Do you feel as though your customer service isn’t as good as it could be? Maybe you are losing out on sales, but you don’t quite understand why.
Customer Support isn’t a Marketing Channel
Did you know that if you can boost your customer retention by 5%, this can lead to a profit boost of up to 50%? Customer support is the most underappreciated marketing channel out there. It has the potential to give you a huge return on your investment and it’s also one of the best ways for you to guarantee results.
If you want to benefit your business, then one thing you can do is do what you can to eliminate friction regarding purchasing. Ask yourself, how does your customer support compare to your competition? Do customers have to jump through hoops just to reach your team? What can you do to keep customers coming back for more?
You Think That Silence is a Good Thing
Did you know that for every unhappy customer, there are 26 who choose to stay silent? If you aren’t hearing from your customers, then this isn’t a good thing. You need to avoid letting their silence fool you. If you get a customer complaint, then this is the tip of the iceberg. A lot of unhappy customers will leave your business without saying a word.
Unfortunately, feedback is the only way for you to improve your service, so you need to be brave when it comes to dealing with criticism. Instead of dreading a complaint from your customer, use it to gain valuable insight. You also need to make it easy for them to give feedback. Don’t make the mistake of sending out a form or a survey that most people don’t have time to fill out.
Instead, take steps to incentivise feedback. Keep the questions as open-ended as possible as this is the best way for you to get the peace of mind you need. Listen and acknowledge them where possible, so they feel heard. If you can do this, then you will surely see a huge difference.
It’s not just about feedback, either. In many establishments, having silence means that you are probably not creating the kind of ambience that you might want to have. If you run a franchise cafe business, for instance, you’ll need to try and make sure that you are creating as much atmosphere as you can, whether through the design of the place, the use of franchise business music programs or however else you can think of doing it. As long as you do it right, you should find that this really makes a difference
You Are Focusing on Customer Acquisition
Customer acquisition might be important, but if you overlook your customer service then you could well be neglecting your biggest profit potential. The math is very simple here. If you have happy customers, then you have loyal customers. Studies have shown that loyal customers end up being worth 10x their first purchase.
They are also likely to tell 9 others about their positive experience. It’s very easy to understand why it’s up to 7x more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep your existing ones. If you are a start-up company, then it is very understandable that your initial objective is to try and acquire new customers.
As your business base grows though, you should start to shift your focus to retention and loyalty. A lot of customers will stop doing business with you if they have one bad experience, so it doesn’t matter how good you are at acquiring new customers- you have to look after the ones you have too.
A Great Product Doesn’t Cover Service Blunders
Customer experience is always a brand differentiator. It often surpasses product and price. Studies have shown that a customer is 4x more likely to buy from a competitor if the issue at hand is related to the service rather than the price. Sophisticated customers tend to shop for comprehensive solutions. If you are not providing them with a high level of customer service, then the net value will be diminished.
When you look at the 2000s, Apple Care revolutionised tech support and they also supported very frustrated customers. Apple provided their customers with amazing customer service. They provided a helpline that was open 24 hours a day, and this helped the tech giant to become who they are today.
Studies have shown that even though your product might be revolutionary, subpar support can put you at a huge disadvantage and this is the last thing you need. If you want to make sure that you are providing your customers with a huge amount of support then one thing you can do is add chat to website.
You Don’t Follow Through with Customers
Leading brands are more than aware that happy customers are their ultimate source of growth. Sure, new customers are important, but it is the continuity of repeat revenue that helps the bottom line. It also gives you a level of predictability when it comes to scaling. Research has shown time and time again that loyalty is so important and if you can sustain dialogue then this helps a lot with that.
You need to follow up after a sale and you also need to provide support with onboarding as well. Surveys, or inviting customers to your loyalty programs are very good things to do. If you can do this, then you will surely see a huge difference.
You Think your Customers Are Forgiving
Customers don’t tend to be forgiving by nature. Even if you have a customer who spends a lot of money with you, they will jump ship if they do not feel as though their contributions are being valued. If you have made a mistake with your customer, then the best thing you can do is apologise to them.
This is one of the most effective ways for you to support the relationship that you have and most of the time, if you add compensation, you can double your satisfaction rate. This is great, to say the least, and it just goes to show how valuable a simple apology can be.
You Think Support Comes After
Studies show that 83% of customers require support during their online purchases. A lot of companies make the mistake of thinking that they just have to give support after the purchase, but this is not true at all. If you want to help your customers here, then it is wise to empower them to answer their own questions.
One way you can do this is by giving them a knowledge base or a portal. Provide them with immediate access to agents and also adopt a help desk that gives them an email with a support ticket. If you can do this, then you will soon find that things end up working in your favour.
Forcing them to use a Channel
Choosing a form of communication can be a very big moment for a customer. People have one channel that they tend to prefer to use. If you force them to contact you via phone, chat or email then this is going to alienate some of them. It may be that the room is too loud for them to chat over the phone or that they have information that is too sensitive to send over live chat.
Forcing customers to interact with you on the channel of your choice is the best way for you to get things off on the wrong foot. If you want to do something about this, then make sure that your company is providing a centralized support hub. They can then access phone, live chat, email and even self-service all from one place.
If there is one thing that customers hate, it is being passed around. When you look at a traditional service model, you will see that companies start their support tickets at tier one. They then move customers up the tier until they reach the top of the service. The logic here is to save time and money by having the reps higher up handle the more complex support issues.
This approach might well have worked in the past but at the end of the day, it doesn’t align with modern expectations. It creates a very poor customer experience and ticket resolution is delayed as well. it also stops agents from being able to learn from their peers too. If you want to do something about this, then one thing you can do is implement some kind of collaborative support software. Agents can then work with each other to try and solve the issues at hand.
If an issue is far too complex for an agent to solve on their own, then they can tag in someone more experienced to help. Look at it in a way that there is a live thread on every ticket. Customers can submit questions and screenshots to help with their issue, and agents can then jump on who has the right experience.
The best thing about this is that it stops customers from getting frustrated and it also helps them to avoid having to explain to different people what the issue is, every single time. This is very useful, and it is a great way for you to make sure that everyone is getting the right level of support throughout the buying process.