Whether you have a team for Customer Support or you’re a company of 1 with 100 job titles, every business owner needs to consider how to best communicate with users. As a growing start-up ourselves we are here to help break down the best ways to offer effective support.
After doing a Facebook Live Yael, our Content Lead, interviewed our very own Customer Success Manager, Adam. With 10+ years of experience under his belt, he guides us through why it’s important to execute great customer support and how you can create meaningful relationships that will impact your business for the better.
Yael: How do you define five-star customer support?
Adam: I like to think of customer support as a foundation for any good business. For great customer support, you want to create a WOW experience–it’s something that will drive your customers to return as repeat buyers and it will really make them share their experience with friends, families, and even on social networks, which is exactly what you want especially in today’s world where everything is online.
Yael: What great WOW experiences have you seen floating around out there?
Adam: Morton’s Steakhouse is one great example. Let’s take a look.
As you can see here, Morton’s saw the customer’s tweet and went to work to fulfill the request. They sent a delivery guy, dressed in a tux of course, with the porterhouse to meet Peter. It’s a great example of jumping on an opportunity to show that your support team is really listening to customers and goes the extra mile to help.
Let’s take a look at how Domino’s did it.
Domino’s jumped right in to handle the situation and offer help. These two Twitter examples spread around to be viewed by over 10,000 people all because of a business manager or support representative going the extra mile.
Another way to create a WOW moment is by simply being human. At the end of the day, no matter how much we’re addicted to our phones and gadgets, people want to connect with actual people. So be a human brand.
Yael: That’s such a fun showcase of how to engage with customers and show the human behind the brand, as you mentioned.
Adam: Exactly. What Domino’s did right was that they started a comfortable line of communication and the customer then felt open enough to share that the mistake was his, not Domino’s. Revealing that the brand did the right thing and didn’t make a product error is helpful to build trust with other customers who could have seen it. That’s really what you want to happen with good customer support. You want to generate those WOW experiences, so people fall in love with your brand, feel like you’re a friend and talk about you.
As discovered by an American Express survey, customers tell an average of 9 people about good customer service experiences. That buzz makes it 60% more likely a future customer will switch to your company just for a better customer service experience.
Yael: That makes sense. No one wants to spend their money at a place with bad customer care when you can get a similar product with a nice and easy human experience right down the street.
I know a lot of small business owners, who are a team of one or have a larger team but really limited resources, and they feel like adding great customer support is super tough. What are some things they can do to interact with their customers and create these WOW experiences?
Adam: Alright, let me give you my three favorite methods for interaction. These are simple enough for any size business to implement and maintain. In no particular order, there is email, social media, and live chat.
When it comes to emails, most businesses these days, already have an email list and system in place.
Yael: Emails with those tips, I think, will end up feeling more personal and intentional. I wouldn’t walk away from reading an email with the above feeling like I got spammed.Adam: That’s the point.
Adam: You never want your emails to customers to come across as junk or a waste of time because it didn’t offer them anything they didn’t know before. You want to take those tips and frame them in a way that makes your customer feel good.
Second is social media. Social media is a great place to interact with customers where they already are spending time. And, like emails, most businesses already have some social presence, especially on Twitter and Facebook.
Yael: I feel like I am picking up on a theme here. It sounds like the key to both emails and social media support is being as authentic and human as possible. And again, finding a way to tap into a deeper feeling of satisfaction. And what’s the third way?
Adam: Third we have Live chat. Live chat is a great way to interact with your customers, especially if you serve an international user base or have an online-only service. It’s quick and super effective. And people really like live chat.
Live chat is effective for a number of reasons, but most importantly because, in my research and experience, live chat reduces expenses and increases sales. It helps you really discover the customer pain points, and quickly, which means you’re solving problems much faster which means improved customer service and loyalty overall. And it’s super convenient for your customers.
Yael: Yes, most people prefer texting to calling nowadays in their personal life so it makes sense the preference would be similar for professional purposes.
How would you say the style of interaction on live chat differs from social or emails?
Adam: Actually, it doesn’t. You want to take that same human, authentic approach into your chats. Obviously, each company has their own unique brand so the type of language you choose and your level of transparency is up to you. But I always say, be friendly, be real, and be professional.
Yael: And what kind of live chat tools do you love and think would be great for all the small businesses out there?
Adam: My three favorites right now are Zendesk, LiveChat, and Intercom. They’re all relatively easy to implement and maintain.
Yael: So what are some of the outcomes of interacting well with your customers and providing a high level of customer support?
Adam: My favorite question! There are lots of great outcomes but the most obvious I have experienced are trust, loyalty, brand awareness, and happy customers. And those feelings have even farther-reaching outcomes. Higher customer retention for example. We all know that customer retention is far less expensive than customer acquisition and return customers are more likely to buy again than new customers.
Yael: And I’m sure it also helps your word of mouth advertising and public image.
Adam: Absolutely. It’s exactly like the Morton’s and Domino’s examples from earlier. Great customer service does wonders for your reputation and also helps spread your company vision and values.
Thanks to Adam we can see how great customer support can make a huge impact on more than just satisfaction but impact your bottom dollar as well. Building brand loyalty, improving marketing via word of mouth and increasing usage are all essential ways to get your business growing. Above all that, you want to maintain the human touch and feel of a company as you scale.