Customer support is crucial to business success, regardless of the industry you operate in. Resolving customer issues will dictate whether or not users will keep doing business with you or move their business elsewhere. The level of support you provide contributes to the whole customer experience (CX).
Nowadays, price and product are no longer the differentiators of brands. You need to include the customer experience also. According to the 2017 Gartner Customer Experience in Marketing Survey, 81% of marketing leaders responsible for customer experience say they will compete mostly or entirely based on CX, but only 22% have exceeded customer expectations. It is very clear that customer experience will become a game-changer in the coming years.
Excellent customer experience starts with delivering great customer support. Transforming customer support into an extraordinary experience will lead to customer retention and acquisition. But how do you know if your customer support needs fixing? Read on and take your customer support to the next level.
- Why Is Fixing Customer Support Important?
- Signs That Your Customer Support Needs Fixing
- Factors That Affect Your Customer Support Strategy
- How To Fix Customer Support Issues
Let’s get started.
Why is Fixing Customer Support Important?
Businesses face a new breed of customers. They have high expectations from your customer service. In an era of social media, unsatisfied customers can quickly share a bad experience on Facebook or Twitter. A PwC survey revealed that 1 in 3 customers would leave a brand they love after one bad experience, and 92% would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions. In addition, even if you provide a positive customer experience 9 out of 10 times, that one time could be detrimental to your business.
Fixing customer support isn’t about finding quick fixes but adopting a systematic and careful approach to resolving issues. While a temporary solution can be a swift and straightforward way to resolve the issue, you can get the brunt of that hasty fix in the long run. If you are still wondering why fixing customer support is important, here are some reasons it is:
1. It reduces customer churn
Research reveals that customers will not contact customer support unless necessary. They will first try it themselves, and if they fail, that’s the only time they will contact your customer support.
When your customer support can resolve a complex issue they have been struggling to resolve, you gain their trust and reduce your churn rate. A recent survey revealed that resolving customer issues at first engagement prevents 67% of customer churn.
2. It improves the customer experience
Most customers don’t have the luxury of time when visiting your website, so don’t make it hard for them. Customers hope that you can resolve their issue as quickly as possible with minimum effort. By fixing customer support, you will address their concern quickly and make it convenient for them.
Quickly responding to their issues will always be valued and remembered by your customers. Your ability to act quickly on their issue will give your customer experience a big shot in the arm.
3. It saves you and your customers time
Your agents may have a lot on their bucket list already that they may not work efficiently anymore. Their hands may already be tied. With excellent customer support, they will save their time by providing the best possible solution quickly.
Look at similar issues that customers have faced in the past and implement regular documentation of your customer support process to come up with ways to speed up issue resolution. It will not only save your agent’s time but also that of your customers.
Signs That Your Customer Support Needs Fixing
Over time, your customer support strategy will no longer be as effective as the first time you started. However, you need to identify which area of customer support needs fixing. You can’t implement solutions that don’t need fixing in the first place. So make sure to assess the current state of your strategy. Here are signs you need to be aware of that your customer support needs some refresh.
1. You rarely or never have repeat customers
Your customers don’t have the time and energy to complain about their dissatisfaction with your customer service. They just will leave and take their business elsewhere. Just because customers did not complain does not mean they are satisfied. In fact, only 1 out of 26 customers complain, and the remaining 25 will just churn.
Customers don’t feel like taking surveys or contacting customer care, so you will most likely not know your customers’ true feelings. So it is important to always check up on your customers and see if they are happy with your service. If your churn rate suddenly increases, it may mean that it’s time to reboot your customer support strategy.
2. You Ignore The Big Issues
The fact that a customer calls customer service about your product or service only means that it is not user-friendly. Nothing can be more exasperating to a customer than putting them on hold for a long time. While it usually works out, the experience does not have to be difficult.
Get down to the root cause of the problem and find the best solution. Adding more reps to answer the phone is not the best solution as it will only result in the customer having to call customer service repeatedly to have their issue resolved. Aim to solve the problem at first contact and don’t ignore the deeper issues.
3. You Focus Too Much on Turnaround Times
Most businesses aspire to deliver customer service in the quickest possible time. “Faster” does not necessarily mean “better.” While your customer service team will aim to solve problems quickly, you need to address them thoroughly.
Your agents may be able to handle 100 or more customer concerns daily, but it means nothing if the customer does not feel that their issue was not truly resolved.
4. More Than One Person Is Supporting A Customer
With business growth, you will need a team for customer support. However, emails are usually designed to be used by one person. Although it can be effective for one-to-one or one-to-many communication, using a shared email isn’t always effective for multiple team members communicating with customers.
Multiple people using the same email account can create confusion, like who is reading an email, answering inquiries, or responding. Emails could easily get lost and routed to the different departments. This could result in agent collision, which is when multiple agents work on the same case.
5. Not Everyone Knows The Process
Every client-facing member of your team should be well versed with the customer service interface without being automatically shunted off to the different departments. It is important for your team to fully understand the entire sales life cycle and how customers interact.
Each member of the team should be knowledgeable about how to handle customer problems effectively. Provide them the necessary training and knowledge so that they can be better equipped with handling different situations.
6. You Are Blaming Customers
This is a big no-no. Never blame your customers for something that isn’t their fault in the first place. Accept responsibility for customer service issues. If a customer is upset, it is rarely their fault. If it is the fault of the customer, treat them with humility and respect.
Let’s say that a customer received a defective product they ordered from your company and asking for a replacement, don’t point fingers but instead take control of the situation. Effective customer support avoids the blame game. By taking responsibility, you will diffuse tension and make a sale and retain the customer.
Indicators That You Need Customer Support Refresh
If you want to know if your customer support needs a reboot, here are some channels you can explore.
1. Customer Churn Rate
Customers have more choices today than ever before and it is easier to switch brands right away. So if your customer experience doesn’t measure up to their expectations, they can quickly leave and do business with your competitor. If your churn rate suddenly increases and your customer base is dwindling, you may need to rethink your strategy.
2. Negative Customer Feedback
Today’s customers have different avenues where they can share their frustrations. According to the PwC Future of Customer Experience Survey, 32% of customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience. Instead, they will share their frustrations on third-party review sites and social networks.
3. Customer Satisfaction Metrics
Who better to provide an insight into your service than the customers themselves? There are several ways you can measure customer satisfaction, such as:
- Post-purchase surveys
- Brand-related conversations on social media
- Net Promoter Score
- One-to-one chats with the client
Although the best avenues to explore will depend on your company, monitoring customer satisfaction will help determine whether your customer support needs improvement.
4. Employee Feedback
Your customer service reps can best provide you an understanding of the daily operations of your company. They can give good feedback that can help you decide when you need a customer support refresh. They can provide you the following information:
- Amount of time they can resolve issues
- Number of people who contact them with the same issues
- Complaints about missing customer service channels
- Issues with the current business strategy
5. Industry Trends
Sometimes it’s not because there is something wrong with your business but because your customer needs are changing. In today’s business environment, what worked in the past may no longer be effective with today’s customers. You may need to adjust your strategies to the current market trends. Look for examples of what superior customer service looks like at businesses around the world.
Tips On How To Fix Customer Support
When it comes to fixing your customer support, there’s no one-size-fits-all. It will all depend on your niche, business, and customers. Here are some tips on how to do a reboot of your customer support strategy.
Focus on Your Customers
Being “customer-centric” means building a strategy revolving around the needs and desires of your customers. You should have a “customer-first” mindset and work on improving the customer experience. If the changes you are planning will only add value to your business and not the customer experience, it will not resonate with your target audience.
Set Clear Objectives & Metrics to Track
When refreshing customer service, you should clearly define the improvements you wish to see. Saying “we need better customer service” will not suffice. You need to be specific with what you want to achieve and how to measure your success.
Analyze Customer Interactions
One of the most effective ways to determine what you need to change in customer support is to look back at previous interactions between customers and your brand. Map each interaction your customers might have along their customer journey and evaluate how you can improve it while aligning it with your goals.
Upgrade Customer Service Tools
For your customer support to succeed, you need to provide your team with the appropriate customer support tools. Even if you only serve a handful of customers, having the right tools can make a huge difference. It will help your customer service team to deliver a speedy response.
A good customer support tool is a help desk. It will not only centralize your incoming inquiries but also distribute them to available team members. At the same time, it will help recall past cases for your team to review the history.
Customer support is dynamic and constantly changing. For your company to deliver the best customer experience, you need to assess and tweak your strategy regularly. Identifying these signs and overcoming them can help you provide an exceptional customer experience.
Outsource Your Customer Support with airisX
Companies come to us to optimize existing customer support channels and/or to leverage new ones. We focus on incorporating existing processes into your desired channels and help you scale to other ones as your requirements grow.
We offer email support from simple ticketing to complex troubleshooting, voice support in multiple languages, and chat for instant response. Our team can also handle social media management and SMS/text support and help clients bridge the gap. Finally, our in-app support helps reduce customer attrition.