5 Steps to Improve Customer Support
Every business has one set of customers who are the best and most valuable to the brand.
And every business has a second set of customers who are the best and most loyal to the brand but who might also be a bit less valuable.
Your best way to capture and retain both sets of customers is to invest in customer support.
Customer support works for both types of customers, but there’s one thing that separates them: A great customer service culture. And it can go a long way toward improving your bottom line.
You can have a killer customer support culture in your company without getting fancy. If you look at your customer support data from the analytics side of things, you’ll see there are a lot of actionable skills and behaviors that your team has that could be scaled up.
But we often hear business owners say, “I can’t afford to train my customer support team” – which is often the underlying belief of most small business owners.
The cost of training a remote team is often very low, but having a basic training program built into the organization from the beginning is the only true path to customer support success.
When new customers come through the door, it can take an extra minute for a support representative to kind of nurture them into a loyalty brand advocate. So, you don’t want to set up a support team that is ignorant of products and services and can’t then reinforce a user-friendly brand experience.
Instead, look at the bulk of your inbound communication as a customer onboarding process. You’re going to want to prepare and train your people to come to your consumers as experts in your brand and in your products and services – but a great customer service culture starts well before those people become members of your team.
Every support representative brings some kind of unique attributes that make them uniquely suited to help your customers. And with real customer experience leadership the organization can scale insights up into employee behaviors, communication and knowledge management.
A unified customer support framework can dramatically increase both customer success and revenue growth. You don’t have to hire people at every individual level for the support organization to be successful.
Luckily for you, there are platforms like Supportbench to help you grow your brand and scale your team in a way that gets results. Even “shy” teams can be refactored to deliver a better experience – and then scale up as needed. Now is the perfect time to get training right.
A lot of high-growth companies are growing their customer support teams, but they’re also ramping up their engagement platforms to support a growing customer experience.
Your business can succeed while never losing its long-term focus on customer satisfaction and value to your customers.
The road to a customer-centric company begins by better understanding the interests and values of your customers and making every interaction with them feel more relevant. Following an agile, iterative approach to customer support can help you change how and where you support your customers to support that effort.
Here are five tips to foster a winning customer service culture:
Listen for and actively invite feedback from your customers to understand what’s important to them and uncover opportunities to improve how you provide service. Have your customer success team play active listening to customers as you work with them to understand the performance of your products and services, identify and solve recurring challenges that may be preventing customers from reaching their goals, and better predict the next level of conversations and service visits.
2. Understand the business and your internal infrastructure
Employees, product, and business teams all have different operating requirements and goals. People are passionate about their products and services; sales teams are very motivated to increase bookings.
Sellers are incentivized to make a sale and keep their commission as an indication of product success. There are many factors that come into play that affect your service team’s success that vary from the needs of your product management team to employees’ affinity for technology and customer success resources.
Before you can help your customers, you need to first build up your customer support team to adapt to the needs of your organizations.
3. Don’t be too rigid
There are many good reasons you want to offer the highest level of customer support you can, but you need to implement a plan that works in all departments. Start by hiring for who you want to be.
When you have your ideal customer, go for it!
But not all companies want to attract customers that way. Help as many as you can, but remember that your customer success team isn’t set up for fixing problems.
Be flexible and have a plan that uses a consultative, “we’ll explain your problem to you” approach instead of a one-way mode where they’re filling in every single need the customer has with solutions.
4. Use metrics to guide your conversations
Develop a communication plan to identify bottlenecks that could limit speed of resolution. Build those metrics into your employee performance and evaluation plans.
5. Focus on quality
The easiest way to take a task off your plate is to eliminate it completely. If there’s something that you’re spending your time on that isn’t worth it or could be done quicker, start by reducing the frequency of that conversation. Make a plan to track all feedback and help sell solutions instead of solve every customer ’s issue.