Updated on September 4, 2023
A Salesforce research says that 89% of the customers who liked a company’s customer service are likely to make a repeat purchase. The era of “build a great product, market it well, and the customers will come” is over.
It is 2023. Customers talk. And, to make matters worse, it’s not just their friends and family that listens.
The era of social media means one bad review on a popular site can have a significant impact on your sales. Take the infamous case of one of Britain’s biggest airlines, for instance:
A Twitter user by the name of Hasan Syed actually brought a promoted Tweet, just to complain against an airline that lost his father’s luggage during a flight.
Customer support is crucial, as you can see, and, in this blog post, we are going to show you how you can streamline your customer support function.
Before we get into the nitty gritty details, here are a few benefits of having an excellent customer support function.
Benefits of having an efficient customer support team
1. Reduced churn rate:
Investing in customer support means that customers are less likely to leave your product or service for the competition, just because they are priced.. Well.. competitively!! The cost of acquiring a new customer, according to this Hubspot research, is higher for a company that does not invest in Customer support. Reduced churn rate means you need to spend that much amount of money in acquiring a new customer.
2. Better Up-selling and Cross- selling opportunities
With better customer support, your company’s trustworthiness goes up. Customers are more likely to buy from you if they hear that you care for your customer even after they have made the purchase. This helps your team in up-selling and cross-selling other products that you offer. Think of good customer support as a sure-fire way for customers to click on the “Also recommended” section of an eCommerce website.
3. Better marketing opportunities
When you address your customers’ issues proactively, they become advocates for your product, thus becoming your best marketers. Infact, according to this survey, a referral customer is much more likely to make a repeat purchase compared to a new customer. This is because a referral customer finds your brand the most trustworthy .
4. Improved brand loyalty
Customer’s today don’t just want a good product, but expect stellar customer service. And if your customer support team is good at their job, you can expect customers to keep coming back to your product.
As this survey from HelpScout shows, 89% of all the customers surveyed say that they will make a repeat purchase from a brand if they have a positive customer experience. This just solidifies our notion that excellent customer support is a sure shot way to ensure brand loyalty.
We have seen how important customer support function is in a business. Let us now quickly get into 5 methods to supercharge your customer support team.
5 Ways you can super-charge your customer support function
1. Keep a Track of the Time Wasters
Any product that is built will have that one bug or feature request that the development team may have missed, which will lead to a lot of queries for the same issue.
Do you know which of these issues is plaguing your product? If not, it is high time to dive into it today.
The exercise can be as simple as classifying the most commonly occurring issues into a one liner in a Google sheet. The next step will be to count the number of repeated queries regarding this issue, and then jot it down in the same Google Sheet.
Here is a sample sheet that our support team uses:
Now that you have identified the issue that is taking up the most amount of time, it is time to address this issue by fixing the bug or creating a Knowledge base where customers can read up all about it (more on this later).
Identify the issue that is taking up the maximum amount of time. Then, proactively going ahead to fix it, so that you can free up a lot of your support team’s time. Your support team can use this time to fix the more challenging, one off issues that take up more time.
2. Use automation – specifically chatbots
A good way to increase the efficiency of your customer support team is to automate it. You see, support agents are human beings too, and a lot of the time, they don’t want to do the same task over and over again.
This is where automation, specifically chatbots, come in.
Here are some of the ways a chatbot can augment your customer support function:
- Chatbots can act as virtual agents, handling a wide variety of customer queries and then giving instantaneous responses. You just need to train your chatbots to the different kinds of queries that your customers might have.
- Chatbots are available 24×7. They don’t fall sick, go on bathroom breaks, or take vacations.
- It is not necessarily difficult to build and maintain a chatbot. Infact, with our Kompose chatbot builder, building a chatbot has never been easier.
- You can program a chatbot so that it will instantly redirect a customer to a resource, such as a blog post or a whitepaper, for a particular query. Your customer support agents don’t have to waste their precious time looking for these documents.
- Chatbots don’t get bored with repetitive tasks. If a query shows up a lot of times in a chat query, you can always create a separate section on your website to address it.
3. Upgrade your Knowledge Base
The best way to deliver customer support is to let the customers help themselves. A lot of customers don’t want to interact with a human agent or a chatbot, and that is totally fine.
If you upgrade your knowledge base and keep your developer docs clean and tidy, customers will be more than happy to find their solutions there.
But its not just sufficient to write a few blog posts or build a knowledge base of articles that you hope your customers will use.
In fact, only 37% of the respondents in a Coleman Parks survey said that they even bother with using a knowledge base, because they perceive them as inaccurate or incomplete.
To really hit the nail with your Knowledge base you need to keep upgrading it with the latest offerings that your product has. It is also a good practice to keep adding answers to repetitive questions.
Another exercise that can help you improve your knowledge base is to ask your customers feedback about it. Ask them how easy it was to use your product after they went through the documentation, and make changes wherever needed.
Your support team will be more than happy to help improve the knowledge base. This is because they face customer queries on a daily basis. In the end, you end up saving time, money and also let the world know how great your product really is.
4. Make Training a priority
One of the pillars of a good customer support team is excellent knowledge about the product. If your support team knows the product in and out, they will be able to provide swift responses to customer queries.
A Salesforce research throws some interesting light into the importance of having knowledgeable customer support agents. According to the research, 63% of customers in a B2C environment expect the business to know their unique needs and expectations.
This percentage goes up to 76% when it comes to B2B buyers. If you train your customer support agents right, they can act as a powerful catalyst to selling your product.
At our own organization, we use separate Slack channels where support agents post their queries and developers work on resolving them. These are open channels and everyone in the team is encouraged to visit these channels once in a while.
We have also created a separate page on Confluence where developers comment on how our support team agents can respond to queries. We review this page every month to make sure our support team is always learning new things.
Support agents are also given regular refresher courses on the new developments in the product. This will help them serve the customers better.
5. Hire the right people
This is the last item on our list, but certainly deserves to be right there at the top. The right people in the team can make or break your company. After all, a company is only as good as its employees.
When hiring for a customer support agent, there are a few key qualities that one should keep in mind.
- Empathetic: A good customer support agent must empathize with their customers and see the customer’s problems as his/her own problems.
- Patient: Support is all about dealing with human emotions, and a good customer support agent has a high degree of patience.
- Flexible: Being in customer support, an agent must be flexible with both the customers and with the employer. There may be times when customer support agents will have to pull a double shift, and the best agents do so with a smile on their face.
- Curious: As we mentioned earlier, a knowledgeable customer support agent is an asset for the team, and is ever curious to learn new things. A lifelong learning attitude is a must to survive not just as a support agent, but as a professional.
And there you have it folks. Five ways to boost your customer support team’s efficiency. Here is a quick recap on the five methods:
- Keep a track of time wasters
- Use automation – specifically chatbots
- Upgrade your knowledge base.
- Make training a priority
- Hire the right people
Follow these steps and watch your customer support team perform at the highest level.
At Kommunicate, we envision a world-beating customer support solution to empower the new era of customer support. We would love to have you on board to have a first-hand experience of Kommunicate. You can signup here and start delighting your customers right away.