A few decades ago, customers focused on pricing and product quality when making buying decisions. However, with the rise of the Internet and advanced communication tools, the way you should communicate with customers has changed.. Today, customers expect brands to provide exceptional customer support, in addition to a stellar product at a reasonable price.
Statistics say the same. Namely, 96% of customers say customer service determines how loyal they will be to your company.
This article will teach you how to boost the effectiveness of your startup’s customer service.
Provide self-service opportunities on your website
As a startup owner operating with a limited budget and hiring a small customer support team, you need to use your resources wisely. For example, you do not have to send repetitive service inquiries to your agents. Instead, give customers a chance to find answers to their questions on their own.
For most of your customers, self-service is a preferred customer support option. A study by Dimension Data found that 73% of consumers prefer to use a company’s website rather than its live chat support. Therefore, a detailed FAQ on your website would be helpful.
A knowledge base is an online library of curated information about your brand. To educate customers about your products, you can create different content forms, including frequently asked questions, introductory articles, video tutorials, step-by-step process guides, and definition lists.
Keep your knowledge base articles concise, clear, and to-the-point. Use everyday language rather than technical jargon. Include bulleted lists, screenshots, and video tutorials to make your tips simpler to understand.
Above all, place your knowledge base in a prominent location on your website. Classify your knowledge base content based on its topic to help users find the right answers faster. Make the page easily navigable by including a search box for customers that already know what they want to ask.
Finally, if your knowledge base article is not helpful enough, point a user to other customer service channels, such as your email support, live chat, or call center. To assess your knowledge base’s effectiveness, you could ask a customer whether the article was helpful.
Offer omnichannel customer service
Wait times directly impact customer satisfaction. Did you know that 82% of customers expect brands to be available 24/7? Slow response times may increase your churn rate and compromise your brand image. The American Express study claims that 33% of Americans would consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service.
To boost the customer satisfaction rate, keep your response time down. Respond to customer service tickets as quickly as possible. For example, giving feedback in an hour or less would be ideal.
For your startup with a small customer support team, providing real-time support can be a challenge. Leverage the tech tools and resources you have. Build an omnichannel customer support strategy that will cater to customer needs, irrespective of what digital channels or devices they use.
Replace landline phone systems with VoIP
In an emergency, customers cannot afford to wait for your live chat or email response. Most of them will decide to call your customer support center and get instant feedback. To enhance customer satisfaction and provide timely customer service, consider replacing your analog phone with its online alternative.
With features like unlimited calling, toll-free local numbers, auto attendants, hold music, and call analytics features, VoIP will reduce your response times and boost customer experiences. Above all, VoIP pricing is also adaptable to startups and small teams.
Communicating with live chat agents can humanize your brand and make conversations more natural. However, if you do not schedule staff shifts, urgent customer service tickets may remain unsolved for hours.
That is where AI-driven chatbots can help. They understand customers’ behavior patterns and intent and provide them with relevant feedback. With the help of the AI chatbot, customers can find answers to their questions faster, as well as make purchases.
Automate email support
Email support is still the nerve center of your startup’s communication with customers. No matter if they want to return products or seek information about free shipping, most customers will choose to fill out a contact form or directly send an email.
However, managing a seemingly infinite number of customer support emails may be challenging for your small customer service team. To save time and answer customer service inquiries faster, create canned email responses. Instead of repeatedly copying and pasting email responses, you can select a template and send it to a customer.
The best thing about canned email responses is that you will not sacrifice any personal touch, since you are the one creating and editing the template.
Keep customer conversations personal and consistent
In the contactless digital landscape, building strong relationships with customers is difficult. To inspire customer loyalty, you need to humanize your customer support tactics across all online channels. The focus should be on the interaction between a customer and a human agent, not a faceless business.
Personalize interactions and make them more pleasant and natural. For example, ask your agents to greet customers by their names. When a customer reaches out and provides relevant and constructive feedback, always send a “thank you” email. Make sure a customer knows you appreciate their suggestions.
Finally, keep your customer support consistent, relevant, and predictable. No matter if a customer reaches out via live chat or email, always use the same tone and voice. Talk to your employees about language, emojis, technical jargon, message structure, visuals, humor, etc. Consider putting together a detailed style guide that will guide customer conversations and keep them consistent.
Consistent, natural, and on-brand customer support will boost your brand awareness and give you greater credibility.
Ready to give your customer service strategy a boost?
Consistent, personal, and friendly customer support is crucial for startup growth. It builds trust with customers, enhances their satisfaction with your brand, and inspires their loyalty. That is why you should use it strategically.
Which tactics do you use to boost your customer service?