Customer support has never been more important. More and more often, customers that give negative feedback are moving to other companies. If you want to master the art of persuasion, you need to take into account what your target audience is saying about you.
You need to produce meaningful content, act on customer feedback and respond to inquiries promptly. Now is the time to reimagine how you support customers. This guide is going to show you give of the reasons why.
Customer Expectations Have Risen
Social media means that customers have the power to bring down companies by sharing their negative experiences. This is a negative form of content marketing for your company that you can do nothing about. As you likely already understand, customers are used to getting what they want.
The statistics say that 82% of CEOs claim that customer expectations are higher than they were three years ago. Customers want to be treated like royalty. The saying that the customer is always right is still incorrect, but if you want their business you best adhere to it anyway.
Companies are Fighting on Experience
The battlefield has moved away from products and now companies are competing on experiences. The number of companies doing this is rising. Customer support is almost as important as a quality product. With customer support importance on the rise, you need to think about whether you are doing your best to support customers.
And this doesn’t just apply when you talk to them directly. It’s about fulfilling their expectations. For example, if nobody seems to care about your philanthropic efforts, stop posting blogs about it. Or think about ways that you can make them care.
Conduct regular customer research to find out about what customers really want.
Support is a Part of the Product
Customer support used to be something kept entirely separate from the product. Today it should be part of the product itself. Your customer support staff should be used to improve every aspect of your business through providing seamless support free of charge at all times.
Even smaller companies have to do that these days. One example of a company doing this well is Amazon. They introduced the Amazon Mayday button, so customers can get help regardless of the webpage they are on. The key to this is that it’s everywhere and they don’t have to wait to actually get that support.
One way you can make customer support part of your product is to place your support center in both the header and footer of your website. Within this support center, you can include helpful links to other pages of your website, or even to helpful external websites.
Customers Will Pay More for a Better Experience
Doing business online used to be about a race to the bottom. The cheapest company that still offered a good product tended to win. Today that’s not the case because most customers will pay more for a better experience. For a company, this means they have to have a minimum level of customer support.
Armed with this information, you have an opportunity to generate more business. Introducing tiered customer support levels can act as an extra income stream.
Experiences are No Longer Reactive
Think of the traditional customer service support button and it was always reactive. You acted when someone asked you a question. This is a prime example of reacting to situations as they happen.
Many organizations realized this was a problem. It means that problems have to happen before you can start to act. But what if you could solve problems before they actually happened? Proactive customer service saves a lot of time and effort.
For example, sign-on technology is starting to turn proactive. If the customer can’t log in, it will automatically take them to the relevant page where they can retrieve a new password. The customer didn’t have to do anything to actually get there. It’s a form of proactive help that is going to generate customer appreciation.
And it’s all happening because companies are more willing to adopt the latest technology.
You need to rethink the way you deliver customer service. No longer has it become an added extra it’s become a part of the fabric of every company. Fail on this front and you are going to lose out to your competitors, regardless of how awesome your product is or how much of a gambling entrepreneur you are.
In your opinion, what do you think is the most important facet of a good customer service department?