Today Hari Prasad, support consultant at Sigma Technology, shares his thoughts on building superior customer service and how it influences business growth. Hari is a Global Team Leader who successfully manages a team of 22 experts across 4 global sites. He has solid experience with customer support projects at international companies like Volvo Group and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
WHY IS IT ESSENTIAL FOR BUSINESSES TO HAVE GOOD CUSTOMER SUPPORT SERVICE?
Effective and compelling interactions with customers help build trustful relationships, gain loyalty, and lay the foundation for a long-term growth strategy. Yet, while business consultants talk about the importance of customer satisfaction year over year, some companies still consider support solutions as extra expenses rather than an opportunity. HubSpot’s State of Customer Service 2020 showed that even more companies overlook an opened window for a better tomorrow.
Though, such a slight increase may be cause of financial difficulties that occurred in 2020. To allay fears, let’s take a deeper look at the topic and highlight the most critical points on why businesses have to invest in support services and educate the team.
The acquisition is ALWAYS more expensive than retention
A happy customer becomes a brand advocate and has a lifetime value to a company that’s 600 to 1,400% that of those who weren’t satisfied with the interaction with the business and bounced. That’s why keeping existing customers is always more valuable than acquiring new ones. Moreover, happy customers will refer others.
High industry competition directly influences the customers’ higher expectations
It was also stated in Hubspot’s State of Customer Service 2020 report that today’s customers have higher expectations than even a year before.
High competition in each market forces companies to rethink their retention strategies and invest more in customer care teams.
Negative experience hinders the successful work of sales and marketing teams
Negative reviews and feedback harm the brand and can hinder the operations of sales and marketing teams. They have to make additional attempts to work with objections and concerns rather than attract new customers and focus on their needs.
Existing clients are 50% likely to try new products
Happy customers with positive product experiences will be more eager to try new products and recommend them to others, helping businesses promote new features. Moreover, according to Salesforce, 67% of existing customers would pay more to get a better experience.
Feedback from the customer interactions with the product serves as a room for updates and gaps discovery
And last but not least, the support team works directly with customers and hears them without any extra projections. In other words, they gather and process a significant volume of precious data that uncovers weaknesses of the product and allows it to eliminate them quickly. It helps kill two birds with a single stone: build trust with the customers and polish up the product to deliver more value.
IS IT NECESSARY FOR SMALL COMPANIES OR STARTUPS?
Customer support is one of the main pillars for smaller companies or startups to gain trust from new customers as they use their products/services. The reasons for creating a CS team are working both for mid-sized companies and for small companies and startups.
Take an example, when a customer wants to try a new electronic gadget from a new XYZ company and buys the device, the two most important things the customer expects are to have a quality product and excellent customer support. How companies provide support to their products has an impact as much as the quality of the products.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN POINTS OF EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SUPPORT?
Care, concern, and service-minded attitude make support exceptional. But what do we imply under these words? Let’s firstly take a look at the company where customer care excellence is weaved into the corporate DNA, which, in its turn, enabled reaching $1 billion in sales in less than 10 years. The name of this company is Zappos. Zappos is an American online shoe and clothing retailer with exceptional values:
“Our purpose is simple: to live and deliver WOW”
Such attitude led a company to incredible results: 75% of purchases were made by returning customers, and repeat customers ordered more than 2.5 times every 12 months, 43% of new consumers came via word of mouth and recommendation.
That’s the brightest example of a service-minded company making exceptional customer support. Your customers should never have a feeling of being neglected. For this, the CS team should follow the simple rules:
- know the product perfectly
- be polite, careful, and attentive
- personal approach to each customer
- respond quickly and provide status updates if the issue can’t be resolved at once
- ask for feedback
Besides, the company itself should also consider a thoroughly thought-out self-service solution, where customers can quickly access the FAQs and product information. The synergy of the efficient customer service team and a self-service solution will boost the company’s success!
WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND FOR THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE JUST STARTING TO BUILD CUSTOMER SUPPORT SOLUTIONS?
My recommendations would be:
- Thoroughly understand the product/service offered along with the desired market
- Adapt the customer support process, structure, and team based on your needs
- Have people with a service-minded attitude be the face of the customer support team and the company
- Constantly analyze the customers’ feedback after interaction with the CS team and make changes to be better every single day
- Don’t save on your team education activities
- Strive to build an omnichannel customer support
Exceptional, caring, personalized customer service is a tremendous competitive advantage that performs as a secret spell for successful companies. No matter what industry you are in, what you offer to the client – a service or a product, customer care is the heart and face of your business.