Most support teams evolve organically, starting with a single email inbox and adding new channels and hours of operation haphazardly as the company grows. But with an ever-expanding set of channels and a constantly evolving set of support tactics, it’s crucial to have a strategy in place and return to it early and often as your team grows in numbers and geographies.
A support channel strategy is the first step in defining your customer experience. It details your company's intended approach to to allow customers to reach you.
Below, we’ve outlined a few of the critical components for you to consider as you develop your channel strategy. Feel free to copy and paste this list and adapt it to your own team's specific needs.
A support channel strategy like the one above helps to elucidate the components of the support experience that your team and your customers care about most deeply. This not only helps you stay focused in the long run but helps ensure that your team will not lose sight of its goals and sink money into spinning up channels that don’t match up with your team’s and your customers' priorities.
Finally, a support channel strategy should be viewed as a living document. You should return to it on a cadence that makes sense for your team—whether that's annually, quarterly or more frequently—and ensure that your underlying assumptions and considerations are still valid. If your channel strategy no longer matches your customers’ or your company’s needs as times change and conditions evolve, it should be modified for the next stage of your team's growth.
 For certain businesses that deal with sensitive customer issues like fin-tech or medical services, timely support is non-optional.
 The most progressive consumer-facing companies we've worked with view timely support as a tenant of their customer experience. Why? 1) Revenue: Realtime channels allow you to proactively persuade customers who are discovering your brand for the first time. 2) Brand risk: Bad customer support experience are more likely to end up in social media for consumer brands.