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Do you know what are companies working towards in 2019? It’s Customer Experience.
A Walker study found that by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Customer support is at the heart of all customer experience efforts. However, customer support is more than just answering the concerns of the customer across different channels. It’s about improving customer satisfaction and making it easy for customers to access support.
But how can companies step up their customer support game?
To help you, we’ve compiled a list of some actionable customer support tips from some well known global Saas companies. Let’s get right into it.
1. Automation doesn’t hurt customer support
Customer support automation has come a long way, from face to face conversation to automated chatbots, we’ve seen it evolve. It has turned into a critical tool for companies, especially for those looking to scale their customer support while keeping their costs down.
But doesn’t automation mean being less human and personal? Using automation strategically for customer support can help in streamlining the support process and in serving customers faster. So yes, it might mean being less human or personal but in most cases, it keeps the customer happy.
Here’s what Elen Veenpere from GrooveHQ had to say about customer support automation –
By spending a few hours setting up automation in your support process and eliminating repetitive tasks, you can save each of your agents more than 200 hours a year.
For a team of three agents, that’s more than an extra 600 hours a year. This is 600 hours that your support team can spend on edge cases, improvement, and building meaningful relationships with your customers.”
2. Always deliver personalized support
Delivering personalized support consistently is a big challenge for companies. But it’s critical when it comes to customer retention. Personalized support is no rocket science. For example, what if you can connect your customer to the last agent they spoke to when they call you again? (This feature is called Sticky Agent on Exotel).
Kaitlin Pettersen, Global Director of Customer Support at Intercom says –
Every customer should feel like they’re involved in a one-to-one conversation with a business
3. Social Support is no longer optional
More than 67% of consumers prefer to engage with brands on social media for support.
With so many social media channels and changes at hand, there will be many unique challenges that can be tricky to handle. Deciding on some guidelines on how to engage with customers will help align social support with your brand values and goals.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind when it comes to social media support –
On social media, about 46% of the customers expect a reply within 60 minutes. Using a social media monitoring tool like Mention can greatly help you in replying to customers faster.
Answering questions, feedback, and comments
It’s very necessary to acknowledge every social media post pointed to your company, be it a question, feedback or comment.
Dealing with negativity
It’s quite natural to receive hate comments and complaints on social media. The correct way to deal with negativity is with positivity.
Here’s what Kim from Crowdfire, says –
Social media is a great place to humanize a brand and show your audience the real people behind the screen for support.
4. Good Customer Support is a growth driver
Customer support isn’t just a growth driver – it’s the growth driver. Often, businesses consider customer support a necessity but an expensive part of their organization. But there is a way to turn around the latter.
Chase Clemons from BaseCamp says –
Customer support is as much a feature of your product as that last feature your team added. When done right, it can set you apart from your competition. An app can be recreated easily. A rocking support experience is much harder to copy. When customers know they’re going to get great support, they’ll usually choose you over the competitor.
5. Focus on the right channels
I know it’s tempting for companies to provide support on the maximum number of channels available. But honestly, it’s not necessary to be on all the channels possible, irrespective of the company size or growth rate.
Here’s what Aytekin Tank, the Founder of Jotform had to say –
Fuelled by the desire of providing amazing customer support, it can be tempting to over-promise and say “we’ll be available on every channel, every day, all the time. It’s better to nail support over a couple of channels than to attempt to tackle them all, do an average job and eventually have to close some of them down.
6. Streamline the omnichannel support experience
It’s crucial for companies to provide support on multiple channels & devices. Raising a request should be equally simple, be it a phone or desktop.
Here’s what Anand Janefalkar, Founder & CEO of Ujet had to say about multi-platform support –
Ensure that no matter the channel or device, the journey that your customers are taking is consistent. Customers should be able to find information and resolve issues just as easily on mobile as online or over the phone.
7. Keep the positivity flowing in the team
It’s necessary to keep employees working on customer support motivated and engaged. This helps them to serve customers better. According to a report on The State of the American Workplace, employees who are engaged are more likely to improve customer relationships, with a resulting 20% increase in sales.
Luís Pinto, Head of Customer Support at Unbabel says –
As a manager, you need to focus on keeping your customer support specialists motivated and maintaining the enthusiasm and positive momentum among the team, especially when everything seems to go wrong. Do that, and the rest will naturally follow.
Building your customer support strategy
I know it is difficult to shift your complete focus to customer support. Honestly, it’s quite a challenging task but it’s rewarding in the long run.
Sumithra Sivaramakrishnan, Head of Customer Happiness at Exotel adds –
Customer support in a startup is the best learning ground for anyone who is passionate about solving customer issues. Instead of hiding behind policies and letting them restrict us, people in customer-facing roles feel empowered to talk to customers and do what we feel is the right thing for the customer.
Hope you find the above tactics useful. I can’t wait to know your results after implementing the above tactics. Let us know your personal advice below in the comments.