Last updated on March 17, 2023
Salesforce research says that 89% of customers who like a company’s customer service are more likely to make a repeat purchase.. The era of “build a great product, market well and the customers will come” is over.
It is the year 2023. The customers are talking. And, to make matters worse, it’s not just their friends and family who are listening.
The age of social media means that one bad review from a popular website can have a significant impact on your sales. For example, take the infamous case of one of Britain’s largest airlines.
A Twitter user named Hasan Syed actually tweeted just to protest an airline that lost his father’s luggage on a flight.
Customer support is very important as you can see and in this blog post we will show you how you can streamline your customer support function.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, here are a few benefits of having an excellent customer support function.
Benefits of having an effective customer support team
1. Reduced deflection speed.
Investing in customer support means that customers are less likely to leave your product or service for the competition, just because they’re priced. Well… competitive!! The cost of acquiring a new customer is higher for a company that doesn’t invest in customer support, according to this Hubspot study. A reduced bounce rate means you have to spend as much money to acquire a new customer.
2. Better up-selling and cross-selling opportunities
With better customer support, your company’s credibility increases. Customers are more likely to buy from you if they hear that you care about your customer even after they’ve made a purchase. This helps your team sell and sell other products you offer. Think of good customer support as a surefire way to get customers to click on the “Also Recommended” section of an eCommerce website.
3. Better marketing opportunities
When you proactively solve your customers’ problems, they become advocates for your product, thus becoming your best marketers. In fact, according to this survey, a referral customer is far more likely to make a repeat purchase than a new customer. This is because the referring customer finds your brand more trustworthy.
4. Improved brand loyalty
Today’s customers don’t just want a good product, they expect stellar customer service. And if your customer support team is good at their job, you can expect customers to keep coming back to your product.
As this HelpScout survey shows, 89% of all customers surveyed say they would buy from a brand again if they had a positive customer experience. This just reinforces our understanding that excellent customer support is a sure way to ensure brand loyalty.
We have seen how important the customer support function is in business. Let’s now quickly learn 5 methods to overload your customer support team.
5 Ways You Can Supercharge Your Customer Support Function
1. Follow the time wasters
Any product that is built will have that one bug or feature request that the development team might miss, resulting in multiple requests for the same issue.
Do you know which of these issues is plaguing your product? If not, today is the time to dive into it.
The exercise can be as simple as categorizing frequently encountered problems in a single pane of Google Sheets. The next step would be to count the number of repeated requests for this issue and then record it in the same Google Sheet.
Here is a sample sheet that our support team uses:
Now that you’ve identified the issue that’s taking up the most time, it’s time to address this issue by fixing the bug or creating a Knowledge Base where customers can read all about it (more on that later).
Identify the problem that takes the most time. Then, proactively keep fixing it so you can free up a lot of your support team’s time. Your support team can use this time to address more difficult, one-off issues that take more time.
2. Use automation, specifically chatbots
A good way to increase the efficiency of your customer support team is to automate it. You see, support agents are people too, and most of the time they don’t want to do the same thing over and over again.
This is where automation comes in, particularly chatbots.
Here are some ways a chatbot can augment your customer support functionality:
- Chatbots can act as virtual agents, processing multiple customer inquiries and then providing instant responses. You just need to train your chatbots on the different types of queries your customers might have.
- Chatbots are available 24×7. They don’t get sick, they don’t take bathroom breaks, they don’t take vacations.
- It doesn’t have to be difficult to create and maintain a chatbot. In fact, building a chatbot has never been easier with our Kompose chatbot builder.
- You can program the chatbot to instantly redirect the customer to a resource, such as a blog post or whitepaper, for a specific query. Your customer support agents should not waste their precious time searching for these documents.
- Chatbots don’t get bored with repetitive tasks. If a question comes up multiple times in a conversation, you can always create a separate section on your website to address it.
3. Update your knowledge base
The best way to provide customer support is to let customers help themselves. Many customers don’t want to interact with a human agent or chatbot, and that’s perfectly fine.
If you update your knowledge base and keep your developer documentation clean and tidy, customers will be more than happy to find their solutions there.
But it’s not enough to just write a few blog posts or create a knowledge base of articles that you hope your customers will use.
In fact, only 37% of Coleman Parks survey respondents said they even bother using the knowledge base because they perceive it to be inaccurate or incomplete.
For your Knowledge Base to be truly successful, you need to keep it updated with the latest product offerings. It is also a good practice to add answers to frequently asked questions.
Another exercise that can help you improve your knowledge base is to ask your customers what they think. Ask them how easy it was to use your product after going through the documentation and make changes where necessary.
Your support team will be more than happy to help improve the knowledge base. This is because they are faced with customer inquiries on a daily basis. In the end, you save time, money, and let the world know how great your product really is.
4. Make training a priority
One of the pillars of a good customer support team is excellent product knowledge. If your support team knows the product inside and out, they will be able to respond quickly to customer inquiries.
Salesforce research sheds interesting light on the importance of having knowledgeable customer support agents. According to research, 63% of customers in a B2C environment expect a business to know their unique needs and expectations.
This percentage rises to 76% when it comes to B2B buyers. If you properly train your customer support agents, they can act as a powerful catalyst for selling your product.
In our own organization, we use separate Slack channels where support agents post their queries and developers work to resolve them. These are open channels and all team members are encouraged to visit these channels once in a while.
We’ve also created a separate page on Confluence where developers comment on how agents on our support team can respond to queries. We review this page every month to make sure our support team is always learning new things.
Support agents are also given regular refresher courses on new product developments. This will help them serve customers better.
5. Hire the right people
This is the last item on our list, but it certainly deserves to be right up there at the top. The right people on the team can make or break your company. After all, a company is only as good as its employees.
When hiring for a customer support agent, there are a few key qualities to keep in mind.
- Compassionate. A good customer support agent should empathize with their customers and see the customer’s problems as their own.
- Patient. Support is about human emotions and a good customer support agent has a high degree of patience.
- Flexible. Being in customer support, an agent needs to be flexible with both customers and the employer. There may be times when customer support agents have to work double shifts, and the best agents do it with a smile on their face.
- Interest. As we mentioned earlier, a knowledgeable customer support agent is an asset to the team and is always interested in learning new things. An attitude of lifelong learning is a must to survive not only as a support agent, but as a professional.
And there you have it, folks. Five ways to increase the effectiveness of your customer support team. Here is a quick summary of the five methods.
- Follow the time wasters
- Use automation, specifically chatbots
- Update your knowledge base.
- Make training a priority
- Hire the right people
Follow these steps and see your customer support team at the highest level.
In “Communication”.we imagine a global customer support solution to power a new era of customer support. We’d love for you to come along to experience Kommunicate first-hand. You can sign up here and start delighting your customers right away.