There is financial gain for any business that wants to have open communication with their customers. Customer support teams help your company achieve this because they help your customers feel valued when they approach them in a personal and caring way.
Customer support representatives deal with customers consistently to provide them with information about services and products and to make sure they are happy with their purchases.
What Is Customer Support?
Customer support is compiled of various services a business offers its customers to help them take advantage of all the features a product has and to resolve their problems.
Customer support is made up of many aspects, like providing assistance with troubleshooting, onboarding, answering customer questions, responding to customer concerns, and assisting customers with service or product upgrades.
The Evolution of Customer Support
Customer support is a relatively new discipline that has emerged from the core ideas of customer service. The new customer support is positioned as the face of a company and is viewed as a highly important part of sales, whereas traditional customer service was viewed as a cost.
Here are some other characteristics of the new customer support:
- Agents are empowered to handle complex questions and requests without needing managerial approval.
- Help is available for customers at any time on multiple channels.
- Customer support teams collaborate with product teams and participate in decision making.
- There are more opportunities for growth, rather than it being a dead-end customer service job.
- Customer support metrics are tied to the company’s goals.
Although the ideas behind customer support are still evolving, many believe that it should morph into an extension of marketing and growth. To begin building a great customer support team, you need to know what great customer support is made of.
8 Elements of Great Customer Support
Great customer support experiences begin with making personal connections with your customers during conversational interactions. Any experience your customer has with your support team should exhibit at least some of these eight aspects:
Answering your customers’ questions and concerns in a timely manner is a good way to provide great customer support.
Customers often want the right answer or solution to their issues right away, and while this isn’t always realistic, businesses should strive to offer alternative solutions if staff members aren’t available right away.
For example, some businesses provide automated tools or FAQ pages to help customers when a live person isn’t available.
If you want to ensure a well-paced response time at your company, try tracking average response times to see if your customer support team is hitting the goals you set.
Having customer support available to your customers according to their schedules and needs is important to keep in mind. Some customer support centers stay open for their customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Others are only open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
With good customer support coverage comes being available when the business is open for customer inquiries. Answering customer calls and questions and keeping firm deadlines helps to delight the customers.
3. Expertise and Quality
Your customer support team should have sufficient training and experience to provide quality care according to your business’ needs.
For instance, customer support specialists should speak to customers with the proper voice and tone, and they should know how to fix a variety of problems using the tools you have provided for them.
A quality customer support team member is fast, resilient, and empathetic, and they thrive under pressure while maintaining an optimistic attitude.
Customer support team members should provide consistent service to customers.
This means they must treat all customers the same way every time across multiple channels to ensure quality. This shows that they are dependable and organized, which helps build a trusting relationship with your customers.
A customer can tell the difference between someone who is being genuine over the phone and someone who isn’t.
Customers are more likely to be pleasant and satisfied with your service if they trust what you say and if you follow through on your word. Your best customer support team members know how to set expectations and deliver on what they promise.
Most importantly, that honesty comes with a sense of authenticity. When your team truly cares about supporting your customers, you will see a big difference in both team performance and customer satisfaction.
In today’s world, convenience is everything. Customers don’t like to wait for the things they need.
While live customer support isn’t always possible, you can continue to provide your customers with a good experience. Some of the most effective support channels include email, chat, phone, and social media.
With so many ways to communicate using technology, you should make sure your customer support provides the utmost convenience to your customers by allowing them to use multiple channels to engage with customers.
Engaged customer support agents are empowered to make decisions that help the customer. Good customer support involves treating the customer as a person and not as a process.
When you help your team understand this difference, they're better equipped to stay fully present during every customer interaction.
Personalization helps to steer customer behavior in a positive direction for your business. Support that personalizes the experience for the customer encourages them to buy more products or services, and they stay customers longer.
Some of the elements mentioned may make you think about how you retain and attract customers, but there are more ways that your customer support team helps grow your business and drives revenue.
How Your Customer Support Team Drives Revenue
Your customer support team is your public face and one of the driving forces behind your revenue. Here are some ways your customer support team fuels revenue:
Solicit Feedback and Reviews.
Feedback and reviews on your products and services can help to draw more customers to your business. Customer support agents generally ask the individuals they help to submit reviews based on their service, a product, or the company as a whole.
Too often customers submit reviews based on really bad or really good experiences, and they leave no reviews for neutral service.
This means that exceptional customer support will bring in a steady flow of good reviews. Make sure your customer support team knows how to accurately solicit feedback so that your customers feel the urge to share their experience.
For example, you may offer some small incentives for customers that take the time to submit a review. Or you can send out emails after someone has made a purchase to ask them to share their opinion.
Good reviews equal an increase in new customers and increases in revenue.
Gain New Customers and Retain Current Ones.
One negative experience can turn a customer away from your company for life. However, various positive experiences often result in low customer churn and a high customer lifetime value.
People want to conduct business with companies that make them feel good and valued. They have so many options for businesses to work with, and you and your customer support team should treat them as a privilege, not as a right.
This way, they'll stay loyal to your company and your brand. The best way to do this is to instill a service-first attitude in not only your customer support team but in all of your team members.
A study conducted by Bain & Company mentions that even a five percent boost in retention rates can increase the profits for your business by about 25 to 95 percent.
Increase Incremental Revenue.
Customer support teams often help customers that have some issue with the product or service your business is providing.
But just because a customer calls with an issue doesn’t mean that the agent can’t create a relationship moment that results in opportunities to delight the customer. For example, they could be offering warranty extensions, promotions, new packages, or some other item they can upsell.
The best customer support agents make the request for another sale seem friendly as though they want to help the customer out.
If you train your customer support team well, they can become experts at upselling and cross-selling and help you increase the incremental revenue for your business.
Boost Word of Mouth Sales.
Your customer support team has the potential to create meaningful moments with customers through positive engagements. These engagements can take place over the phone, through email, in-person, or on social media.
When a customer has a positive engagement, they are likely to share information about your company with their friends, family, and others over social media. Many companies have taken up responding to customer complaints and concerns over social media sites like Twitter.
For instance, Publix has customer support specialists that respond to requests on Twitter, and those with good experiences often share the tweets with all of their followers.
Command a Higher Price.
Ratings are important to help close a sale. Shoppers may be hesitant to buy a cheaper product or service if the customer support ratings or reviews from their peers are bad.
Most shoppers tend to put their faith in what the crowd says about their experiences with a company, and you can use this insight to benefit your company.
When you focus your development efforts on your support team to encourage the best support and service, you can ensure that your ratings will go up.
Once customers recognize your world-class customer support, they will be more willing to pay premium prices. This helps to differentiate you from your competitors while driving revenue.
There is so much your company can gain if you deliver the best customer support you possibly can. Once your customer care is perfected, you are sure to be on your way to excellent customer feedback and increased revenue.