Part of the growing trend toward online customer relationship management (CRM), e-support is the electronic (usually Web-based) version of customer service that would otherwise have required either a visit to a company or a telephone call. According to industry estimates, e-support can cost a company as little as 25 cents per interaction compared to as much as $25. for a telephone inquiry. At its best, e-support offers a customer efficient 24-hour-a-day service, and offers an enterprise a cost-effective means of improving customer relations.
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
The least expensive version of e-support is Web self-service, which does not involve interaction with a company representative and includes such options as FAQ lists, online documents, and searchable databases. However, many customers prefer access to a customer representative, which is generally offered through e-forms or e-mail contact. A current CRM trend is towards live support, which may be offered through online chat, instant messaging (IM), or voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software.
Increasingly, Web sites offer a combination of e-support types, usually arranged in a hierarchical model ranging from the least to the most expensive. As a rule, a Web site guides customers toward static information first, then toward the interactive self-help options if that doesn't meet their needs, and toward live interaction support only if the first two options don't satisfy them. The toll-free line to a company representative - once the only customer support listed on a Web site - is typically offered solely as a last resort.