When it comes to building customer support, loyalty, and retention, never underestimate the importance of really focusing on your customer support apparatus. Even if a customer loves your products and services, a bad support experience can really turn them off of your business. You want to help your customers, but sometimes it might feel hard to give them the attention that they need. For that reason, we’re going to look at ways to streamline your customer support.
Give them the tools they need
If you’re running a smaller business, you might not have the fully equipped support team to address all customer questions in a timely manner. Some customers will always need direct intervention but there are those who might be able to solve their own issues if you can simply give them the information that they need. This can include using tools like an FAQ page on your website, or some sort of informational resource that addresses how to use your products and services, with search functionality that allows your customers to find answers addressing the specific questions they might have in mind.
Be there on the website
If you are available to help customers, it’s wise to make it clear that you are available as soon as possible and to make yourself as accessible as possible to the customers that will need you the most. Usually, this the people who are directly engaged with your products and services at the moment, and most of the time these people are going to be on your website. You should ensure your support team is available on off-site platforms (which we will address in a moment) but implementing tools like on-site chat apps can help you reach out to customers while they’re still in the process of converting, helping to address any barriers that might be between them and their purchase. This way you can potentially reduce your cases of shopping cart abandonment.
Make use of your social platforms
As mentioned, not all online customer support should be strictly on your website. Your website should provide customers with means to contact you, such as email, as well. If you want to make your customer support as widely available as possible online, then you can make it accessible from where most online customers can regularly be found: on social media. Be open to addressing customer support questions through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, referring them to other platforms when necessary. Not only does it make it easier for them to begin the process of getting the support that they need, but it very publicly shows your efforts to assist and aid your customers, which works in favour of your brand.
Don’t leave them in silence
As mentioned, one of the biggest problems with many modern customer support systems is that a business simply doesn’t have the people on hand that it needs in order to address all customer complaints immediately. If you’re running a small business or even a solo enterprise, it can be difficult to satisfy all client queries. However, you don’t want customers to be met by silence when they send an email or to ring up only to find a ring tone on the other end. A call answering service with a virtual receptionist can help you take a message and assure them you will get back to them. You don’t want to keep them waiting overly long, of course, but you can at least assure them they have been heard while they wait.
Let them answer each other
This may not work for every business, but if you have a growing and passionate user base, then it’s likely that you may already have customers who know everything they need to know in order to help other people. These people are called “super users” and by giving them special account status in the forums or letting them answer Q&As on product and server pages, you can use your customers as part of your customer support apparatus. These super users will feel valued as members of the community, helping to build it from within, while taking some of the support work off your team. Though you shouldn’t expect them to take all of it.
If you can make your customer support processes a lot more efficient, then you can ensure that you satisfy more of them with the kind of help and attention that they need. This, in turn, creates loyal returning customers, increasing their lifetime value until they become the backbone of your business.