Offering a truly remarkable customer support experience has gotten harder and harder, it seems. Why? Companies have found strategies that work and have stuck with them throughout the years.
While in some cases this can be fruitful (such as in highly volatile industries like retail or for companies with high brand loyalty), that’s not always the case. There are two types of companies who lose out on this type of strategy:
- In more mature companies, your customer base is constantly changing. What worked last year may not work this year;
- If you’re a young company, you need to differentiate and stand out from the crowd.
Do either of these situations sound like you? If so, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
We’re sharing our four favorite methods to amp up your customer support strategy from standard to superior.
Add value to communication
Follow-up emails, remembering birthdays, and buy 9 get the 10th free deals have been around forever. Staying in touch genuinely and with items or services of value is not a new idea, but it’s the most vital piece to any customer support puzzle. Customer satisfaction increases if your approach is memorable, so try something unexpected to stand out from the rest of the companies competing for their attention and loyalty.
Send a physical, handwritten snail-mail postcard to your customers for big anniversaries (like if they’ve been part of your loyalty program for 5 years) or after they’ve made an exceptionally large purchase. Utilize popular social media channels to interact in real time, host giveaways or publicize special promotions (Instagram and SnapChat are great new channels for businesses!) The more unexpected and unique the approach is, the better.
Create an experience that leaves the customer with more value by incentivizing actions or purchases. Thank loyal customers or those who have been repeat customers for years by providing them a special discount or coupon code for their next order, or give them a complimentary free upgrade on shipping. If you can surprise your customers and keep them happy, they’ll become and stay repeat customers for the long haul.
Ask for feedback and input
Customers love to tell you what they think, but they also love to feel heard. They won’t just start unloading their thoughts about your product or service if they don’t think that their comments are being taken into account. Surveys are a great gauge to quickly understand how your customers feel about your product, service, and company, and to quickly zero in on areas of improvement.
If you’re comfortable or have a previously established relationship with a customer, take this a step further and beef up their feedback opportunity. Ask them if they’d like to test a new product, be apart of a focus group, or if they’ll share their expertise on a topic your company is looking for input on.
Empower your employees
Often overlooked but possibly the most important item on this list is employee empowerment. While it sounds backwards, focusing attention on your employees if you want to improve your customer support, is actually fixing the root of the problem. Employees who feel undervalued, overworked, or otherwise unsure of themselves or their abilities are less likely to be helpful when a customer has a problem.
Carefully train your employees on your product so they are completely comfortable and confident when dealing with customers on the phone and can accurately answer questions. Cultivate an atmosphere of open communication – encourage employees to come to you or their team lead with any problems, issues, or questions that arise, and make it easy for them to do so. And most importantly, require accountability for their actions and give them the discretion to problem solve on their own.
If you can't do it, outsource it
Don’t be afraid to outsource your customer support efforts. It can be a little unsettling to delegate a vital piece of your business to an outside company, but the benefits are enormous. Not only are these individuals professionally trained and highly educated, customer support is all they do. Unlike you, they don’t have to focus on a slew of other tasks throughout the day, so they can devote their full time and attention to making sure your customers are nothing short of happy. Check out these tips to learn how to select the best kind of outsourced support solution for you.
Improve your current customer support strategy and stand out from the rest by finding new ways to keep in touch and stay at the forefront of the customer’s mind, asking for feedback and do something with it, empowering support employees, and outsourcing help if you need to.