The impact a support team has on customer growth is no laughing matter. Forty-five percent of buyers claimed they will abandon an online transaction if their concerns are not addressed quickly, and 89 percent of consumers blame unsatisfactory support as the chief reason they stopped shopping completely.
It is no secret support employees often have one of the highest turnovers of any department in the U.S. workforce. The cost of losing one employee in the first year is akin to three times that employee’s salary, so fostering an environment that makes vital team members stick around is crucial. Here are a few simple things businesses can do to keep support team employees motivated and keep customers coming back for more.
Track customer feedback
To address customer issues effectively and develop common language among the team, customer communication should live in one, dedicated area. Some popular tools to make this easily trackable include Zendesk and Desk. Online software solutions like these enable automation for support tickets, provide “help centers” for frequently asked questions, and keep customer phone and email communications organized succinctly across the business and accessible at any time. Implementing systems that enable support teams to track a customer’s historical interaction and offer alternative suggestions for troubleshooting means support teams spend less time researching and giving poor advice.
Understand the audience
Marketing teams should help educate support teams on customer segmentation and how best to represent the brand. Customers with established businesses will need different solutions than a customer with a brand new store, and demographics can influence what type of language employees use when aiding a customer with frustrations.
Streamline communication paths
Internal tools to connect product, sales and marketing are a must for a cohesive and consistent customer experience. Businesses must create opportunities for different departments to share information and allow each of them to shed light on how a customer experience can be improved. Support teams can have a crucial piece in product development, and having a place to report that feedback to every department can be highly enlightening. Creating consistent language and processes across the board is essential to keep customers happy and employees engaged.
Create a “customer first” environment
Amazon’s creator, Jeff Bezos, leaves an empty chair at the table for important meetings. It’s there to remind everyone who is responsible for the conversation in the first place: the customer. This initiative fosters and maintains a “customer first” environment, encouraging every department to focus on what – and who – is most important.
Customer experience is no longer the sole responsibility of the support team. If businesses want to continue customer growth, they must position the support team as an active driver of that growth. In a recent Gallup study, profitability and productivity increased by 22 percent when employees were satisfied. By implementing better communication and tracking tools and a stronger understanding of customer needs, businesses will increase employee motivation, customer happiness, and inevitably – overall growth.
You hit on a very important topic here Brandon. In addition to the statistics you mention, damage to the brand can be significant especially through social media as evidenced in the infographic from Socially Stacked. One particularly startling fact is that “66% of B2B customers and 52% of B2C customers will stop using a brand after a bad customer service experience.”
Having web-based customer service support solutions is now mission-critical to effectively managing customer relationships and building long-term value. Another statistic from Socially Stacked, “24% of customers will stay loyal for two years at least after a positive experience…”
Being a provider of online customer support software for over 20-years it is important to note significant differences in selecting this type of solution to ensure companies are providing the best possible experience to their customers. A few considerations are: – 24/7/365 live customer support for your software is vital because your customers won’t care if your software is having difficulty – Multiple channels of communication; customers have a preferences on how they want to contact support; some like speaking to a live agent while others (increasingly) prefer chat, and still others will use email – Make sure your software is flexible to your needs; some software is built for a specific usage like help desk support while others are developed exclusively for customer service
The bottom line is that your support software should be as robust and reactive as the team you have in place to take care of your customers.