When it comes to phone support, there tends to be a lot of mixed feelings. Some customers would rather try every other channel before calling you, while others don’t believe your store is real without a phone number to contact. On the support side, some agents love literally talking to customers, while others prefer to stick with written communication like email or chat.
And support managers or business owners are often caught in the middle. To offer phone support, or not? And if you do, how do you do it efficiently without your agents getting stuck on long, unnecessary calls? (And still maintaining the same high standards you have for other channels?)
That’s where Gorgias’ helpdesk and built-in phones can help. In fact:
Our merchants offering phone support have an average resolution time that’s 34% faster than teams who don’t.
They also have a first response time that’s 7x faster than merchants that don’t offer voice support. (30 minutes compared to 4 hours.)
So if one of your goals is to speed up response times to your customers, adding phone support to your Gorgias helpdesk is one of the best ways to do that thanks to our automation tools and ecommerce integrations. Let us show you how!
Here are 5 ways you can efficiently offer phone support with Gorgias:
- Establish a specific voice support team
- Integrate your tools to provide immediate context
- Use phone scripts to speed up conversations
- Respond on a different channel
- Have an escalation plan
1. Establish a specific voice support team
Some customers like to email you, some like to call. In a similar mindset, some of your agents will be great at talking on phones, while others are better written communicators.
To keep your phone support efficient, be selective about who’s going to talk to customers instead of allowing everyone to answer calls.
If you’re on an Advanced, Enterprise, or Custom plan that includes Team Management, you’ll be able to set up a designated phone team. Then when a call comes in, it’ll round robin through just those agents instead of everyone, allowing everyone to stay focused on their own channel.
If you’re on a Basic or Pro plan, while you can’t designate a phone team, you can use Rules to assign calls to specific agents on your team. Here’s an example:
Both of these options give you the flexibility to assign your best agents to phones, or gradually allow new agents to start training. (You could add them to the rotation one day a week, for example, increasing their availability as they ramp up.)
Assigning a specific phone support team will help keep your resolution times low, while allowing your other agents to stay focused on the channels they’re best at.
2. Integrate your tools to provide immediate context
One reason phone support has been tedious in the past is that there wasn’t a great way for agents to see the information they needed right away. They’d have to ask verification questions, look up information in different systems, and generally spend a lot of time building context before they could even answer the customer’s actual question.
Our phones integrate right into the Gorgias platform, which means you’ll have access to your shoppers’ ecommerce history right in the dashboard, not to mention any other information you need from other integrations you have set up.
Having your tools integrated like this will drastically improve your call resolution time, as you can skip those basic questions to customers (“What was your last order number? Can you repeat that?”) and your agents don’t have to go digging for the information in a bunch of different dashboards.
3. Use a custom greeting & IVR menu to route the call correctly from the start
"Thanks for calling Bakehouse Books! Press 1 for hours and location. Press 2 to leave a message. Press 3 to talk to a member of the team."
This is what an IVR menu allows you to set up, and this feature comes standard with our phone integration on every plan. By setting up a menu like this, you can connect shoppers with the right information or team member sooner. You may even be able to resolve phone calls faster, by providing answers to common questions right at the start of the call (such as business hours).
3. Use macros as phone scripts to speed up conversations
No efficiency list would be complete without a recommendation for strong documentation.
While you may not be able to predict every live conversation that happens with a customer over the phone, you’ll soon start to figure out some of the most common questions they’re asking. (They may even be the same ones you get emails or chats about!)
Equip your agents with call scripts to help them best prepare for how to handle different situations. You can save these call scripts as macros right in Gorgias, so they can quickly search and follow along as the conversation develops.
Pro-tip: Train your agents to choose “Internal note” when viewing Macros that are meant as internal scripts. Then if they accidentally send it, it’s just going to your internal team, not to the customer.
Here are a few common scenarios you might want to draft up scripts for:
- I received my order and something is wrong. What do I do?
- How do I exchange / return an item?
- Do you have wholesale options?
- I’m interested in collaborating with your store. Can I talk to your marketing team?
If you’re already using macros (the secret to scaling personalization), you might even be able to use similar “scripts” that you’ve already crafted and adjust them for phone conversations.
Just remember that while scripts can increase efficiency, voice support is also one of the best channels to connect with your customers and build empathy.
Encourage your agents to be “humans” in their conversations, and use phone scripts as a guideline for navigating the conversation (not as a literal transcript).
4. Respond on a different channel
While it’s true that phone support is nice to offer especially for your VIP customers, it’s also true that it’s not always the best channel to fully resolve an issue. Sometimes follow-up actions are needed or maybe a manager who’s out for the day needs to finish the conversation.
In these cases, it’s helpful (and okay!) to reply to the call on a different channel so your team can respond more efficiently. In fact, we’ve even talked to merchants who include a phone number on their site to increase brand trust, but almost always let it go to voicemail and reply via email, unless it truly warrants a phone call back.
Regardless of your preferred process, you can easily reply back to a customer in Gorgias via whatever channel you want.
5. Use automation to create fast escalation plans
Let’s say a phone call comes in. Your agent follows the script in their macro, but based on the customer’s need, they’ll need to escalate this to a different team to finish handling.
You can use Gorgias automation tools to automatically trigger this transfer, instead of your agent having to manually collect the information, send it over to the other team, and re-assign the ticket.
Here’s an example of a Macro that’s meant to be used as an internal note when escalating a phone call to a manager to follow-up on. It prompts the agent to fill out all the information the manager needs, automatically assigns the ticket to someone on the “Managers” team in Gorgias, and adds the tags that are important for the team’s reporting processes.
This makes sure all the context is gathered right away, so there’s less back and forth and less manual work for your agents.
With these five tips in action, not only will you deliver exceptional phone support, but you’ll keep your team working efficiently to achieve faster resolution times.
If you haven’t set up voice support yet, you can get started right from your Gorgias dashboard. If you’re interested in forwarding or porting an existing number, reach out to your Customer Success Manager (or book a demo!) and we’ll help you get started.