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Beyond Product: How Quality Customer Support Can Set You Apart

by Muriel Vega

Beyond user experience and good design, building out a solid support team can make or break your product when it comes to acquisition and retention of users. Three out of four consumers say they have spent more with a company because of a history of positive customer service experiences, according to a recent American Express report.

“We are dedicated to simplicity and service, and we’ve designed our support system to give our customers what they need: quick, simple resolution of any challenges or questions,” says Joe Floyd, CEO of InsureSign.

The company, which produces secure e-signature software used in healthcare, real estate and other industries, has incorporate easy-to-use features to help business owners close deals faster. One thing that’s helped them stand out in the industry — excellent customer service.

“In 2018, that means being able to contact support right away. While we have systems for phone and email support, we’ve found that a chat support solution has made a world of difference,” says Floyd. “At the end of the day, your customer support system is the face of your business that your most important stakeholders see: your existing customers.”

While there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to customer service, here are a few tips to keep in mind when building your support process and team.

Pay attention to timing

“We had one competitor where our rates and products were similar, there wasn’t real differentiation except for our customer relationships. It was a big reason why [our] company grew,” says Floyd.

“That was one thing they couldn’t match us on — how well we were able to service our customers. We were quick to get answers and a compact structure so we could task the right person in the company. People really appreciated that and they stuck with us.”

Find the best system for your product

“When you move your support online, customers are more anonymous and there’s more of them. We looked for the best way to provide front line customer service — from phone to a ticketing system,” says Floyd. “There’s a lot of overhead that comes with sitting on the phone with customer support, and after a while, it can really add up. The best of all worlds ended up being a chat system through our site.”

Build relationships from immediate feedback

“It’s tricky to build relationships online with customers. One reason the phone didn’t work for us is as a mid-size business we can’t afford to have people sitting there, waiting for people to call all day long. However, one customer success team member can handle several tickets at once via online chat,” says Floyd.

“Even if we can’t immediately get back to that customer, we can acknowledge their question and find an answer as quick as possible or update them on the next step. People just want to be heard.”

Develop a voice and tone for communication to avoid canned answers

“We try to keep it short and conversational,” says Floyd. “We avoid jargon, long canned responses. We try to understand their issue and talk through the problem with them. Depending on the tone of the conversation, our support team can show emotion through emojis and have a back-and-forth with our customers.”

“We view chat as an ongoing conversation with our customers because the chat widget has history,” says Floyd. “It’s a huge benefit to have all the information we need about past issues or questions available at a glance and the support team member can continue the already set tone with the customer.”

Use your company’s blog to share FAQs

In place of canned responses and as a way to streamline support before the customer has to reach out to you, Floyd recommends offering short articles to communicate a frequently asked question and solution. It’s an easy way for both the customer and your support team member to save time and increase productivity.

Collect metrics and evolve as needed

“Even though we’re spread out across multiple time zones, we’re always listening to each other and encourage open communication about customer issues,” says Floyd.

“With our chat support as a single point of reference, we can follow the metrics of the customer’s product usage, what features they prefer, etc. We take in feedback from the customer on what they would like to see in the product and pass it on to the right department thanks to the compact structure,” says Floyd. “It’s easy to tap into our company’s hierarchy to find the right person.”

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