What is your customer support team focused on in 2020? For one, improving customer experience should be a biggie.
In fact, all of our Customer Care clients have at least one major initiative launching this year to ensure their brand is customer-focused.
If you’re not sure where to start, read on! We’ve got eight ideas to help you up your customer support game.
How Customer Friendly Are You?
To start, let’s ask some “scary” questions.
- How much of what you do — what people hear, see, say, FEEL about your brand — is focused on the customer?
- How many departments are optimized for customer experience?
- Which of your measurements/reporting focus on customer support outcomes?
If you have an answer for each of those questions, you’re off to a good start. If you don’t, you’re still probably in line with where many brands sit today.
And did I mention everything has to be authentic and real? People can see right past forced help. Your company’s values will either embody the customers or fall short in putting them at the foundation of everything you do.
More questions …
- Why do you do what you do?
- What do you expect from your customers?
- What do your customers expect from you?
Now, take those answers and create a formula for success. What’s the core ingredient for customer success?
If any of the above is on your mind this year, keep reading for ideas to up your customer support game.
Getting In Touch With Customer Support
1) Create an omnichannel experience. When you make it oh-so-easy for customers to reach your customer support or customer care team, you win. Where do most of your customers live? Would a chatbot on your most active social channel or live chat help with your customer experience? Does your app have an option for customer service? Make sure you’re on the right channels at the right time.
2) Develop an “always-on” strategy. Okay, so maybe you can’t be available 24/7. But ensuring that you can extend your availability past “office hours” is important — especially if you experience high volumes of customer support requests. This is one of the biggest reasons our Customer Care clients partner with B Squared Media; we offer near 24/7 support (and hope to be fully 24/7 by 2022!).
3) Improve your response times. If you have a social presence, customers expect you to be active there. It’s clear that brands are way behind when it comes to meeting customer support needs through their social media channels. Figure out a way to be faster … it’s one sure way to outshine the competition when it comes to the customer experience!
4) Consider self-service. Savvy customers don’t often need to speak with a customer support rep directly. In fact, if your brand deals with a lot of frequently asked questions (FAQs), self-service is a great way to handle FAQs quickly and easily. Think about your last airline experience. You likely checked-in, added baggage, and/or changed seats through an app or kiosk. Likewise, a website can offer several self-service options with databases, a list of FAQs, or knowledge-based content.
Create A Customer Care Culture
5) Survey and/or score your customer support efforts. Collecting customer feedback allows for honest and insightful insights that will help your customer support team (and others!) keep improving and innovating. It’s also important to answer WHERE you’re going to keep this information and WHO is going to “own” it within your organization.
6) Get to know your advocates. Leveraging #5, when you receive surveys that answer the question, “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends, family, or colleagues?” with a 9 or 10, be sure to pay extra attention! These are potential brand advocates so extra time needs to be spent getting to know them and building a relationship.
7) Consider a customer loyalty program. How can you bolster customer loyalty? Ideas: reward points in exchange for something, reward referrals, try a bonus point campaign, openly favor your loyal members (like Sephora does with its “big spenders”).
8) Be a customer-centric company. Easier said than done, but more important than ever. We’ve seen it firsthand: When brands see the customer & customer experience central to everything they do, they see direct results with brand experience, sentiment, and an increase in sales. Case in point, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable according to research by Deloitte.
The Customer Is Always Right
Lastly, whether you agree with the statement above or not, businesses exist only because of their customers. So, it’s not crazy to put your lifeblood at the center of everything you do.
I’m not saying being customer-centric is easy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
However, with a proactive mindset, and these eight tips in mind, you can be well on your way to improving your customer support.
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
Latest posts by Brooke B. Sellas (see all)
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