Regardless of their size or stability, businesses depend on their customers. If there are no customers there will be no business. Customers on the other hand have choices–in the online world, their choices are practically endless–and if businesses want them to stick, they have to provide what customers are looking for.
But what customers are looking for?
Obviously they are looking for best quality service/product at a price they can afford, but that’s not all. They are also looking for a personalized experience and a human touch that makes them feel connected with your brand.
There will always be two or more brands offering a similar kind of service or product. What distinguishes one brand from another is the customer experience they provide. That’s why the most successful businesses today are willing to invest big chunks of money in their customer relations departments. The problem is that now everybody is offering some sort of customer service. To increase customer retention and upgrades you need to offer not just good but great customer service that people will remember and share organically. It’s about more than just solving a problem. It’s about creating brand advocates.
From Good to Great
Good customer service teams always make sure that their customers are satisfied, whereas great customer service team not only tries to make their customers happy but also make them fall in love with the brand. And they follow up with customers just to see how they’re doing.
Good support teams solve problems. Great customer service teams make sure the problem will never happen again for any of the company’s customers.
How to Convert Your Team
There are quite a few qualities that distinguish a great support team from a good one. In the rest of this post, I am going to cover some ideas that will really help you make your support team a great one.
- Believe in a Product
This is the number one idea. Before you think about customers, you have to think about the support team that you have. You need you give them access to your product or service and make sure that they personally love and understand it. Their passion will be contagious, and it won’t be based on their real experience.
If your team doesn’t have first-hand knowledge of the customer experience, no matter how good of a customer dealing skill set they have they won’t be the best in the game. I have dug into many brands that have strong customer support department and found out that they are really passionate about their product. It’s the one thing they all share. They know all the ins and outs of it, they personally love it and as a result, they don’t just solve customer problems, they truly want the customers they work with to fall in love with the product too.
In order to test this idea, try contacting a brand like EngageBay and you will get the idea of how a great customer support team, from phrasing things with casual authority to following up at just the right time.
Hint: The best customer support teams are able to solve basic technical issues without consulting with your developers or IT department. Consider this for future training.
- Set a Solid Office Business Culture
Setting a solid office business culture is important for every department in your office but especially the customer service department. If you set the open office culture where employees are motivated and feel free to share their ideas, you will encourage both collaboration and healthy competition. And your team will become great by sharing that office culture with customers. It’s a win-win.
Even if your company is a huge corporation with many layers of hierarchy, you can create smaller teams with shared values. Sometimes this is even more effective than an overall office structure at a smaller company. Either way, the important thing is that your support team is excited to come to work each day. This excitement will show in their communications with customers.
- Not a Sales Team
Many customer support teams somehow mistake themselves to be sales teams. I mean, if a user comes to you with confusion, instead of solving the problem or offering a clear answer to their questions, many businesses try to sell their product to the customer — even if the customer is already a paid user!
First of all, great customer support teams try to understand the customer’s issue instead of just talking at them.
Secondly, great customer support teams do not always wait for the confused customer to come to them. Instead, they go to the customer and ask if they are satisfied and if they need any kind of help. And they use a variety of communication tools so they can reach customers where they feel comfortable, such as email, social media, live chat or phone/Skype.
They don’t sell directly “at” customers but instead help them in their buying stage and make them feel like they are making the best possible decisions. This might not give your business an immediate sales boost, but customers will remember how you made them feel. If the feeling is good enough, they will become regular customers. And after all, increasing customer retention rates by only 5 percent generally increases profits by over 25 percent.
- The Real-Time Approach
As I said above, customers these days have alternatives and choices, so if you have a customer support team that cannot help customers them in real-time, you will very likely lose customers simply because you weren’t available as fast as they needed — or expected — help.
Good customer service companies know this secret and which is why not only on their emails and phones but on social media, live chats and every other platform (where customers are present) they stay active and as soon as a customer appears to ask any question they either answer the question or at least offer to transfer the customer to someone who can. Customers feel relaxed knowing that their voice has been heard. It builds trust and loyalty.
As you transition your pretty good support team into a truly great one, you might start by adding one new social media channel, then scaling to other platforms when you have the staff to support them. One thing you don’t want to do is create an account on a particular platform and then ignore it. That’s even worse than not being there at all.
Turning from good to great isn’t an overnight transition but if you choose the approach I’ve outlined and really work at it, you will get there. The wheels will start to turn and gain momentum and before you know it your business will have a bunch of new brand advocates.