By Quantanite | August 2020
Customer support is about making business personal. And, in an era where customers are turning to online interactions, that personal connection can be easily lost and be hard to forge again. But what are you doing about it?
At the heart of every business is your reputation and your reputation stems directly from the customers perceptions, their satisfaction and, the services and levels of support which they receive and expect to receive.
Over recent years, customer support has undergone a dramatic change, not to mention the rapid increase of the importance thereof by businesses in 2020. Companies have now realised more than ever that putting your customers at the core of your business is essential to customer retention and it delivers a competitive advantage.
Customer support forms part of an organisation’s customer relationship management department. Together with customer service, their primary function is to interact with customers for the immediate benefit of the company. It includes various components such as the contact center, help desk and call management system. These components are provided in response to customer demand allowing them to get the most out of your product or services and resolve their problems.
In essence to grow your business you need happy customers. And, now more than ever, poor support can make or break your business. As the demand for online and telephonic support gets greater your teams are drowning in increased volumes from customers who expect rapid, personal response, leaving your team members on the edge of burnout which affects their capabilities and the level of service provided and this has a ripple effect on customer satisfaction. It is therefore critical that you get your customer support right. And, in order to do this you need;
• Happy Customers
• Highly engaged customers
• Customers who stick around
To get this right depends on various factors and also the implementation of key functions, processes and systems. However, you need to understand the key functions of customer support and you need to carefully define your approach and know your ultimate goals in order to achieve the much needed long term success and growth.
Customer support is not a one size fits all approach. Depending on your industry and your needs, you must ensure that your approach and the key functions are tailored to fit your needs and requirements. These key functions need to be implemented in such a way so as to allow you to keep your focus on scaling and expanding your business with the peace of mind that customers are receiving robust, consistent support.
• Answering customer questions
• Providing assistance with onboarding
• Upgrading or downgrading customers to new products or services
• Call Centres and phone support
• Ticket-based help desks
• Email Support
Everything that happens when a customer communicates with your support centre is a direct result of the decisions you made, the training provided, the team in place as well as the systems and processes you choose to use. And, these define the evolution of your company. This could be working for you now, but have you considered the future, 6 or even 18 months from now? How will you adapt to changing ways? How will you handle customer prioritization and increased demands in order to scale.
There is simply too much to lose by not being able to deliver good customer support. And this begins by defining the levels of support you require and how you want to deliver it.
When it comes to delivering the customer support, you have two defining questions
1. Do you integrate solutions and cross- train your own employees
2. Do you outsource your customer support services
Training staff in-house can be an obstacle for any integration projects. Inadequate training can harm current customer relationships and hinder new ones from forming.
Outsourcing provides significant cost savings and allows an organization to focus on its core capabilities while having the available staff who are trained and skilled professionals.
Consumers want companies to know and understand who they are. They place value on being treated as unique individuals and expect quality customer service. These three factors directly affect customer churn. And while there are various ways which your company can reduce churn, acknowledging the benefits of outsourcing is a good way to start. When it comes to delivering services to keep consumers loyal, call centers top the list. But one group is especially critical when it comes to keeping customers happy and brand loyal; customer service agents.
Agent engagement is key to customer retention. It translates to:
• Zero repeats: When there is a problem, customers want to tell their story only once
• Personalised Services: Customers want to be treated as people and not as a case number
• Quality Service: The quality of service affects not only how much customers purchase, but also how much they are willing to spend.
But how does this translate to outsourcing? Outsourcing allows companies to draw on and mobilise the niche skills of a team of experts in certains required fields. They understand the power of personal connection.
When it comes to defining the levels of support your require you need to ask yourself the following questions
• How are customers contacting you now?
• Are customer engagements being handled effectively?
• Is your customer resolution time impacting your customer experience?
• Do you have a backlog of unanswered questions and data?
• Are your current solutions creating deeper and longer lasting customer relationships?
A variety of contact point platforms exist which could include, telephone, email, webchat and others. The key is determining how your customers prefer to contact your organization. The advantage of having an outsourced provider is that they are able to handle a variety of contact methods with integrated technology, coupled with human skill. You will never miss a call.
Customer support staff who are unable to handle multiple contact points or interact with customers efficiently will negatively affect your business. Trying to implement new programs, hire new staff or retrain new staff could become a costly exercise. Outsourcing is a solution that provides integration, training, support and the necessary skills to better scale your customer interaction.
Time to Resolution is a customer service metric measuring the average amount of time between when a customer interaction is created and when that interaction is marked as “resolved.” Time To Resolution matters because your time is valuable to you, and your customer’s time is valuable to them. Research shows that being more responsive and more effective at resolving issues correlates with improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Having a backlog of unanswered questions and data is a direct result of personnel not being able to handle multiple contact points. If this is the case, it may be time to look at integrating and adding more solutions into your existing contact centre and systems to better manage these contact points and get rid of the backlog.
Creating long lasting relationships is a 24/7 job. You need to deal with customers the way they feel fit and most importantly able to communicate with them at their best preferred time. This is not always possible. However with an outsourcing solution you are able to leverage on these abilities and services to keep you ever engaged.
Building an excellent customer support system should be the centre focus of your business. It increases sales and increases customer numbers.
To learn how we you provide the high-quality, personalized service across multiple channels your customers expect, get in touch with us
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