Your company sells products or services to your customers online and these customers need an easy way to reach out to you and ask for help when in need. The frustration of not having a person to talk to after investing trust and money in a company can go a long way. As we all know, bad reputation is easily gained on the Internet these days. The consequences of negative reviews can take humongous extents.

BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2016 came up with the chart shown below, which pictures how consumer trust in online reviews grows exponentially every year.

BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2016
84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. (Source: BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2016)

Even corporate giants with strong brands — let alone small businesses, which could possibly be you — take heed of user complaints, developing a science around Reputation Management strategies to prevent the escalation of bad reviews among their consumership.

But how are you to fight the dragons with a fleet of a few, a two, or just you?

Small businesses suffer the most. That’s why prevention is the key to avoiding negativity around your brand. You’re familiar with the saying: “Prevention is better than cure.” — in personal life as in business.

Better prevent than heal.

What do I mean by prevention and how to cheer up consumers before they go tell everyone that your business sucks?

Undoubtedly, some customers are harder to please than others. Even your service is not always the same. After all, everyone can have a bad day. But, how can you prevent your customers from voicing their frustration on social media and online review sites? You can’t really, but you can empower them with an easy way to come to you for a solution first. In most cases, your prompt answer is what saves the day.

Bad reviews prevention techniques
Timely support is key to negative review escalation prevention, even when you don’t have immediate solution.

This is what we know as customer support and companies that excel at it tend to have competitive edge in the virtual space of today.

The trick is — be quick to answer, even when you don’t have immediate solution at hand. Being heard soothes our souls and reassures us that help is on the way.

Take it a step further, don’t be afraid of new technologies

Running a business isn’t easy. Embracing a tool to help you manage support tickets in a timely and organized way, might be a smart move when things get out of control. As your business grows, the number of possible issues rises with every new customer gained.

For this purpose, you will need an online form where your customers can fill in their names, emails, reasons for contacting you, and choose the ways to get contacted back. You will also need a database where you can store all support tickets and a tool to analyze the data.

EmailMeForm provides all this, and what interests you the most as a business owner is — it’s a completely free form builder tool with a database that accommodates up to a 100 form entries for free! Building a basic form is easy and quick, you don’t even have to start from the scratch.

You can choose this basic Support Ticket template as a starting point for your future form and add more fields that will help you provide the best possible service.

Support Request Form
Here’s how your support request can look like. This template is free and fully customizable.

Easy to fill in, gets you enough data

Bear in mind that the fields and functionalities of your form need to provide you with a basic idea on what issue your customers are facing. However, you don’t need to load it with too many fields to smother a person who possibly needs your immediate help. It’s very important that you find the balance between the two.

Explore the best form setup for support tickets

How can you achieve the balance?

By choosing the right form fields, offering a choice of answers instead of open-ended questions, and applying Logic Form Rules.

Form Fields

If you already know the most common issues that your customers are experiencing with certain products or services you offer, the best is to enumerate these issues and let users quickly choose among a few. Of course you will leave the option “Other” open for your customers to fill in if they can’t fit their concern into any of the given options.

The best field to use here is Dropdown field — it lets your customers/users choose the reason for contacting you. This field can also be used for filtering through different products and services from your offer. Moreover, it will be easier for your team to filter through the tickets and sort them according to the reason of contact when analyzing the data. You will get to see the trends and frequency of certain issues in your form’s daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly Reports.

Other information that you can obtain using this field are — a model, make, brand, type, type of service, type of issue; and if it’s a software — which OS, device, version, resolution, browser, and so on.

Use Basic Fields for information like: Name, Username, Email, Address, Phone, and textual explanation of the issue.

To share more context about the subject, your customers can attach screenshots, photos, videos, etc., via the File Upload field.

Form Rules

This is the fun part!

To make things much simpler for your form fillers, you can play with different conditional logic rules. By creating logical steps in your form, you can lead users through the questions based on their input.

To give you an example — say you use a Dropdown field asking your software users to choose if they encountered an issue on their computers or smartphones. If they choose smartphones, you will create a logic rule for that field to lead to the next logical question which is to choose between different operating systems like Android, Windows or iOS. When they pinpoint their OS you can connect another logical question and so on.

This way, it almost feels like you’re holding their hand leading them through a logical set of questions that are easy and functional, reducing the frustration to the minimum.

Save your customers time and get very focused answers that will help you provide quick and targeted support.

Notifications for your team

Using the same logic rules, you can link specific user complaints with the experts in your team who specialize in that area.

For example, if a user chooses an option “Login issues”, someone from your technical support team will get the notification in their inbox. This sort of an issue will be linked to their email address, while the rest of your team focuses on putting out other fires. If the issue relates to “Billing”, your accounting department will be notified so that they can react quickly and professionally.

Creating a highly targeted network of rules will help your team work more efficiently. They will receive email notifications in their inbox with an overview of the ticket received.

Finally, it’s not just about putting out fires.

Firefighters Rescue
Your support team members are real customer heros, but fixing things before or as soon as they break will save time and relieve stress for everyone.

There’s more in learning from mistakes and improving.

Not only can you create specific forms for different types of service requests and link them or embed on your website, you can structuralize the data you receive through a single form to track the most requested services, the most common bugs, product flaws, team members who always get the customers’ praise, and so on.

As mentioned earlier, our tool has the ability to generate custom reports using the data you receive via specific fields you choose. These reports are automatically generated according to your setup. Data stats and percentages can be visualized in pie charts, bar graphs, tables and more. Your reports are sharable, fostering team collaboration on pinpointing the pain points and finding the strategies for improvements.

Reports can also help you detect the champions of your customer support team so that you can incentivise them and inspire to create even better results in the future.

And remember — the more effectively you can help your customers, the more likely they are to stay loyal to your company even though they’ve experienced issues.

No product is flawless, no service is perfect, but with a great customer support team and even better tool to help them automate their workflow, you will never be late to assist your users.

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