May. 05, 2021
Customer support is traditionally seen as a cost center, though, it doesn’t have to be. Businesses have the ability to turn their customer support center into a growth driver.
In a customer experience trends report by Zendesk in 2020, "Roughly half of [the] customers [surveyed] say they would switch to a competitor after just one bad experience. In the case of more than one bad experience, that number snowballs to 80%."
With the possibility of customer churn sky rocketing to 50% in one bad experience and 80% in multiple bad experiences, businesses need to recognize the importance of quality customer service. To make it even more tangible, consider the last time you had a poor customer service experience. How willing are you to purchase products from that vendor again?
Businesses can employ strategies like the following to turn their customer support teams into growth drivers:
Focusing on customer engagement metrics: while time to ticket resolution is an important metric, taking time to provide customers with all of the information they need is critical, to convert them into advocates for your brand or product.
Implementing proactive customer service systems: understanding what the customer wants before they ask, is a superpower. To do so, businesses need to implement processes to collect customer data and use intelligence to understand it.
Capture support insights and turn them into product features: any time an issue surfaces more than once, it’s likely that there’s a problem with the product. For example, if there are 100 tickets related to first time log-in issues, it’s possible that there’s an issue with the sign-up flow.
Customer engagement is the process of interacting with customers through a variety of channels and strengthening your relationship with them. Most people think of customer engagement metrics solely in relation to marketing departments: conversion rate, pages per session, net promoter score (NPS), and session time. In customer support, engagement metrics take into account different factors such as customer satisfaction (CSAT) and time to resolution.
Frontline agents that are able to use questions to better understand a customer’s problem, surface relevant knowledge articles, and anticipate future needs have the power to turn customers into brand evangelists.
For example, let’s say you’re shopping from a direct to consumer business and the size you ordered doesn’t fit. After receiving the items, you realize they were non-refundable as part of a final clearance sale. Begrudgingly you reach out to the brand’s customer support team hoping there’s something that can be done.
At this point, the brand has a few options: accept the return, refund the amount paid in store credit or original payment method, or reject the returns. If this is a first time offense from a loyal or new customer, brands will typically process the return or refund the money. By doing so they’re turning the customer into an evangelist.
With rising customer expectations, brands need to meet them where they are: phone, email, online forms, messaging, chat, social media, community forum, voice assistant. The challenge for businesses is managing the influx of customer data from a multitude of channels.
Businesses that do a good job of managing data, do an even better job at customer service.
Zendesk found, “Companies that leverage the most data — defined as those in the top 25% of managing data relative to other similar companies — see 36 percent faster resolutions and a 79 percent reduction in customer wait time, while solving four times the customer requests (src).”
At AptEdge, we’re building a toolkit to help front-line agents streamline their workflow by using the latest advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Our product enables frontline teams to group and respond to similar tickets faster, surface relevant knowledge articles without looking through disparate sources, and communicate bugs to product teams before they become larger issues.
When customer support organizations are prioritized, they become the voice of the customer. Every ticket a company receives, is feedback that can be implemented to improve the product experience for all customers.
For example, let’s say a company building software for other businesses receives 75 tickets associated with a specific dashboard malfunction. With the proper tooling in place, the support team at this company should recognize that the 75 tickets are linked to one issue and make the product team aware so it can be prioritized on their roadmap. When this doesn’t happen, it’s likely that customers will start to churn leaving the organization without a good explanation as to why.
In conclusion, “customer loyalty can help drive the success of a business, and the customer experience (CX) drives loyalty.”
The data is clear (src: Zendesk):
74% of customers feel loyal to a particular brand or company
52% of customers report going out of their way to buy from their favorite brands
To understand the voice of customers, businesses need to learn how to listen. Our products, at AptEdge, are built for the modern support team that drives growth for your business.