How to make customer support your competitive advantage
How to make customer support your competitive advantage
Back in the day, before everyone talked about ‘Start-up Mentality” and “Being Agile”, your competitive advantage was probably your ability to be quick, nimble and responsive to market changes. While the big guys slugged it out with their red tape, processes and reviews, your business could just get on with delivering great products and services quickly.
Now, even the big guys are acting like the little guys. Goliath has arrived in David’s clothing, with labs, hubs and scrums that are getting products and services to customers faster than ever before.
The next battleground is customer support. An area where it doesn’t matter how big or little you are, it’s the quality of what you provide that counts.
With the right call centre software (and the right attitude) the playing field is flat and your business has the ability to turn your customer support into a winning competitive advantage.
67% of customer churn is preventable if the customer issue was resolved at the first engagement. (Source)
Competing like a big guy (while staying small)
Let’s face it; unless you have a shop front, your customers probably don’t know how big or little you are. If you want to feel bigger, or at least feel like you’re providing customer support that can compete with the big guys there are four ways your call centre software can help.
- Build a champagne customer support team on a beer budget
- Build genuine relationships with your customers
- Turn your agents into experts
- Pre-empt your customer support
Build a champagne customer support team on a beer budget
No budget to rent a space for your customer support team? No problem. With the right software your team can work from anywhere. Simply hook up your agents at home with cloud based contact centre software, and it’s like they’re right there with you in the office. With no hardware to buy and a low cost to set up and run, Hosted PBX is a cost-effective solution to hiring a customer support team.
Also, if your head count is limited, consider creating a blended team; mixing your sales and support teams together. When customer support calls peak, your sales team can switch roles to help answer calls and reduce queue times. While there are particular skill sets required for blended teams, the benefits are worthwhile. Your outbound sales team can gain valuable insights from manning customer support calls, vastly improving their ‘pitch’ and customers will appreciate shorter queue times and faster service.
Build genuine relationships with your customers
Your contact centre software should give your agents immediate access to client records. Noojee’s inbound call centre software integrates easily with existing business applications including CRMs. Call recognition means that before your agent answers the callers key details will be displayed on screen for them. Purchase history, notes from previous calls and even information about how they’ve interacted with your business online all help your agents deliver highly personalised support that your customers will love.
Turn your agents into experts
Information sharing is vital in creating a support team that is ready to provide first class service. Training, wikis, access to intranets all help; but what about those times your agents are put on the spot with a left-field query from a customer.
There are two ways your software can help:
- Instant chat allows your agents to talk directly to anyone in the team, including a supervisor or subject matter expert. While they talk to the customer on the phone they can type a query to colleague and get an instant answer. The call can then be resolved the first-time with no transfers and no call-backs.
- Create a script wizard. Your agent doesn’t need to know the answer to the customer’s query; they just need to listen to the question. By creating a script wizard your agent can select from a series of questions related to the customers query. They’ll be prompted to ask the customer more and with their answer click through to the next screen. Each question leads them further down the path until the final screen gives them the answer the solution the customer needs.
Pre-empt your customer support
Customers are unlikely to call you at the first signs of trouble. More often than not they will search online or ask friends for help.
When they call your team they are escalating the issue and likely to be a little frustrated or even angry.
Customers looking for help on a company’s website has grown from 67% to 81% in three years. (Source)
Take the angst out of support calls and replace it with a bit of pre-emptive love. Choose software that allows you to schedule calls to your customers at regular intervals to, “Check-in and see how they’re going.” Then, instead of waiting for customers to call you with problems, call them, ready to listen and help where you can.
This is particularly effective if you know there are peak periods during the customer journey when customers are likely to need support – such as immediately after a purchase or within three months of purchases.
Pre-emptive customer support calls also provides your customers a more consistent customer experience. Rather than dealing with your sales team and then being passed on to your support team, they can be serviced by a single person, their own personal account manager; someone who straddles both roles and can build and ongoing and productive relationship with them.
Whether your support team has two members or 12, there are simple ways you can provide customer support service that the big guys will be proud of.