There is nothing worse than losing customers after burning scarce resources trying to convert leads. It is especially bad for startups that often have to work with limited resources during the early stages of the business.
In many ways, good customer service is a major pillar of a successful startup. The quality of customer service within an organization determines how customers will relate to the brand. With more customers identifying with your brand, your business is more likely to succeed in a competitive business environment.
Still, establishing a robust customer service system comes with its own set of challenges. Early stage startups with limited resources often experience challenges when trying to keep up with customer inquiries, anticipating their needs, and tailoring services to suit each customer’s individual needs.
Fortunately, there are tons of tools that startups can use to help manage the customer service department. In the section below, we look at some of the best tools in the market to help startups streamline their customer service operations without breaking the bank.
1. Self-Service Tools
Customers should always have the ability to reach your business any time they want, even when your phone lines and live chat systems are offline. Businesses do this by maintaining self-service facilities such as FAQ pages and knowledge bases packed with all the relevant information about your business and services.
TeamSupport is a tool that is commonly used by businesses to create self-service resources. Startups can use this tool to select the information that will be used in the self-service resource (e.g. FAQ) and organize how information will be presented to the user for maximum impact.
2. Survey Tools
Part of establishing healthy customer relationships is determining your customers’ needs. Businesses usually do this by collecting feedback from customers to help measure customer loyalty, satisfaction, and service quality.
3. Live Chat
Over the past couple of years, live chat has developed from a website add-on to a critical element of successful businesses. Live chat enables businesses to interact with their customers in real-time, which is a big plus for customer service.
Since customer care representatives can chat with multiple clients at the same time via live chat, businesses are able to interact with their customers cost-effectively. Businesses can also increase employee productivity while ensuring quality and efficiency in the customer service department.
Tools like SnapEngage and Engage Live Sales Chat Software are good options for startups looking for cost-effective live chat applications.
4. Call Center Management
Despite the global movement towards text and email, business voice calls (and yes, landlines) still play an important role in the customer service department. Voice calls enable the customer care rep to connect with the customer on a more personal basis, which is usually more effective than text. The only major downside here is that the rep can only engage with one customer at a time.
5. Customer Support on Social
Any profitable business knows all too well the value of social media. Over half of American consumers are actively on social media, which makes it one of the biggest platforms for customer service and brand awareness for new businesses. Customers are more likely to reach out to your brand via your company’s social media account than most of the other platforms.
However, with so many social platforms, small businesses often find it difficult to keep up. Thankfully, applications such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite provide the necessary tools and features to manage your presence on social media.
At the end of the day, you can choose to use any of these tools on their own or combine two or more of them for your startup. It will all depend on what your customer service goals are and the demographic profile of your customer base.