When talking about customer support, the first and most important thing to highlight is that customer support is not the same as customer service. Yes, both terms have the common goal of helping customers solve their problems and make better-informed decisions. Unlike customer service, customer support also functions as part of sales, tech support and customer success.
Read the interview with our Caitlin on how bad customer support can hurt a company’s reputation.
Your customers’ experience
Customer experience is crucial for every company. Not to mention that up to 90% of customers quit doing business with a company due to a bad experience! This is why companies are now investing more time, money and effort into building a quality customer support system. The customer support’s goal is not only to solve complications but also to acquire, retain or upsell.
Customer support is not just a reaction to a problem, it’s an ongoing process where the support team wants to satisfy customer needs, understand the problem, provide a solution, and finally, improve customer experience in general. But, what’s with customer expectations? This is the digital age where everything and everyone is connected. This means that customers are expecting you as a company to be the best you can be because they have probably already heard about a lot of companies that have rocked their customer world.
The importance of your support team
Support is vital and can be put in the same basket as the quality of your products or service. If the support team is not embedded in your product or service, it will affect your business. The support team is there to help your customers get the most of what you’re selling. The goal of any support team is making sure that, after the sales goal of closing the deal is achieved, customer’s goals are achieved as well.
Customer support is particularly important in IT companies. It requires constant improvement and progress for agents to acquire the best skills to help customers use their product.
For example, a person just bought monthly access to your platform. To install it and learn how to utilize it correctly, he or she will have to contact your company to get instructions. That moment is probably more important than the one when your customer bought your product. It will determine whether that customer is going to like your company, will they benefit from your product and, finally, will they purchase it again or upgrade.
Customer support communication
When one of the systems you are using is not working, what do you do? Of course, you contact the support team of the company who owns that system. But, how do you contact them? There are two main ways to contact them in situations like these, by calling and by email.
According to Forbes, emails represent a major opportunity for improvement. In 53% of the cases they observed, email responses left significant gaps in answering incoming questions. Unsurprisingly, email communication lacks a lot when compared to communication in person. Not to mention contacting the support team via phone. It’s time-consuming, often frustrated and information gets lost throughout the process.
Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency
When talking about customer support, we cannot emphasize how important it is to be responsive, helpful, positive and encouraging. Are you efficient enough? What do your customers think? Are you collecting and analyzing their feedback?
Every effort your support team makes should be customer-oriented. Therefore, their needs and wishes are your top priority. According to Defaqto Research, up to 55% of customers would pay more for better customer experience. Also, 89% of customers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. So, if you thought your customers don’t notice every single detail regarding your product and your support team, think again. A customer is four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service relate vs. price or product related. Isn’t that something every company wants to avoid?
What’s the status quo?
How long does it take you to provide your customer with the requested information? How long does it take you to solve the issue? What are the communication channels your support team uses? How good is your company at retaining customers? There are so many things that need to be considered. Personalization is one of the most crucial factors in B2C communication, and it seems like everything is moving towards it. Products are personalized, and there is really no reason why communication towards customers shouldn’t be personalized as well.
Your support team probably send hundreds of emails per day. But, can your email communication be more personalized than just a text-based email? The thing about personalized interactions is that when your customers feel your approach is personal, they will become better customers. Human service is the most important aspect of customer support for 40% of survey participants conducted by Genesys.
The best way to be personal in your business communication is by using names (theirs and yours). Don’t forget to sign your customer support emails with your name because ‘The support team’ is too generic and non-personal at all.
Personalize your emails with video
What email communication and phone calls lack, video email fulfills. Not only can you see the person and hear their voice, but you can also easily connect with the person in the video and eliminate the distance between you. Video communication brings that personal touch in these situations and makes information sharing more transparent.
For instance, your new customer bought your software last week and is now sending you an email saying he can’t install it properly. You can already imagine all the frustration your customer must feel. Sending a generic text-based email where you’re just writing down all the necessary instructions or explaining all the steps may not help your customer feel appreciated.
On the other hand, what if you sent a video email instead? Saying your customer’s name, apologizing for the inconvenience and giving that extra effort to explain, show and tell all the details that could be helpful to him are much more effective.
Don’t forget, video is a visual medium.
It’s focused more on showing instead of just telling. In situations that are similar to the one mentioned above, showing is crucial. Let’s say you sent your customer a visual presentation of all the steps when installing your software. Isn’t that much better than copy/pasting the same information over and over again in your texted emails?
Check how a customer can record his satisfaction with your product and your company:
Ways of including video
There are many ways your support team can use videos. Actually, any place where you’ve used written communication, you can replace it with video or just add the video to your text.
Respond with video
How about next time your customer sends an email to your support email address, you answer them with a video message? Imagine how your customer would feel if you recorded a video just for them and sent them the information they need. When creating such a video, try communicating as if the customer is standing right in front of you. Don’t waste all your energy into making the video perfect. Be natural and feel free to make mistakes. The goal is to show that there are real people behind the support emails, just like your customers.
Explain with video
Wouldn’t it be easier if you could record an explainer video for your customer? Let’s say your customer doesn’t know how to use one of the features and needs your help. Sending a long text email that contains all the details and step-by-step instructions on how to use that particular feature can be exhausting and frustrating for you and your customer. On the other hand, sending an explainer video that is fun, creative, informative and engaging will have beneficial results for both of you.
Follow up with video
After you’ve answered a customer’s email where he seeks the help of the support team, why not check with them a week or two later if the issue is resolved? Make sure your customers don’t have additional complications after contacting your support team by staying in contact with them. Ask them for feedback. Are they satisfied with the level of support you’ve provided? Are they satisfied with the product and its features? Do they have any advice for the company or the support team? If you have already talked to a customer because they wanted to share their thoughts or issues, stay in touch with them to collect valuable information for yourself and your company.
According to Lee Resources International survey, for every customer who complains, there are 26 who never said a word. These customers simply left!
So, after reading or hearing a complaint from your frustrated customer, the first thing you should do is thank them. And really mean it! Show your customers how much you appreciate their feedback.
No matter the communication channel or tool, make sure your communication is on point. If you’re sending an email, make sure you’re using your customer’s name, thanking him or her for the input and trying to engage your customer with a call-to-action. If you’re talking to your customers on the phone, always remember they can hear the tone of your voice. Every communication signal your customers are getting from you should be positive and affirmative. How else are you going to maintain a good relationship with them?
What message is your customer support team sending?
As a customer support team, what message are you giving out to your customers? Is it a welcoming message or does it make your customers want to avoid contacting you?
It’s not only important what you say, but also HOW you say it.
Your customer support team should have the best communication skills out there and have a large dose of patience. If you treat every customer with care and focus on solving their problem as soon as possible, you will show that your company’s biggest focus is on customer satisfaction. And that’s exactly what it should be. It is a lot easier and important to take care of your existing customers, than acquiring new ones.
Some companies focus on promoting a specific message and then act accordingly. For example, Covideo goes with the message “We at Covideo just care!” and aim at approaching each customer with great care and dedication.
A positive customer support message will also affect the image of your company as a whole. Why not ask your customers to record a testimonial? Showing others how much your customers are satisfied with your product, company, and the level of support will attract your potential buyers, too.
Therefore, don’t hesitate to ask your satisfied customers for their feedback in the form of a video testimonial! Let them know that you appreciate their opinion. The list of activities for your support team is endless, but video can be in each item of it. To show how good you are at what you do, you have to really SHOW it, instead of telling it. Why not start recording your support team and customer success stories today?
Check out one of many activities by Covideo’s support team:
Covideo provides video email software that helps businesses and individuals communicate more effectively with easy-to-make personalized videos.
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