Increasing your Customer Support to higher levels is critical for companies who hope to not only survive, but thrive.
It’s not enough to simply focus on improving your customer support practices to keep your customers content, you must also have a strategy to turn those same customers into raving fans.
In order to accomplish this you need to be focusing on human emotion and the role you play in your customer’s lives.
Start Your Customer Support with your internal customer
Begin with your employees or collaborators.
Hire only the best people
There are some truly great individuals out there who would be a real asset to your company, however, the majority of employers place all of their focus on the resumes and they miss out on the best possible candidates. Focus rather on attitude and train for skills. Hire people that share your same values, that want to learn and expand within your company, and who are committed to their own personal development and growth.
Social media and word of mouth can be a key asset in growing your Customer Support team. Pay more attention to the candidates that are referred to you by one of your team members as this will help ensure a perfect culture fit for your company.
Expand your training beyond knowledge
Every employee should know the procedures and systems of their company, but the most important aspect to focus on is for them to learn how to own the process and make it their own. To have the tools available for them to dig deeper and help “wow” a customer, and to give them freedom to collaborate with their own personal touch.
Time management skills are basic for any team as well
Motivation, meaning and engagement
Company managers mistakenly believe that money is a great motivator for their employees. Money does in fact help us to take care of our needs, but it truly isn’t a crucial motivator. It’s more beneficial for your employees to know that everything they do every day will have a direct impact on someone’s life (good, bad, or indifferent). Do not allow your Customer Support teams to think in terms of “dealing with customers”, but rather that they have the choice every day to improve another person’s experience by acting as a “solutions provider”.
This is powerful.
Just like doing your market research to know what motivates your customers to keep returning and buying your products or services, you must also know what moves your employees. What are their passions and dreams? Once you know that, you do everything in your power to help them reach their personal goals. When you serve your employees in this way, they do the same for your customers.
Love is contagious.
This will also create a bond between them and your company, and the more engaged they feel, the better the energy they will bring to your customers.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes
I know that this should be a no-brainer, but we often forget to ask ourselves how we would like to be treated when we are looking for product or service support. Make a list of what YOU expect in customer service, and then spend some time thinking about the companies you deal with that deliver this feeling to you.
This sounds very basic, but we sometimes forget to ask how we would like to be treated when looking for support.
Consider why consumers are willing to shop and spend their money at more expensive places when they can get the same products or services from a less pricier alternative.
It’s all about the customer experience and the people who work there. If the employees have a good attitude, like you’re always greeted with a smile and everyone is genuinely willing to help you (not just because it’s part of their job description), it provides you with a sense of familiarity every time you shop with them. It’s like spending time with ‘family’. You feel welcome, you know they care, and you are drawn to return over and over to repeat the experience.
Simple is better
As business owners we are always running around with 50 tabs open in our brains and several others stuck on buffering. There are more things on our to-do lists than we really have time for. So when we create products and services for our customers, it’s important to think of ways to make it as simple and as inviting as possible. People truly appreciate this and continue to come back for more.
Customers do not want to learn the equivalent of a Master’s degree in order to use your product. They come for the experience you give them. The more user-friendly, the better it is for them.
Applied feedback and adaptability
Customer feedback is quite literally gold. It allows your company to know exactly what people want and how they want it, which in turn leads towards a better overall customer experience.
Implement technology within your business that opens as many different channels of communication for support, so the customer will always have a choice to talk to you in a way that they are most comfortable with. Consider implementing a call center, online chat service, and emails to fit every customer need.
When it comes to product or service creation, keep an open mind and continue to explore the ways you can provide what your customers want, not what you want to sell them.
Before you unleash and launch a product or service to your marketplace, ensure that everyone within your organization knows what it’s about. Clear all paths of internal communication so the message the customer receives is clear for them to understand.
Define clear sets of rules regarding your offer- the price, refund policies, discounts, bonuses and features of your product. Prepare your team for various scenarios that they may encounter during the sales and support processes for your new product or service, to ensure they are empowered and prepared to make decisions that will help improve the customer journey.
Clarity = empowered employees = happier customers.
6. Communication between your customer support team and your customers
Technology is a huge part of our modern everyday lives, but it is also taking over our relationships by replacing the human connection with mechanical and automated help. People don’t want automated answers when they need answers or help. When they call your company, they want to talk to a friend, not a robot.
In every customer interaction, when you take the time to listen to what the customer wants and what they’re feeling, and answer with an open heart, your customers appreciate it more than you know.
Establishing a real human connection is crucial for all businesses. This is what transforms a good company into a stellar one.
We all make mistakes from time to time. Don’t sweat it. But when you make a mistake, take the time to apologize to your customers and take immediate action to make it up to them.
Your customers made a conscious choice to choose you above your competitors. Find little ways to let them know how much you appreciate them for making that choice. This is necessary for both your external customers (the ones spending money with you), as well as your internal ones (employees). Showing gratitude reinforces that they made the right choice in joining your family.
Everyone has something special they want. Make sure you know what this is (by asking questions and getting feedback), then pack it up, and deliver it to them. Just by showing that you and your company cares, you could just shift another person’s life completely.
By following these tips your company can become a leader in Customer Support and increase your retention rates.