Customer support is the subset of customer service in charge of solving issues that customers face when dealing with your product. For SaaS, technology, or e-commerce companies, the IT support team or Help Desk is usually responsible for creating and processing tickets and helping users solve technical issues. These support teams need to be prepared to assist through phone calls, support tickets, emails, and more importantly, live chats. As a result, customers’ expectations of great support continue to grow and promise to reach new levels in 2022.
Modern online users want platforms that are responsive and adaptable to their needs — a quick reply won’t do it for them anymore. That “Aha” moment is not only the responsibility of the customer service department; it is now a key objective for any support team, whether it’s SaaS or e-commerce. Although software companies can reach a considerable number of consumers, you can ensure long-term success for your business if you plan for great customer support.
This article will cover:
- What is great customer support?
- Why is customer support important?
- What are the main characteristics of great customer support?
What is great Customer Support?
To answer this question, we first need to distinguish between customer support and customer service. Whereas customer service focuses on the whole customer journey — starting as a customer and ending as a loyal one — customer support aims at solving issues that may occur related to product use. In other words, traditionally customer service is proactive, whereas customer support is reactive. If you want to make your customer support great, you’ll need to make it proactive.
Let’s imagine that a business is looking for an automation platform to help them speed up daily time-consuming tasks. They sign up for a month’s free trial and find that one of the features isn’t working properly. They head over to your website and find an email and phone number as the main contact information. After calling several times with no success, they finally get hold of you, and you’re able to solve the issue within the next 30 minutes.
Although you have solved the problem, you did so with a reactive approach. A proactive approach would entail a FAQs site, video tutorials, or a live chat where the customer could find the answer to the problem quickly and on their own terms. Speed and personalization have now become key in order to successfully solve users’ issues.
Why is Customer Support important?
Nowadays, any type of business can benefit from a system that anticipates and resolves pain points for their customers. Let’s see the main advantages of having a proactive customer support system:
- Increase customer retention. A customer support team that provides timely and complete solutions to existing customers will help increase their retention rate. Investing in customer retention strategies has proven to be more profitable than spending your budget acquiring new customers.
- Define business reputation. Customer support is a direct channel of communication with your clients, so it’s a great opportunity to control your brand image. In addition to social media channels, an email or a phone call can also help you manage your reputation.
- Get referrals from satisfied customers. Luckily, positivity also spreads. If your customers have had an exceptional experience with a company, they’re likely to share it with their family and friends.
- Loyal customers will pay more. By continuing to give support to loyal customers you’re letting them know that you are just as committed to them. This strengthens the relationship further and increases the level of trust, leading to upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
- Gain direct customer feedback. Instead of sending numerous surveys on customer satisfaction and experience, the support team can ask direct questions to customers. This will not only lead to valuable insights into product use and success, but it will also make customers feel part of the company.
What are the main characteristics of great support?
You should always remember that this department is responsible for assisting customers during pain points, so you need to make sure you’re available at the right time, right place, and with the right message. You could summarize the main characteristics of great customer support as:
- Quick, personal, and resolute. It doesn’t matter whether it was brought to your attention by email, phone, or Facebook; your team should always be ready to respond quickly with a valuable answer. Even if you cannot solve the issue straight away, the customer should know that you’re taking action.
- Product or customer success platforms. These represent an optimal solution for any business, especially if you belong to the software and e-commerce industry. You can use metrics related to customer success and product success to understand how your customers experience the product and value it. You can then use these insights to either improve the product or anticipate future technical issues.
- Valuable Content. Whether it’s an email or a help center article, you need to make sure that the information is actually valuable to the customer — it’s not enough for your business to perceive it as valuable. For example, product success platforms offer insights into product usability, which you can use to plan for video tutorials, glossaries, or feature-specific content. Simply make sure that the tone and voice are aligned with the brand and that it is easily accessible to most users.
- Flexible strategy. If your business grows, so will your customers. To ensure long-term success for your business, you’ll need to adapt your strategy to an evolving and growing audience. Once again, product success platforms are a great way to gain insights into this type of information.
In conclusion, we’ve seen how quickly customer support strategies have had to up their game in the last decade. From responding to pain points to having to anticipate these to meet user expectations. A proactive approach involves providing your customers with self-service tools such as FAQs site, video tutorials, or help centers where they can resolve the issues in their time.
Although the modern user is still impatient, you’ll have to give them more than quick answers – personalized treatment continues to be at the forefront of customer satisfaction. Product success platforms, such as FROGED, can help you reach the right balance between speed and personalization and achieve the proactive approach that your customers are expecting. This platform represents aan omnichannel communication system where you can store information on customer feedback on product updates.
If you want to learn more about Product Flows, read 3 ways Product Flows lead to more Proactive Customer Support.