A customer support strategy is an essential part of any business’s marketing plan. The strategy aims to reduce the number of customer service inquiries coming in while simultaneously improving the quality of responses. If your company doesn’t have a customer support strategy, here are some ways you can create one.
Define Your Company’s Strategy
The first step in creating a customer support strategy is determining what type of support you will provide. Are you going to provide an email address or telephone number? If you’re going to offer your customers live chat support, you will also need to make sure there is a way for them to interact with the agent.
This could mean offering code-based phone numbers or pre-populated buttons that users can click to get immediate help from your customer support team.
Measure your sales
Customer support is a major part of your marketing strategy. You will need to take steps to see what’s working. Once you have a solid understanding of the number of customer inquiries coming in and the impact on sales, you can determine how effective your customer support team is.
Don’t try to create your strategy overnight.
Take some time to think about your company and how you intend to use it. Consider what differentiates you from your competition and consider what it is that makes your company different. These may be the factors you focus on when formulating a strategy.
Recommended Reading: What is Customer Experience Strategy and How to Implement it
Think About the Technology Available to Your Customers
There are plenty of options out there for people who need support and service. Choose the features you want your customers to use as much as possible when they contact you. Options like Facebook Live and Slack are excellent ways to shorten response time.
Test Your New Features
Once you have decided how to create an effective customer support strategy, test them on a few customers to make sure they perform well.
Be Specific About What You Provide
Make it clear to customers what you will and won’t do for them. You can make this as detailed as possible, including product or order information or even the exact line of your business, for example, “Shipping from Ireland.” Then, in plain language, give your customer some choices or options. This will reduce the number of questions and help them know what to expect if they contact you about any given issue.
Put Your Actual Customer Response Time on Social Media
Once you have put some customer service info in place, post regular updates on social media. Customers are likely to find this helpful. It will provide insight into how your customers are faring. It will also provide a consistent experience that can be followed throughout the customer’s journey.
Broke your customer support strategy into bite-sized chunks
Your customer support strategy should be broken down into bite-sized chunks of information for your team to handle. An excellent example of this can be found in the Zappos model. The e-retail giant separates its customer service model into three categories:
- Automated chat
- Customer service by email
- Customer support by phone.
Your customer support team should be able to handle a large amount of customer service requests. However, they should have the tools necessary to do so. By doing this, you can create a more efficient customer support model.
Improve the Speed of Response Times
Suppose your company has an overwhelming amount of customer service inquiries. In that case, it’s not likely that your team can handle them all at once. A solution to this problem is to improve the speed of responses.
Develop a Communication Plan
Most companies have a customer care department that’s often too busy to create a robust customer support strategy. To get things moving, your customer care department needs to have a plan to handle issues. This means identifying the kinds of requests that are most likely to come in and building a communication plan.
It could look something like this: “We’ve identified the kinds of problems that are most likely to come in. On average, each customer will make six customer support inquiries and expect to speak with a representative within an hour. In order to maximize our customer’s satisfaction, we will answer queries within one business day.
Consider different methods for reaching customers.
Your customer support strategy should include a method for reaching customers. If you don’t yet have one, create one. Consider team meetings, specific calls to action on your website, and newsletters. Research and develop a plan that suits your company’s goals.
Test your communication plan
To make sure your customer support strategy works:
- Test it.
- Create a call script to use in certain scenarios.
- Hang up the phone when you need to.
- Check your response rates and turn off the automated systems to see how you fare.
The more input you get, the better you can tailor the customer service experience.
Implementing your communication plan
Although your customer support strategy might be ready to go, implementing it is another story. Consider how your response times will look under different scenarios.
Your communication plan should include the following:
- Your business’s phone number
- Your company’s name
- Your open hours
- Your contact center’s phone number
- Your contact center’s number and location
- How you plan to respond to customer inquiries
- Business response times
All of these numbers will help you understand how many consumers you can service at any given time and how long your response times will be.
Identify Your Core Demographic
Even if you already know what you’re selling, you can still identify your core demographic and make it a point to target a subset of them. Your core demographic is the consumer group that values your service and uses it as a guide to choosing a business to use. You can find the same information by reaching out to different industries as well.
Create a Customer Service Toolkit
Creating a customer support toolkit should be part of every business’s customer service strategy. Everyone within the company should use your toolkit to ensure that you provide the best customer support possible. It should be used for the whole range of customer support issues such as technical support, technical support, and technical support-related issues.
Making a toolkit requires a significant investment in time and resources. However, it will significantly increase the return on investment. A well-thought-out toolkit will require you to fully explain every step, along with the results, for people to fully understand how to use your tools.
The things you need to tackle customer service
You need an established list of FAQs, Twitter handles, and email addresses of your most loyal customers if you want to tackle customer service. Make sure the list is complete, up-to-date, and easy to access. This will allow you to tailor responses to customer service issues specific to each customer’s situation. You can even add replies from employees to the toolkit.
Send Weekly Emails to Frequent Customers
Keep your customers updated with the latest news on your company’s websites and social media platforms. Customers are not interested in hearing about products and services they aren’t planning to purchase soon. Send weekly emails to all of your customers. Let them know you are in the process of expanding your customer service teams.
Offer Live Chat Support
Perhaps one of the most effective customer support strategies is live chat. Customers will often ask questions when they are on their way to a physical store, which means your customers might not have the patience to wait for a representative. Most of the time, customers will head straight to the nearest store to complain. This is why an effective customer support strategy should have a live chat in the mix.
This type of customer support is a personal one. Instead of acting as a third party that customers can talk to whenever they have questions, you take the problem or issue that a customer has and step in as the one who solves it.
Suppose you’re offering a phone service like a salesperson would. In that case, you offer an agent to chat with people who need assistance. If you’re offering an online service or shopping cart, you provide live chat as an option. If you’re offering self-service, chat support is essential in making people feel comfortable talking to you.
Allow Customers to Contact Customer Support Directly
Another important strategy you need to implement is allowing customers to contact the customer support department directly. There are so many problems faced by businesses when they fail to communicate with their customers. You can reduce the number of problem inquiries coming in and solve them once and for all.
As we discussed, customer support can be the bane of business owners’ existence if they don’t have a strategy in place to make the most of it. The first step to creating a customer support strategy is to make live chat available for customers. In general, when you offer live chat support, you’ll need to make your support representative of your brand.
Make the Chat Efficient
No matter what your chat service is, it should be as fast and easy to use as possible. Take the time to set your chat app up to handle a reasonable number of customers. Then have your chat agent ready and attentive to please your customers.
Using automated customer support solutions can help eliminate tedious customer service tasks such as sifting through hundreds of voicemail messages and obtaining the correct information from different members of the customer service team. Such automated solutions can be used to handle simple customer support requests and form ongoing customer relationships.
This is an increasingly popular trend in the customer service industry. Increase Transparency The best customer service strategies have three elements: an open communication channel between the company and its customers, timely, customized responses from trained customer care agents, and feedback and suggestions from customers.
Automation speeds up your customer service.
Automation is one way to speed up customer service operations without drastically affecting customer satisfaction. Your software or robotic process automation (RPA) can significantly cut down on the time required to take care of customer inquiries. RPA programs don’t need an ongoing human interface. They allow you to focus more attention on more in-depth service.
Automating your support processes reduce the number of calls
Customer support strategies are already too often bogged down by answering phone calls and emails. Because of the volume of incoming calls, it’s hard for an agent to have the time to go over every single question or comment individually. If you can, automating your support processes can help reduce the number of calls you need to answer and allow you to focus on creating better support for your customers.
This way, you can keep your customer service support response focused and accurate. If your customers receive an automated response that answers their question incorrectly, you can quickly help them fix it and move on to the next step.
Give Customers Training Resources
Customers often forget to check the FAQs section when looking for information or directions on the internet. Although you have several phone numbers listed, customers might give up before getting through to someone. An excellent customer support strategy includes providing training resources, such as a reference guide to the website, answers to frequently asked questions, and FAQs of the website itself.
You can also ask customer service representatives to post these resources on their social media pages, as this can ensure that customers can get timely access to the information they are looking for.
Train your employees to complement the strategy
On average, it should be one of the first things your employees learn about their jobs. Your employees should understand how your customers expect the service to work. You should also make sure they know the difference between how customers and regular customers are treated. Training employees is just the start of the strategy, though.
Broke your strategy training into small pieces
To make sure your customer support strategy is communicated effectively to all employees, you should ensure it’s broken down into small steps and clearly understood by all employees. The small steps should be practical and related to daily tasks.
When setting up a customer support strategy, it’s important to consider all the steps necessary to get the job done. Knowing what steps you need to take is a big step in itself.
This means you should make it easy for customers to call you with any questions while still ensuring your agents are available to answer all of their questions. More specifically, you’ll need to make your live chat experience as speedy as possible. That’s what customers expect from today’s communication experience.