking calls from your customers is just to publish your mobile number on the website and wait. You don’t need fancy software, and you don’t need to do any additional set-up.
If you don’t want your personal mobile number to be out there for everyone to see, you can buy another number from a re-seller and set up call forwarding so that every call that comes to this number will be forwarded to your mobile phone.

  • No set up, no extra cost
  • The line to your customers doesn’t get more direct than this
  • This approach obviously doesn’t scale. As your call volumes grow, you’ll need to choose between missing calls and answering the phone at all times of the day and night
Use of IVR
TL;DR: IVR, specialised teams.

This one is really a step up over “The 9-5”. If you already have some idea of what your customers will be calling about or if you have a clear separation between different departments, you can introduce an IVR. With an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) you can assign different agents to different teams and route calls directly to the relevant team.

  • Allows to manage inbound demand better - customers get to the right place straight away.
  • You need to staff multiple teams of agents
  • You need a telephony platform that allows you to have an IVR
  • You’ll need to record a voiceover to tell a calling customer about the options
Callback with Context
TL;DR: Collect voicemails instead of answering inbound calls and call back asynchronously.

Voice is a difficult channel to support for two main reasons:
  1. The demand is variable and unpredictable throughout the day. Your agents may have nothing to do in the morning and have more calls than they can handle in the afternoon.
  2. An agent has to know the product or service well enough to solve customer problems “in the moment”. They have much less time to consult a knowledge base or a playbook, which causes extra stress.
What if you could remove both of these problems and still have phone support?
Introducing: callback with context. In this setup you don’t pick up customers’ calls as they come. Instead, all of the incoming calls go to voicemail. Your agents can then listen to the voicemails and respond in their own time. An agent can call the customer back or respond via a different channel (e.g. email). This is especially handy when the agent managed to resolve the issue “offline”, so no callback is necessary.

  • No need to staff for the unpredictable demand
  • Agents don’t have to come up with solutions “on the fly.”
  • You have recorded the history of the customers’ issues.

  • Agents will need to listen to voicemails.*
  • This one can be solved by transcribing voicemails and posting transcripts for the agents to read (Cordless does this out of the box)
  • Customers will not get to a live person when they call.
“The Cordless team is super responsive and easy to work with — they have been a great partner to us. We’ve had a return on our Investment (ROI) of more than 65%
"Cordless helped us to get started, but it will also allow us to scale in the future. It was very quick to set up. And now, we can operate phone support asynchronously, which saves us time and money."
"Many tools give you metrics, but with Cordless we get insights."
Liam Brade
CX Lead at Curve
Lucy Bott
Head of Operations at Fronted
Rebecca Vanstone
Head of Operations at Second Nature
  • Free consultation: no pressure, no commitment.
  • Just 30 minutes, and at a time that suits you
  • Demo tailored to your specific needs and requirements
  • Get a 14-day free trial after the call
Book a free 30 minute session with an expert who will show you how Cordless will help you increase customer satisfaction in your call centre.
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Choose Non-Phone Support... For Now
TL;DR: Don’t support voice.

You can, of course, just…not support voice. If your customer demographic prefer other channels, you can safely start with just them - e.g. email and online chat.

Be prepared, however, to expand to voice as your audience grows. Most customer-facing companies eventually grew to support voice as a channel, even if they started as digital-only.

It’s worth keeping in mind that voice is one of the richest support channels that will give you insights into customers’ journeys and sentiments like no other. It is also reported that NPS is the highest after a phone support call compared to all other channels.
So here you go. Chose wisely and delight your customers with quick and efficient support over the phone. May your abandonment rate be low and NPS high ????
Whichever option you choose be sure to come back to our blog for more advice, interviews and product reviews!
23 November 2022
Luba Chudnovets