Win Customers For Life With These 5 Support Tips

Jennifer Schulze

Office Worker Wearing a Telephone Headset --- Image by © moodboard/CorbisEveryone has experienced bad customer service. Unfortunately, just one bad experience can be the most memorable point of contact your customer has with your company. In fact, a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealed that 68% of consumers polled said they have left a company because of bad service. The rise of on-demand, affordable cloud technology has complicated this issue for many companies; while customers still demand better service than ever, these companies can’t always devote 24/7 support to their users. By implementing these strategies to help improve your customer support, you can break the trend of poor customer service in the cloud and help turn frustrated customers into satisfied ones.

Empower your support team to take action

When your customers call your support team, they will expect to receive the help they’re looking for.  Ensure that your customers are getting the best service possible by giving your support team the tools they need to provide exceptional service. Leveraging a knowledge base for support staff to use as a reference during calls will provide your team with the information they need to answer your customers’ questions. Additionally, making sure your support team has the power to truly help your customers is crucial, whether that’s letting them access customer accounts, or giving them the authority to make decisions about how to best address a customer’s concerns on the fly.

Personalize the customer support experience

Cloud-based software solutions are often a great option because less customization is required to get things up and running. Since your customers will still have unique questions and needs, however, it’s important not to skimp on personalization when they ask for help. From simply using a customer’s name during the call to remembering what they asked about the last time you spoke, providing a personal touch shows customers that you care about them, not just your bottom line. To facilitate more personalized interactions with your support team and to help customers get the most out of their call, consider utilizing a software system that helps track customers throughout their lifecycle.

Leverage user feedback

Your customers provide the best feedback about your product in action. In addition to gathering feedback during support calls, conducting periodic customer surveys and tracking customer issues can go a long way in making sure that your product or service aligns with your customers’ needs. Because customers rely on your servers to keep their cloud-based software up and running, it’s important for your customers to know that they can depend on you to respond to issues quickly. Be proactive about fixing reported problems so that customers know that they are your priority. Customers want to know that their voices are being heard, so when they feel that their concerns are being taken into account, they’re more likely to stick with your brand.

Create a culture of continuous support

Customer support doesn’t have to stay locked up in a call center, waiting for disgruntled customers to reach out. The best customer service cultures are those that don’t just react, but learn how to anticipate and address their customers’ pain points continuously. This is especially important in the age of cloud computing, which stresses the ability of users to work anytime, anywhere, because customers are more likely to need help at any hour of the day. Even if you aren’t able to provide live support 24/7, take steps to ensure that your customers can get help wherever and whenever they need it. Whether that’s making sure that your website has an updated FAQ page, or occasionally tweeting insider tips for getting the most out of your product, your users will thank you for making sure they have the information they need without having to ask for it.

Always go the extra mile

Every customer is different, and there isn’t a secret formula for keeping each person happy all the time. But even if your company has a limited capacity for customer support, it’s critical to treat your customers as individuals in order to build up a reputation for great customer service. Something as simple as a follow-up call or email after your initial point of contact can make a lasting impression. Make every effort to provide fast, actionable responses to customers both online and on the phone, and you’ll be sure to leave a strong positive impact on your customers.

Bad customer service shouldn’t be the reason you’re losing business. Fortunately, companies can provide better support systems that leverage assets like user feedback and a more effective support team to give a personalized experience to each customer. By ensuring that your users get the best possible experience, you can help to break the trend of bad support for cloud-based technology and create customers that love your brand for years to come.

For more customer support strategies that get results, see Customer Experience: How to Balance Culture and Operations.

 


About Jennifer Schulze

Jennifer Schulze is Vice President of marketing for SAP. In her role, she manages customer marketing as part of the office of the COO. She has over 15 years of technology marketing and management experience and is a small business owner in the San Francisco Bay area.