Customer Support Guide for Startups
Unlocking the Perfect Customer Support Experience
At the end of the day, there is nothing more important to your business than a satisfied customer, and a big factor in their level of satisfaction is the support experience. In order to unlock the perfect customer support experience, businesses should anticipate a thorough planning process. This process involves 4 essential steps, which account for the many variables involved along the way.
No matter the channel in which a customer is seeking support, they are doing so with some degree of pre-conceived expectations. These 4 steps can be taken in order to plan for success and ultimately meet or exceed the expectation of your customers.
Understand the Support Challenges That You Face
Nothing can be expertly created or improved upon without a comprehensive understanding of the challenges that you are up against. This statement is especially true in regards to customer support.
In order to wrap your head around every challenge that you face, you must answer a few questions that pertain to your customer’s journey. We recommend that you start with the following, and then brainstorm several more nuanced questions with your team that are relevant to your customers experience.
- Who is Your Customer?
- What Does Your Customer Do?
- What Does Your Customer Want?
- How Does Your Customer Buy?
Once every step of your customer’s journey is unlocked, you will begin to discover the support challenges that you are up against.
Learn Pros/Cons of Each Type of Support Channel
Every company should be exploring the various channels of customer support, and in 2015 there are several. Some businesses will find that a certain channel is more relevant or helpful for their customer base. Not all businesses are the same, and by exploring the pros/cons of all support channels, you will identify the best route to the perfect customer support experience for your company.
The following are the most commonly utilized support channels being used today…
- Email / Contact Form
- Help Desk
- Social Media (e.g. Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn)
- Call Center
- One-on-One Live Chat
- Mobile App
Determine Which Channels Your Customers Want
The combination of steps 1 & 2 will quickly lead to a clear answer in regards to which support channels your customers are looking for. Certain businesses and service experiences lend themselves to specific channels of support. Clear trends will begin to emerge, whether most of your customers are submitting claims through online contact forms, or many are tweeting at you in order to express their interest or dissatisfaction with your service.
Once the most sought after channels are uncovered, you will much more effectively be able to address the concerns and issues facing your customers.
Develop A Plan and Optimize Multi-Channel Support
You’ve begun to fully understand your customers and their expectations, as well as which support channels will most effectively meet these expectations… So whats next?
The final step on the path to the perfect customer support experience is the development and implementation of a multi-channel support plan. This plan will combine all of your newly acquired knowledge and utilize it in a way that optimizes the process & experience as a whole.
With an optimized multi-channel support model in place, you will undoubtedly begin to identify several meaningful benefits. Customer satisfaction will rise, extraneous support costs will disappear, sales opportunities will increase, and brand loyalty will take root.