TextExpander @ Work: Getting Started with Customer Support

Customer support is a foundational element to nearly every business you could imagine. Happy customers make for healthy businesses, and we keep this vital relationship close to our hearts when building and improving TextExpander.

We use TextExpander religiously in our customer support team. In fact, providing prompt customer support with a text expansion tool like TextExpander is what lead us to start making TextExpander in the first place. By allowing our team to share snippet replies to the common, and not so common, questions, we can answer customers faster and more accurately. Especially when guiding customers through complicated troubleshooting steps, accuracy is key. All that to say, we understand first-hand the many ways TextExpander is integral to good customer communication.

For this next installment of our new TextExpander at Work series, we’ll explore some ways it can help you respond to inquiries more efficiently, boost productivity across your team, and ultimately make customers happy.

Get started with snippets

At its core, TextExpander saves you a bunch of time when typing any kind of repeatable text, such as, email signatures, quick responses to common questions, and long passages that need personalization. Using a keyboard shortcut, or your chosen abbreviation, TextExpander automatically transforms those few characters into the longer portion of text you intended.

Use your snippets anywhere

This is quite useful in a number of ways, one of the best being freedom—your text snippets aren’t bound to any single app or service. With TextExpander, you can use your snippets in any app on your Mac, Windows PC, iPhone, and iPad. You can support your customers using any mixture of support tools and platforms you want, and easily switch when your needs change.

FAQs as snippets

If you want inspiration for how to start integrating TextExpander into your customer support flow, think about your FAQs. Every company has them, and a portion of customers will email you directly about them no matter how prominent or thoroughly you polish your FAQ page.

Some companies like to create individual snippets that contain the full response of each FAQ and respond with it directly. Others create snippets that include a portion of the response along with a link to the full page in their support system. Either approach can be useful in the right context, so we encourage you to explore what works for you.

Common links as snippets

Another good place to start is any kind of promotional messages such as coupon codes, sale reminders, and links to product pages and blog posts that you often use in responses. Being able to type a few letters, and have these messages automatically expand in place, can be a massive improvement to team productivity and any possible cases of carpal tunnel.

One final great place to start is link snippets for all your important internal and external sites, services, and pages. They might not sound like much at first, but take a little time to create a dozen or two snippets for web pages like your admin consoles, popular support articles, product pages, and just about anything on the web that you commonly reference. Once you get in the habit of using TextExpander snippets instead of constantly searching for those pages or copying them from a document, you’ll be amazed at how much time you’ll save.

The power of data and collaboration

Speaking of team productivity, TextExpander can help you to actually measure improvements in typing performance for yourself and your team.

For your own stats, open TextExpander on your Mac and open the Statistics from the menu bar to view a live, running tally of some useful typing statistics. Here you’ll see the number of characters and words TextExpander has automatically typed for you, as well as an estimated amount of typing time it has saved you over weeks, months, or years of use.

Get a feel for how much time TextExpander is saving your whole team in TextExpander’s Organization Stats. Any Organization Admin can open the organization settings to take a look at the stats. For details, follow the instructions in our article on Organization Stats.

For a snap shot of a company using TextExpander to get through crunch time, check out our blog post on our recent major release of TextExpander 6. Big releases like that mean a lot of customer interaction. Over the course of that week, TextExpander typed nearly 8,200 snippets (a total of 908,810 characters!) for us. At an average typing speed of 60 words per minute, that means we saved over 50 hours of typing across our entire customer support team!

Sharing snippets saves the whole team

Another crucial TextExpander feature for teams is the ability to share snippets, including varying degrees of editing permissions. Create a snippet group, share it with the team members who need it, and leave the editing to just the few who are the best writers and most knowledgable on the topic. This way, every answer is perfectly worded, and can be instantly updated as facts change, with no delay in getting the new info out to the team.

Check out our video on snippet sharing or our in-depth support document on sharing within your team using a TextExpander Organization.

Either way, snippet sharing is an incredibly empowering feature for organizations. We encourage you to explore what’s possible and contact us if you have any questions.

Next-level text

TextExpander’s abilities can get pretty advanced, depending on your customer support needs. When you’re ready to build upon the core text expansion features, check out the Tips section of our support documents.

There you’ll find some great instructions on how to take TextExpander to the next level. It can leave room to manually fill variables into snippets, perform currency conversion on the fly, place the cursor where you need it after snippet expansion, suggest new snippets as you type, and even nest snippets inside of each other.

We hope these tips can help get you and your company on the road to getting more done, communicating better, and saving all kinds of time.

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