We all know it: Customer Experience is and always has been one of the pillars of successful business. Happy customers become your biggest marketing assets. They provide genuine observations about your company to prospective customers, and your customers often try and upsell your company. They are better than any marketing team or sales effort. Armed with this knowledge, it would be wise to take a hard look at your customer support and ensure that they are providing the absolute highest quality services that they can to your customers. Your champion customers will spread the word of incredible customer service, and often that is the tipping point to convert a prospective customer into a closed deal. Here are 6 tasks you can do right now to improve customer support, and watch the new deals rain down.
- Personalize your interactions with everyone who interacts with your business. If you have sales scripts or customer support scripts, tear them up and get rid of them. Scripts are restrictive and prevent your employees from providing genuine guidance about your goods and services. A prime example is the flight industry – how many times have flights been delayed and customers left unsatisfied, uninformed, and generally very aggravated? Customer support specialists at the desks sit uselessly because the technology meant to improve a customer’s experience is preventing them from providing much needed support. Cut the paperwork, cut the Kafkaesque support software, and adopt a more human approach.
- Be Fast. Amazon can provide live support on their tablets in 8 seconds. Now, you will not be able to be this good. Amazon is freakishly good at customer support and will eventually rule the planet. What you can do is ensure that your customers are not on hold. If you have to put them on hold, make sure it is afterthey have spoken to someone. Also make sure they know the exact time that they will be waiting. People do not like waiting around for support, they are already mad that there is a problem with your product. This is the opportunity to delight your customer. Show them that you genuinely want to help and treat them like a human. Your support of the customer should never end after the sale is closed.
- Be Clear. Give your customers clear line of sight to the post-sale services you offer. Train them in how to solve some easy problems themselves with infographics and easy-to-digest training regimes. Give them email addresses and phone numbers so that they can contact exactly who they need to contact. Tell them what each support specialty can do, so they know who to call. This will not only speed up the customer support ticket, but your customer will feel proactive and accomplished. They will feel like you were proactive, as well. You provided information before there was a problem.
- Listen. All businesses send out surveys. Make sure your customers know you’re listening. Make a point to reach out and personalize your interactions that result from surveys. If you send out an NPS, make sure that you take special care for anyone who gave you below a 7. Give people who gave you a 9 or a 10 some free stuff (Cupcakes are a great idea….). Aim to turn 7’s and 8’s into 9’s and 10’s by offering special deals to them. Above all of this, really pay attention to what the problems are. Fix them.
- Be Everywhere. If you only have one or two channels for customer support, you need to expand! Only having phone and email support options can serious limit the effect of your support. Offer an app, if that fits your model. Be active on social media and listen when your customers interact with you. What if they want to physically visit your business? Do you offer a live chat service. There are so many options that the more you offer, the more your customer will feel like they have a voice.